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Image by Milad Fakurian
  • Writer's pictureFirst Christian Church of Chicago

Soul Shaking

On Saturday I received an email asking which prayer I would like to lead at the evening Worship & Prayer event. I got a little chuckle because one of the prayers was marked "Our Father ... hollowed be thy name." That chuckle soon turned to a harsh realization as I reflected that maybe the worship and lives of the American church are as they are because our worship is hollow. We worship a hollow reflection of God, rather than a hallowed (or holy) reflection of YHWH.

On the day Isaiah entered the temple in Isaiah 6 he witnesses a God who is not hollow. This God is fearful, and soul-shaking. The ground beneath his feet quake with his presence.

Judah's king had just died. Uzziah had been a strong and stabilizing leader for 52 years. Now he is dead (and Assyria is on the move), and so the question for Judah would undoubtedly be ... what will happen to us?

As that question is roiling through Isaiah's brain here is what he witnessed:

  1. The king may be dead, but the King is still on his throne. His vision is of YHWH enthroned upon the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, which in a way parallels are communion table. Regardless of the uncertainty, God is still sovereign.

  2. God’s judgment is real. The seraphim, literally "the burning ones", are beings that appear to execute God’s judgment. With them encircling YHWH, no wonder Isaiah believes his life is over.

  3. God is the definition of holiness. Holy is foundational for his character. It is the only trait that is "cubed" to be fully reflected in him. It figuratively describes his character as "otherworldly".

  4. God is to be taken seriously. Glory has to do with weight. Applied to God, it describes him as weighty. There is a heaviness about him that forces us to our knees in his presence. He should not be taken lightly.

Perhaps, we have come to not take God too seriously in our life and worship. Our worship is what pleases us, and not what reflects a soul-shaking encounter with God. We will never experience the transformation God desires in us until we see God in a manner that confronts us with the reality of who he is. Ask God to take of the blinders and the tinted glasses off of you so you may see God for all he is.

When was the last time that you had a soul-shaking encounter with God?


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