“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” Isaiah 6:1
Too familiar? Is there such a thing as being too familiar with God? King Uzziah exemplifies for us what happens when man restrains the holy by casualness, becoming too familiar with the hand of God.
King Uzziah was a prosperous king. Submitting under the hand of God, all he touched turned into gold. Years into the golden favor of Jehovah, the familiarity with favor caused the king to step across the boundaries God had set for sacrifices, assuming the place of priest, Uzziah lit incense in the temple. He had become too familiar with the holy, he was so accustomed to Gods favor, he took advantage of it. It’s a dangerous thing when Gods Chosen lose their wonder; Holy is mixed with the common and as a result glory is tarnished by mans touch. We bring God down, stuffing Him into our status quo; favor has become familiar.
We are just as guilty as the prideful king. We make Gods favor about us. We expect it but we don’t marvel at it.
Christians who have had the opportunity to serve in a third world country will tell you the marvel of running water. After seeing an entire civilization who are without the modern amenity of indoor plumbing, who retrieve their water from pits in the ground; muddy and dangerously contaminated. The people return with a fresh awareness of the favor we experience everyday. We know some live without-we also understand we are priveleged. Yet, the familiarity robs the wonder of it all. We treat the favor of God the same way. Our faith is muddy and dangerously contaminated by casualness. We are grateful, understanding the privilege that has been placed on our heads, yet we are so familiar with it-the wonder is submerged in the common and drowned by our smugness.
The death of Uzziah could have meant many different things to Isaiah; a year of loss or disappointment. Even a year of change. Many speculations have been made over the tie between the leper king and the prophet. But could it be that the death of Uzziah symbolizes the death of casualness? That when he had taken his last breath, all that was familiar was shaken up?
Nothing was as it once was.
Many times God will shake up our lives to wake us up. Like a divine alarm clock, the winds of change ring in our souls to awaken us from our slumber.
Nothing brings us out of familiarity like change. It’s here, in “the year that ______”, where we know nothing will ever be the same, that we are set up to see the Lord. He doesn’t like to be made small. He won’t stand for it. So, He shows us just how big He really is by removing our safety net, drawing us out of our comfort zone-onto the waters, to experience a fresh vision of glory.
Change ignites awe. When the familiar walls of comfort zones are torn down, we will find that “comfort” has been blocking our view all along. The ceiling of complacency obstructed the splendor of the throne. Change often tears the roof off our limitations and we are left in slack jawed amazement at this God we serve.
This glory Isaiah experienced was wasted on Uzziah, because he grew too familiar. The king who had His favor never saw His glory because he allowed the holy to be tainted by the common. He lived a life where favor was expected but glory was never experienced. Isaiah, on the other hand, expected nothing-because he experienced the glory and that satisfied him. One was lifted up in his own eyes, the other saw God high and lifted up; one was never satisfied, the other was.
Is His presence enough for you?
The mark of Familiarity is the unconscious dissatisfaction with favor. Uzziah wasn’t appeased with the anointing given to him, he had to have more. Gods presence wasn’t enough. The loss of wonder excuses glory as common. May we never grow so familiar with favor that we miss His glory, never so accustomed to His presence that we make Him small.
Wonder widens our perception of God; it gives us eyes to see His glory.
This is the people God will use; those who marvel at His glory-those who are satisfied in His presence.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying “whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”And I said “Here I am send me!” Isaiah 6:8
Here…in His presence, that’s the launching point for mission. Yet, as our lack of wonder keeps us from the joy of His presence, it will also keep us from the thrill of the mission.
Without wonder, we lack willingness to go.
How many of us can honestly raise our hands and say “Here I am, send me.” Casualness robs us of glory; glory that is only seen when heaven touches earth-through the mission given by God to man. The mission of bringing His kingdom come.
We miss the mission because we miss the marvel.