The whole earth is full of His glory!

The More You See: God’s Advent Surprise

Scripture Sunday

On this second Sunday of Advent, I’m already noticing my tendency to process life based solely on what I can see.

  • If there are three pairs of shoes and a half bushel of dog fur on the dining room floor, I must be a terrible housekeeper.
  • If no one in the house has clean underwear in their bureaus, I must not be trying hard enough.
  • If I’ve checked all my boxes, I’m probably awesome and can take a day off from my spiritual disciplines.

You can see how this manner of thinking leads nowhere good…

Reading through Isaiah this month and landing in chapter six forces me to press my nose hard against scripture’s window and ask myself, “What if, like Isaiah, I saw the Lord?” I’m not thinking primarily about a vision complete with a throne and royal robes, blazing seraphim and antiphonal singing.

I’m thinking about his holiness, his compassionate patience put on display in the person of Christ, and his majestic greatness that prompted the seraphim to cry out:

The whole earth is full of His glory!”

Isaiah 6:3

What if I saw the Lord, first and foremost, and my vision of him became the most compelling message in my brain? What if YOU saw the Lord as he truly is?

Here’s the truth we are missing:

The more clearly you see the Lord, the more clearly you will see yourself.

Therefore, the challenge is to spend these days leading up to Christmas focused on the One who is sitting upon the throne.

Scripture is loaded with examples of faithful (and unfaithful) followers who “saw the Lord.” Job’s response was to “repent in dust and ashes.” Peter looked at miraculous bounty in a fishing vessel and “fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.‘”

Advent is an invitation to consider Jesus, God’s Son who left his throne so that when we see God’s holiness, our “woe is me” can quickly become “Lord, change me!” He is not at all perplexed by your sin or mine. He knows what to do about it, and he is never surprised. (It’s hard to surprise or disappoint someone who is omniscient!)

Like Isaiah, we bring our sin along with us right into the presence of God where the red hot coal of forgiveness purges guilt and shame forever. Will you make time today to see the Lord? He promises an audience in his throne room to those who seek him, and he’s always available:

We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always easy to penetrate. The real labour is to remember to attend. In fact to come awake. Still more to remain awake.”     

C.S. Lewis

May you wake up to the presence of God in your life during this Advent season and this journey through the book of Isaiah. The more you see the Lord, the more you will see and understand your true self–and perhaps begin to see less of yourself and more of others?. May you find yourself entering into God’s joyful surprise of finding yourself loved more than you can imagine.

Because the whole earth is full of his glory,

Advent is an invitation to consider Jesus, God’s Son who left his throne so that when we see God’s holiness, our “woe is me” can quickly become “Lord, change me!” He is not at all perplexed by your sin or mine.

It’s not too late to join us in our journey through Isaiah. Download the reading schedule here, and be saturated in truth from Isaiah’s pen during this Advent season!

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41 thoughts on “The More You See: God’s Advent Surprise”

  1. This was such a great read for me because I’m currently in the book of Isaiah myself. There are so many layers in this book! After I read a chapter or two I always listen to a Jon Courson message on the chapter to help me understand.

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  2. Amen! May this time of reflection cause us to see the Lord ever more clearly and lean into Him more than ever before. Blessings!

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  3. Oh yes, the earth is full of God’s glory! And we can learn to see him wherever we look: in his creation, in the people with whom we have contact, in his Word and other writings of godly people–for starters. And how gloriously astonishing that the almighty King of the universe invites us into his presence, even with our sin and shortcomings. And God is ALWAYS ready to forgive. Such mind-boggling, glorious truth! Thank you, Michele, for starting our week with the reminder we are loved more than we can imagine, and with the challenge to open ourselves completely to his transforming ways, that we might fully enjoy the abundant life he offers. P.S. Love that clause, “press my nose hard against scripture’s window.” Such a lovely image!

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  4. I’m always inspired here, friend! Thanks for spreading the good message! Praying you are doing well on the country hill these days! Sending love!

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  5. Love this! I want to be awake to His presence.
    I also loved your line, “It’s hard to surprise or disappoint someone who is omniscient!”
    We’re deep in the study of Isaiah ourselves in my bible study group. It’s amazing but in chapter 30, the people of Judah actually thought they could hide their deeds from Him, that He couldn’t see them. How foolish!

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  6. “…when we see God’s holiness, our “woe is me” can quickly become “Lord, change me!” I want this line written on my heart.
    I’m on the Isaiah journey with you, by the way.

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  7. What a beautiful post, Michele! I can *see* that you study Isaiah with a devotion and clarity I wish I had. Yes, let me pray to see the Lord as He truly is. Wonderful message for this 2nd Sunday of Advent.

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  8. So true on the more we see God the more we see of ourselves, and sometimes the picture isn’t as nice as I thought. HE is an everchanging present, but a good one. He walks everywhere incognito is true, and I have seen people that have to be portraying the love of God even when they don’t realize.

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  9. Michele,
    I know I’m guilty of not wanting to go before God because I don’t want to see myself and the sad shape I’m in. The great thing about God is that He not only sees us, but He sees to our imperfections and will change us if we just present ourselves, as we are, and ask God to reveal His character and change ours.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  10. I love that truth that when we see the Lord more clearly, we see ourselves more clearly too. Thank you for sharing this learning and the invitation to see God’s presence in our lives. That changes everything. Have a beautiful day Michele!

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  11. Love this reminder, Michele, that the more we see the Lord, the more we see ourselves. I think we often feel it so selfish to spend any time seeing ourselves, yet without that we can’t be who God created us to be. By looking to Him we see who He is which then allows us to see who we are. It’s so intertwined! This seeing of God which leads to seeing of ourselves helps us go out and do the things God created us to do. It’s all for the sake of others but we often skip that middle part of understanding ourselves. What a great reminder today. And – I love that quote by C. S. Lewis! So true! The world is crowded with HIM!

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  12. Michele, I love the Lewis quote (of course). And this is powerful: Because of Jesus, “When we see God’s holiness, our “woe is me” can quickly become “Lord, change me!”

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  13. It took God leading me 8000 miles from ‘home’ to show me that what we see isn’t what things really are! Fantastic post 🙂

    Your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week is an exciting addition! Thanks for joining us!

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  14. Yes, the more clearly you see the Lord then the more clearly you see yourself! Thanks so much for linking up with me at the #FaithAndWorshipChristianWeekend 13, open until December 14 at 12:05 am. Shared on social media.

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  15. Wow, such a powerful message, Michele! Again, it always comes back to a shift in perspective to get us to the places we need to be. We get in our own way all too often. Thanks for sharing this wonderful message and linking with me.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  16. It is so easy to focus on the negatives and not recognise our achievements. Feelings of guilt and failure seem quicker to form that pride. My washing basket may be full but my children had 3 good meals and a hug, a story etc Thanks for linking up with #dreamteamlinky

    Liked by 1 person

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