“John is seeing the holiness of God manifested in the life of the church as it lives in the world.”
When I read it in the Revelation study I’ve been working my way through something is stirred—a memory opens up.
Didn’t I pen something like that—living holy and others seeing God? I wonder as I run to the kitchen for an ice pack.
When I finish reading, I search through files of poetry from a few years back and find it—a few untitled lines, written in June 2011.
As I read them, I begin to remember something else. These lines were inspired by Scripture and I was stirred enough to encourage my small group with the thoughts I had been thinking about.
I wonder. What was that Scripture?
I think I was reading through Hebrews or James about then.
I pull up my email and go searching through old sent mail. After a few dead ends, I find it, a line of Scripture and a few wonderings.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” Hebrews 12:14-15
I wondered to my friends.
Is it when we live life wholly His that we live holy lives?
And in living this way, wholly His, that through the things we say and the things we do, we pour forth the grace of God so “no one misses the grace of God”?
I read it and smile.
This. This is the way we are meant to live in this world. The more I read through Revelation, the more I become convinced of this. When we live wholly His, we live manifesting the holiness of God to the world around us.
The words of Robert Mulholland, about the bowl imagery I’ve been reading through, come to my mind once again:
“To be part of the community of God’s people means—to become part of God’s response to the rebellion; to be drawn into the very being and nature of God so as to be shaped in the image and likeness of God; to be thrust out in the midst of Fallen Babylon to participate in God’s costly, redemptive response to the rebellion. The vision portrays this meaning in the bowls, which, on the one hand are the prayers of the saints that open them to the shaping presence of God, and, on the other hand, being filled with the presence of God, are then poured out into the life of the world” (p.97)
I am struck by the way the lines I penned two years ago are in such alignment with what I’ve been reading about today, the bowls. I would never have imagined it.
When I am wholly given to God
A life of grace pours forth—
Light, a shining beacon in this dark world
Mirror spilling out radiance
Present reminder of His glory.
A surrendered vessel
I live holy
And the world sees the Lord.
What a gift He has given to me by leading me back to these words of poetry today.
They are a gift He is reminding me to live--wholly His, a holy life-- as a surrendered vessel (a bowl filled with the presence of God and poured out) so others around me do not miss the grace of God.
Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we live wholly God’s. In this may we find that we live holy—pouring out the grace of God on everyone we meet. When they encounter us may others see the Lord.