Being invited is to be included. It means you’re wanted. Your company, presence, conversation, relationship is desired. This is what it looks like to be sought after by King Jesus. We are invited into His Holiness. We are beckoned, wooed, and encouraged to enter, stand, and be in His presence. Scootch up next to Him at the dinner table. Snuggle in close during a worship service. Hunker under His protective wings. And the great wedding invitation of all: to be His bride. He invites us, even at our worst; the underdogs, the forgotten, the last picked for the team, the wallflowers, the misfits, the outcasts, and the dirty. (boy can I relate to all of those) The only requirement for His invitation is for us to willingly say “yes.”
When I think about the invitation from our gracious groom, beckoning us into the Holy of Holies, I think about the humble, human response of Isaiah. He saw the Lord. Oh, what an encounter that had to be. In Chapter 6:1-8, Isaiah saw and heard the Holiness of heaven. Angels were singing the repeated worship song, Holy, Holy, Holy, and the prophet felt the power of these lyrics, the purity, and the sheer goodness of God Almighty. The first thought that came to Isaiah's mind was, “It’s all over; I am doomed for I am a sinful man.” But the presence of Jesus and His Holiness doesn’t reject us. His holiness invites us. It invites us to enter just as we are, sin and all, but the encounter of His Holiness reveals areas where we need our Savior’s touch. The angel touched coal to Isaiah's lips, removing his guilt and sin and then commissioning him to be a spokesman to his people. “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” the angel asked. “Here am I, send me.”
The presence of Holiness isn’t meant to shame us; it’s meant to heal and reveal areas in our lives that need the sanctification of His Holiness. Moses stood on holy ground; he came face to face with the one who knew his deepest darkest sins and pain. His filthy life collided with God’s Holiness, and the dirt Moses stood on was purer than he was. The only thing that was requested of Moses was “take off your shoes; you’re standing on holy ground.” He was being beckoned to bare himself. To get his flesh up against the Holiness of heaven and let his feet feel the presence of his creator. Mo’s toes had holy dirt between them, and the great I AM commissioned a runaway murderer to be a deliverer. See why it was so critical his feet touched Holiness? Those toes would lead millions of people out of Egypt.
When we are invited into the presence of Holiness, we are invited into healing. We are scooped up, and our sinful, failing selves are laid on the floor of holy ground. And our flesh is seared, touched by the fire of heaven to burn away all that does not belong in our lives. Holiness is asking for you to stand near Him. Sit with Him. Eat with Him. Come rest with Him. “Come away with me” is His tender appeal.
But let’s look at another invitation—our invitation to Him. Our request is bidding the King to come into our world, heart, and home. We invite the Holiest of Holies into our messy, human, sin-ravaged lives. We whisper the courageous invitational prayer; “Jesus come into our poor decisions, broken relationships, offense, hurts, scandalous moments of sin.” We take the bold and humble steps of inviting holy into our hurting, and then we heal. We see that His invitation to come up to Him carries the same holy healing when we request Him to come down to our dust heap. Because if dirt can be holy, then why not offer Him our filth and dust and let our lives be Holy ground?