There is nothing as beautiful as a baby. Man or woman, young or old, all are apprehended by the innocence and beauty of a baby. Their skin is so soft and pure. Their eyes are filled with wonder. Their laughter is full of complete joy. Their love is unconditional and their “cooing” so sincere. They give us such a hope for the future and a warmth in our hearts. They are full of faith. They sparkle with light and when asleep, they exude the peace of God.
I have often wondered what it is exactly, that captures our heart so powerfully when we cradle a baby in our arms and look deeply into their eyes. For a brief moment, I believe we experience a glimpse into the depths of their soul. Sinless as yet, we see in them the beauty of purity, holiness, and complete innocence which came directly from God as He formed their inward parts in secret. Their sin nature is still inactive, unmolested and untouched by the world. They have just left the presence of the Lord and have not yet been educated about good and evil.
“For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for you are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:13-17.
The beauty of nature has a similar effect on people. Over four and one-half million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. Almost ten million visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park while Yosemite National Park has just over four and one-half million and Yellowstone Park has just under that amount. Nearly eight million annually visit Hawaii and two million Alaska. The visitors are all seeking to gaze upon the beauty of Creation. Awe and wonder capture their hearts as they bask in the grandeur of God’s imagination. The great attraction of these natural wonders is the fact that they are virtually untouched except for the roads, walkways and lodging which are necessary for travelers’ to have access to experience them. Like a newborn baby, they are pure and pristine, untouched by the world around them.
My husband and I visited Alaska with friends three years ago. One of our excursions was a bus ride into the mountains which surrounded Denali, (Mt. McKinley). Those desiring to camp there are trained to live inside the natural setting without destroying its flora and fauna nor disturbing any of the natural cycles which are necessary for the area to remain healthy. The rangers there call it “leaving no footprints.” They are taught how to cohabitate temporarily with moose, grisly, caribou, wolf and other animals without injuring themselves or the animals. The protection of nature’s “innocence” is imperative for those who desire to come and partake of its beauty in future years.
The search for true beauty is innate within the heart of man. We were endowed with an inexpressible ability to enjoy true beauty and seek to find it. When we stand before it, words are inadequate to express the awe and wonder of it. We become small and insignificant as we behold something we did not create nor imagine ourselves. Rather, it was created and placed there purely for us to enjoy. There is a certain holiness in something pure that God has created because He is Holy.
Standing on the precipice of the Grand Canyon there is not only a sense of awe but also a sense of fear. The beauty of the canyon compels one to come closer but the height and breadth of the canyon creates a sense of fear and caution not to step too close to the edge causing one to fall off into sudden death.
David had a similar experience as he pursued God. The Spirit of God drew David closer to Him and he was overwhelmed when he glimpsed the “Beauty of Holiness” found in God. “Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; tremble before and reverently fear Him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:9. Psalm 96:6 says, “Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”
David saw something in the beauty of God’s holiness that has no comparison on earth. Holiness has a purity in itself that man cannot fully fathom. It is transparent like a clear, cool lake except there is no bottom to it. It is like a white diamond which has no impurities or flaws in it. It is like a blue-white flame that has burned so hot there are no cinders or ashes remaining. One who gazes on the beauty of holiness can find no flaws or limitations in it.
1 Chronicles 16:29-30 celebrates, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name. Bring an offering and come before Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and in holy array. Tremble and reverently fear before Him, all the earth’s peoples; the world also shall be established, so it cannot be moved.” The holiness of God is not only beautiful, it is unshakeable and cannot be moved. His nature cannot be corrupted, polluted or changed. All His decisions and judgments are pure and holy, without prejudice or self-seeking. His holiness is completely trustworthy because it is impossible to be swayed or tempted toward malice. It is pure and unadulterated. Man has an inward longing for it but all we see with our natural eyes is that which has been perverted. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” Psalm 50:2.
The fear of heights or falling has kept many from partaking the beauty seen by standing upon the mountain top. One can see vistas which span for a distance of 50 miles or more. They have a view which is invisible from the safety in the valley below. The fear of the Lord reminds us that God is holy and we must examine our hearts and motives before we continue our pursuit to know Him and dwell in His presence. The Righteousness Christ has provided for us is a covering which protects us. It enables us to come closer to the Holiness of God. We become humbled as we enter the presence of the Lord because we insignificant compared to Him.
When we are in the presence of God, we are also experiencing His Holiness. His Holiness is what transforms us into His image. It gives us spiritual eyesight so that we can know and understand God’s true purpose and nature. It removes the flaws in our perception of God and His ways and reveals our true nature than has not yet been transformed. The closer we ascend to the Beauty of Holiness, the greater the fear of the Lord we experience. The purpose of that fear is not to discourage us from continuing. It is to remind us of our flesh and sin nature which is not perfected as yet, and must be put in check when in the presence of Holiness. David would have made a blood sacrifice before entering the presence of the Lord but today, we have the covering of the blood of Jesus which washes away our sin. Cleansing our hearts and minds purifies us as we approach the Lord’s presence. Thanksgiving and praise well up in our hearts when our minds become focused upon the Lord, and we can enter into His Holy of Holies to behold His Beauty.
“Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Psalm 24:3-5.
“The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.” (See also John 7:17). John 15:15 explains, “I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him].”
We were created for companionship with the Lord. We were saved so that we could commune with Him on earth. The Lord’s prayer which Jesus gave us, calls us to pray and expect… “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Emphasis mine.) We will never understand the Beauty of God’s Holiness unless we partake of it. We will never truly understand the workings of God’s Kingdom unless we enter in to His presence so that He can show us His ways, His purposes and His timing as heaven invades earth. It is imperative for us to be in step with His timing, His leading and His plans. That wisdom only comes from spending time in the Beauty of His Holiness.
The invitation of the Lord has gone forth, “Come”. When we draw nigh unto God He will draw nigh unto us. “The Lord appeared from of old to me [Israel], saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3. True beauty can only be found in the Beauty of His Holiness and He is calling us to enter in.