To This One I Will Look

What kind of a man or woman is God looking for? The common assumption is a good one. A person who does their best. We learn, through common experience, no one lives up to their own idea of good consistently. We fail all the time. To us, as long as we try, it means we are good. Nearly succeeding does not fulfill a true idea of good, however, especially when we consider there are things we have done in our life we would rather no one else knows about. Maybe God will skip over those, we hope.

The concept of good for a holy God differs greatly from ours. There is no sliding scale. The Bible says no one is good. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). In Jeremiah we read: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jesus addressed people as evil in a matter-of-fact way (see Matthew 7:11). That is an eye-opener for our meek and mild image of Jesus and to our present culture's affirmation of what was once called immorality. The reality is, God is holy and we are not.

What then, is the kind of person God is seeking? We get a more focused view in Isaiah 66:2:

“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit,
and who trembles at My word”.

Let us look at three definitions that are helpful to understand this passage in Isaiah:

Humility: not proud or haughty, or arrogant. Reflecting, expressing or offered in a spirit of deference or submission. Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.

Repentance. The state of feeling remorseful and penitent.

Trembling at God's word:
In the Bible, fearing God is defined as reverence for Him. Trembling is such a strong statement, it calls to mind a much deeper experience than mere acknowledgment.

There are important truths here. We see little of these values today. If you replace humility, contrition, and trembling at God’s word with their opposites, you get a better picture of our time. Arrogance, sin, and scoffing at God’s word are rampant. Yet, the verse is not so much descriptive of others. Its point of reference is personal. God reveals our own heart.

There are times in our life we have failed. There are moments we exhibited the worst of human behavior. We all know this. A man or woman cannot be the person God is looking for until He changes us. The answer is not to try to do well to gain merit points, but complete transformation from death to life.

God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect life we could not and be the sacrifice for our sins. Though we can never measure up to the righteousness God requires, He provided this for us. God offers the gift of His own Son. The sinless, perfect Christ died for the ungodly. What astoundingly sacrificial love. I do not use the word astounding lightly. When we realize the gravity of our sin, the magnitude of God's holiness, and the gift of His only Son for the very ones who do not deserve it, profound enough descriptions for such love and grace are hard to express. 

Once we receive Jesus, we are born again. Before God were are then clothed in Christ's righteousness. By grace we are made new. What God is looking for, He provides. We are the receivers of this marvelous gift.

God is not looking down from Heaven and saying, yes, that one, that saintly one deserves my love. None of us do. The glorious truth is He loves us and chooses us in undeserved grace and provides His Son for our salvation. Self-help, do-it-yourself, or can-do attitudes have no place in God's eyes. To be the man or woman God looks to, we must come to Jesus.

If we have already taken the step to receive Christ, it is a good question to ask if our character demonstrates the qualities of Isaiah 66:2. Does humility and repentance define our life? Do we tremble at God's Word? Or, do we take this eternal treasure lightly? Let us pray we never do.

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