I have been quite disturbed recently hearing talk of positive affirmation and how we should never think negatively about ourselves, especially if we are Christians. “You should be proud of the way you look. Always look your best so you will bring glory to God.” How does that work again? When we, as Christians, focus on aesthetics, we instantly become the victims of humanism. Scripture plainly tells us that we are nothing, unworthy to even look on the Holiness of God.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
When I hear Christians bragging about how good they are, or how awesome they are, or how attractive they are, I can’t help but think of how God sees us: as disgusting, filthy rags – especially when we claim the name of Christ and still lack the intensity of His worship.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
How then are we to approach the throne of God? While our sins may be a repulsive stench to the pure Holiness of God, He has also given us a method to become one with Him.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Yes, we are created in the “image and likeness of God,” but anything that is good within us is the result of His handiwork, not anything we have done. Whatever appreciation we have for ourselves should be reflected and focused back to the worship of the Creator.
We are still human and it is our way to question God, to challenge Him, and to rebel. Job, who had lost everything that he ever had, his wealth, his children, and his health, finally broke and questioned God. What was God’s response? It wasn’t “I’m sorry you had to go through this. The devil did it.” Instead, even after all that, the response was “How DARE you question me.”
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
Finally, two chapters later:
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
But God was not done yet. Now, seventy-six verses later, God forms the question again.
Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
“Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.” What a powerful statement. Compared to God, we are nothing. He is all sovereign. We are as filthy rags. He is the creator of the universe. We are his servants. He, and He alone, is worthy of our praise. We are worthy to do nothing but give him praise.
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.