In His Holy Presence • Alpine Chapel

“Troy” was one tough dude. As a former Green Beret and CIA operative (well, he never confirmed the CIA stuff, but I suspected it), fear was NOT a part of his vocabulary. He told a story once about his first meeting with the President of the United States in the Oval Office. He was ushered in and offered a firm handshake as he and the President sat down across from one another. With a smile, the President asked, “So what brought you to the White House today?” Troy opened his mouth to reply, but no words came out. His mouth was as dry as the Sahara. Even after a sip of water, he was only able to talk with a shaky voice.

What’s interesting about Troy’s reaction is that a few years before the presidential election, Troy had played golf with the man who now lived in the White House. They had had a rip-roaring good time with no uneasiness between them. So what changed? Troy told me he had been rendered speechless by the power of the presidency and the awe he felt in the Oval Office.

I remember Troy’s story whenever I contemplate standing before the Most Holy God in his Throne Room. I picture myself totally incapable of movement by the holiness of God and the amazing things he has done. As mortals, we struggle to grasp the power and majesty of the God who has created time, space, matter, and all life. Isaiah, when confronted by the holiness of God, was stricken at the ugliness of his sin (Isaiah 6). He responded with a “humble and contrite” spirit. And God used him to send heavenly messages with eternal impact.

Only when a person glimpses the holiness of God in comparison to human sinfulness is there any hope for true repentance. When we realize the dreadful consequence of sin and consider that the sinless Son of God suffered our punishment, it brings us to our knees. We are silent before the face of God’s holiness, struck dumb by the reverence such holiness demands. Like Job, we say, “I am unworthy–how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40:4)

And in that quiet place of humility and repentance, God places a reply in our hearts–messages with eternal impact that we are compelled to share with the world. He fills us with the desire to build his kingdom, just like he did with Isaiah.

Troy visited the Oval Office several more times over the years. Each time he left more determined to make a bigger impact on his world. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to meet with a president. We have been invited into the presence of One whose power, love and mercy know no bounds. Come into God’s Throne Room; sit in his presence; and leave filled with heavenly messages that will make an eternal impact.

Thus says the LORD:

“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.

“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.”

Isaiah 66:1-2