Tuesday, March 24, 2009


When pushed out of an airplane, do you know what an agnostic, an atheist, a Jew, and a Christian all have in common? That’s right – each one will scream, “OH MY GOD!”
We are exposed to that expression every single day in almost every area of our lives. Some folks use the phrase as if it were a single word – “omagod.” Millions of people use the ‘instant messaging’ abbreviation ‘OMG.’ Still others will insert deliberate pauses for dramatic effect – “Oh . . . . My . . . Gawd!”
I heard the phrase repeatedly during a recent ski trip: teenage girls couldn’t speak two sentences without the phrase; inexperienced skiers used the phrase to express trepidation about a difficult-looking slope; snow boarders passed judgment on a particular run with the phrase. While the ‘Pharisee’ in me (which lurks just below the surface and is always eager to show itself) would be quick to condemn such off-handed, irreverent, and vain uses of the phrase, that is not the purpose of this piece.
No – my recent ‘overload’ exposure to the “Oh my God” phrase instead got me thinking about those ‘revelation’ moments in the Bible when particular humans came to the stark realization of just exactly Who the Most High actually is, especially in relation to who they were. Some of those truly “Oh my God” moments included:
● Isaiah’s vision, where he saw the Almighty One and knew how unworthy he was to be in His presence: "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 6:5)
● Moses’ experience at the burning bush: At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:6)
● When ‘Doubting’ Thomas put his finger into the hole in Jesus’ hand and his hand into the wound in Jesus’ side: Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)
● Peter’s reaction after the miraculous catch of fish: [H]e fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" (Luke 5:8)
● The prophet Ezra’s exclamation: O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. (Ezra 9:6)

Those men saw at least a portion of Who God really is – in relation to themselves - in those “Oh my God” moments.

He is the Creator and Sustainer of everything. Everything!
He is so holy, righteous, pure, and perfect that we cannot even fathom the extent of those qualities as they apply to Him. Our absolute best is as “filthy rags” compared to Him. (Isaiah 64:6)
His might and power are matchless and limitless.
He is Who He says He is; and He does what He says He’ll do.

And He says He loves us. He says He’s redeemed us. He says that He has prepared a place for us and that we’ll spend eternity with Him there.
I believe Him.
So, rather than chastising those who may say “Oh my God” flippantly or inappropriately . . . . From now on, whenever I hear that phrase, I am going to try to redirect my focus on Who my God really is. Regardless of what someone else may intend when they say “Oh my God,” I want to have the same revelation that Isaiah, Moses, Thomas, Peter, and Ezra had. I want to be in that place of true worship where I can commune with His Spirit as I humbly confess, “Oh my God!”

Reveling in His revelation,
Craig Hollingsworth

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