We are Made for Worship, Isaiah 6:1-8
Crosspoint – Jim Black
January 1, 2023
I have been focusing in on Isaiah 6 of late and as I keep reading it over and over again, I find that this really is one of the most astounding accounts of a person spending time worshiping and waiting on God with the result that the prophet also came away with a sense of calling to God’s work for him.
Thesis: As we worship God and wait on Him in his presence, we will gain a sense of what it is He is calling us to do to serve Him. Worship and waiting lead to a sense of the right work for us.
Worship of God …
Leads us to an awareness of the otherness of God
In 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. 2 Above 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. 3 And one called to
another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Leads us to an awareness of our unworthiness
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with
smoke. 5 And 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!”
Leads us to our need for cleansing from God
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from
the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched
your lips: your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Waiting on God …
Leads to godly decisions.
(Numbers 9:6-8 ESV)
“And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body,
so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before
Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We are unclean
through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the LORD’s
offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” 8 And Moses said to them,
“Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”
Image: King Saul chose not to destroy King Agag and his livestock, and his treasures as the prophet Amulae had told him to do and his kingship went steeply downhill from there. Instead of waiting on God and seeking His wisdom and or listening to the prophet, Saul decided to do what was expedient.
Leads to courage, clarity, and conviction.
(Psalm 27:13, 14 ESV)
“13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
(Psalm 37:7 ESV)
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
(Psalm 67:5, 6 ESV)
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”
Leads us to hope.
(Psalm 130: 5,6)
5 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.”
Working with God
(Isaiah 6:8 ESV)
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will
go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
It is almost as if the prophet was eavesdropping on a conversation within the Trinity as the question arose,” Whom shall we send?” and the prophet interrupted God’s conversation with just two words in the Hebrew text but in the English text we wind up with four words: “Here am I, send me.”
As Isaiah spent time in God’s presence, as he waited on God, he heard God’s concern about what God wanted to accomplish and the prophet volunteered for the mission. Isaiah’s call to action or call to work arose from worship and waiting.
Sometimes well-meaning Christian people dive into work that is not meant for them. They dive in because they see a need, or they are manipulated by guilt. All too often I have heard people quote Philippians 4:13 for their reason for jumping into a need that they are not suited for. After all, they say, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” That context takes that verse completely out of context. Paul was writing about being content in any situation, especially when he was in need and when he had plenty. Let’s take time to read this important verse in its context. This is verses 10 to 13 in Philippians 4:
10 “ I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your
concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever
situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and
every circumstance, I have learned the secret of
facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Do you understand what Paul was writing? He was saying, “I can do all things” (i.e.be impoverished or be in plenty and I am content either way). This has nothing to do with diving into work that you are not fitted for or called to. When a need arises, stop, take time to ask the Lord for direction, and do what he tells you to do. The Lord may lead you to do something that you do not feel equipped for. It may be something that you are not comfortable with. But if you spend time waiting on God and believe that He is going to answer you, you can boldly move into what He has called you to do, rather than being guilted into or assuming what you should do.
This does not give any of us an excuse to sit, soak, and sour because we don’t believe that God has called us to anything. That’s nonsense! If you have no sense of what it is God has called you to do, perhaps the problem is that you are not listening to Him. I am not trying to guilt you into anything. I am saying that I hope you are spending time in worship and waiting on God. If you are, the Lord is going to give you a sense of what it is He is leading you to do with His strength at work in your weakness. As we draw near to God in worship and waiting on Him, we will have a sense of what is on His heart for us to do and to join him in that work.
Isaiah’s calling was not an easy one. God gave him a hard message to deliver to a hard-hearted people and history tells us that Isaiah paid for his prophetic message and ministry with his life.
Closing: The late Jim Elliot, a missionary who was martyred in Ecuador in the 1950s said this about finding and fulfilling God’s calling in your life:
“Lord, make my way prosperous, not that I may achieve high station, but that my life may be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.”
As we enter a new year of life, I would like to call us all into a pattern of worship, waiting on God, and finding out from Him what He calls us to do and then do it! Will you commit to that? Will you find someone to help you to be accountable to do that?
Let’s pray together.