I am increasingly concerned about our casual attitude toward God. In the church, too often we seem to treat God as if He is a Big Brother rather than the Divine Creator and Lord. So I was interested to read some comments along that line by Rick Ezell, a pastor who wrote in his newsletter:

“Holiness means set apart or to separate. To say that God is holy means that first of all that he is God and not man. He is utterly separate from all that is human. God is not like us at all, not in any way. He’s different. Holiness is the moral character of God. He is pure; he is complete; he is whole. Holiness is the only attribute of God that is presented in Scripture with a threefold repetition. The angels did not sing, ‘Love, love, love’ or ‘Just, just, just’—they sang ‘Holy, holy, holy.’ Every time you hear the word holy, think separation. God is completely set apart and entirely different than you and me.

“Understanding God’s holiness is like entering a planetarium from a busy, noisy street. The dimmed lights and the hushed sounds create a sense of reverence. As we look up the universe opens up over our heads. Earth becomes one of the smallest planets and we become one of its smallest creatures. In that awesome moment, we realize that God is so much greater than we are.

“Unfortunately, we have lost this view of God: the high, exalted, lofty, exclusive, unparalleled, unprecedented character of God. Preferring the comfort of his nearness, we have lost the reality of God’s holiness. We have departed from the biblical picture of God’s holy and exalted nature. Instead, we have humanized God by calling him The Man Upstairs or Big Daddy. God is not whatever my conscience or imagination would like him to be. And, we dare not say, ‘When I get to heaven I’m going to tell God a thing or two.’ God is indescribable.

“Holiness rightly understood demands caution. When it comes to God and the things of God we are to be very careful. Let’s suppose you were asked to carry a box full of TNT or were handed a case containing a bomb that could be set off with the slightest movement, wouldn’t you handle it carefully, cautiously? In the same manner are we to treat God.”

Blessings!
Michael Duduit
mduduit@salempublishing.com
www.michaelduduit.com
@MichaelDuduit on Twitter

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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