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Spiritual Flat Tire  

Nothing says Chicago like a flat tire in January. In the snow. When it’s twelve degrees outside.

Our daughter and her four kids experienced that "joy" a few weeks ago, just a mile from our home. But I was excited to use the new jack our kids had given me for Christmas, so we pumped up that car, loosened the lug nuts, and…nothing. The wheel did not—would not—budge. That's when I found my hammer. Then a bigger hammer. Eventually, the wheel came loose, and boy, did it look funny.

Was it the cold or the fact that it had been resting flat for more than an hour? Either way, that tire was so misshaped it looked comical. In my ignorance, I presumed the flat spot would smooth out by itself, given a bit of time. Nothin' doin'.

That tire is a metaphor for our view of God’s holiness: misshaped. When most of us think of God’s holiness, we think of His sinless purity, His perfect creation, and His Son—the spotless Lamb of God.

Unquestionably, these all help “round out” a definition of God’s holiness, but there’s more. There is also a terrifying, humbling, plant-your-face-in-the-ground aspect to His holiness. 

Kneeling or falling or weeping is what humans have always done when they truly encounter the One who calls Himself “a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). The scrapbook of Scripture brims with photos of people like Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Gideon, Ezekiel, the Magi, Paul, and even the angels in heaven—all falling before the holiness of God.

But ironically, that’s the part we tend to ignore. Thus, we are left with a spiritual flat tire. We don’t truly fear God (a notion we’ve reduced to the more user-friendly concept of “respect”). We don't tremble in His presence. Yet God says, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12).

So accustomed are we to thoughts of Jesus being our friend and brother (which He is!) we fail to comprehend He is also the lion of Judah, the One who “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Tim. 6:16).

If our spiritual flat tire is going to be fixed, we must learn what it means to tremble.


Forgive us, Lord, for seeing only one side of you.

Teach us what it means to tremble at your holiness.





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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016