Touched By Fire

Background Story: Isaiah was a prophet of God. Prophets were people in the Old Testament who sought God on behalf of the people and proclaimed God’s will to the people.

Read Isaiah 6:1-8

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Big Idea: God’s presence compels us towards repentance and purpose.

In this passage we see Isaiah literally have a glimpse of the throne of God. What was Isaiah’s response to the presence of God?

1) A Recognition of Sin: Isaiah said, “I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” (v. 5)

When we enter God’s presence in worship, we see ourselves in the light of God’s holiness and perfection. We see ourselves without excuse filled with greed, lust, pride, and self-importance. At this moment, we can choose to respond with repentance, not hiding from God. Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

2) A Cleansing: Isaiah said, “He touched my lips with it and said, ‘See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”(v. 7)

Our recognition of sin does not result in God’s disgust. He isn’t shocked. He knows us and sees us for who we truly are. As we confess our sins, the Bible says, “He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) God is not waiting with a paddle ready to discipline us, but instead is ready with the coal to purify our hearts and bring us back into right relationship with Him.

3) A Calling: Isaiah said, “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us? I said, “Here I am. Send me.” (v. 8)

When you see God’s perfection and receive God’s forgiveness, the heart’s response is one of gratitude and thankfulness. The Bible says that, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) We don’t receive Christ’s forgiveness and say to ourselves, “oh good…glad that’s done.” Christ’s forgiveness compels us to go and share His love with others. Our forgiveness is a catalyst of purpose.

God’s presence changes everything! You may enter His presence weighted down by the worries of life, but you leave changed and challenged to live a life of calling.

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