On our recent car trip to visit Kevin’s parents we were listening to a CD with teaching on the subject of the holiness of God. One of the references that was highlighted was Isaiah 6. I have always thought that passage when Isaiah sees a vision of God in the temple is a wonderful example of God’s holiness and glory. I know that I do not usually “see” God as I should.
1In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
I see a progression in these events. The sight of God filling the temple and the creatures that surrounded Him proclaiming His glory was like shining a bright light into Isaiah’s heart. He saw how filled with sin he was and he knew how unworthy he was to be there in God’s presence. But God took care of Isaiah’s sin. It says, “your guilt is taken away, and your sins atoned for.” That is what Jesus has done for us through His death and resurrection. We are covered in Christ’s righteousness (not our own) and the price that we owe has been paid by Christ’s sacrifice.
And, what happens next? The Lord asks who He can send on an errand and Isaiah automatically agrees. Isn’t our response to what God has done for us through Christ one of gratitude? And in that gratitude and thankfulness our desire is to obey Him – to serve Him in whatever He may ask of us? It sure should be!
The Lord goes on to explain the task that He has for Isaiah. It is not an easy job. In fact, it is a thankless job and one that Isaiah must know will lead to much suffering. It was a job that appeared not to have a positive outcome. We can’t always see what God purposes can we?
9And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ 10Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”And he said:”Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
and the LORD removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
Sometimes God asks us to obey Him and to do things that might not even make sense to us. Do you wonder if Isaiah had questions as to why God would give him a job already knowing the outcome? I believe God asks us to faithfully obey Him and serve Him every day and I do not always say yes. That is such a shame.
We get so caught up in having a happy life. We do not want conflict, we do not want suffering, we do not want pain. We only want to obey God when we think we can do it. Right? I know I always gauge a task and try to figure out if I am capable of handling it before I say yes. Is that the kind of obedience God wants from me?
God’s word says: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Now isn’t that contrary to popular, American belief? But this is the attitude that the Lord wants us to have. We should be pleased when hard things come into our life so that the world sees and knows that we can only get through them by God’s grace. That is how God can be glorified in our lives. Through our weakness and human inability, we give God the opportunity to show His power and glory to others.
I guess I am at a place where I really want to be willing to be a vessel for God’s use – whatever that might be. I just saw this quote on Facebook: You become stronger only when you become weaker. When you surrender your will to God, you discover the resources to do what God requires. ~ Erwin Lutzer, Men of Integrity
That is exactly what I am talking about – surrendering my will to God. Being willing to feel weak and unable so that God can do bigger things through me than I could ever dream of doing on my own. So that is my prayer. That God would guide me in the path He has for me and that I would accept whatever task He asks of me – not with an expectation of earthly success in that endeavor but for whatever the Lord wants to come of it.
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.