In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“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.”
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)
What a vision this is! What an incredible and life changing moment this had to have been for Isaiah!
Isaiah had the awesome privilege of going into the temple and seeing the Lord on His throne in all His glory. The glory and magnificent majesty of the Lord is so awesome that even the seraphs had to cover their eyes with two of their wings. It brought Isaiah down upon his face and suddenly, seeing the Lord as He desires us to see Him, high and lifted up and in all His holiness and glory, Isaiah sees himself as he really is in the presence of God – undone. This experience reveals to Isaiah his sin condition. He is unworthy and undeserving to be in the presence of God.
But then – something astonishing happens! One of the seraphs flew over to him with a live coal in his hand and laid it upon his mouth, and this man named Isaiah is cleansed! He is washed clean and he is redeemed! Once he is cleansed, he hears God’s call, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”. And then, the response of Isaiah is his loving obedience to the calling upon his heart, “Here am I. Send me!”
It is so interesting to me that Isaiah never heard the call of God prior to his being cleansed by the live coal upon his mouth. Isaiah first had to see God as God longed for Isaiah to see Him and Isaiah also had to see himself as he truly was, in comparison to the holiness and majesty of God. Once Isaiah saw God as He is, and once Isaiah saw that he was unclean before God with no possible hope of measuring up to God’s standard of holiness, his lips were touched with the live coal and his sins were forgiven. He was clean! It was then, and only then, that he was able to hear the calling upon his heart from God.
This passage reveals to me why it is often so difficult to hear the calling from God upon my heart. Far too often, my sinful pride and selfishness gets in the way and distracts me from hearing God’s call upon my heart. Far too often, the world (my world) is viewed through the lens of my own selfishness and I fail to see God high and lifted up in all His majesty and Holiness. Instead, all I see is me and my own anxieties, problems and struggles.
Oh, how different life would be if I could see God like Isaiah did! How much greater impact would my service to Him and His Kingdom have on the lives of others? How much more would I love others the way Christ loves me? How much more abounding joy would be in my heart? How much more meaningful would my prayer life be? How much more would I love and obey Him and glorify Him?
There is no mistake. I must learn to see God more consistently through His lens instead of my own lens . I must see God as He longs for me to see Him, in all His awe and majesty and I must constantly confess my sins to Him and ask for cleansing that comes only from Him.
Oh God, you are so awesome. majestic and amazing, and your love is so unfailing and perfectly good. When you show yourself to me through the pages of Your Word and through your creation and through the blessings you continuously pour out upon my life, I can’t possibly be self-absorbed and only focused on myself. My problem though is that I am sinful and I am human, and my heart wanders and drifts away far too often.
Lord, I pray that you never cease revealing your awesome and majestic power in my life. Teach me to be mindful of your amazing and unfailing love every second of my life. Your love is everlasting! It is so much bigger than me! Your love reaches back in history, to the time before I was born into this world, and your amazing love stretches ahead into eternity. It is unending. and your love goes beyond this earthly existence! How awesome and amazing you are!
Lord, although I am sinful and my heart and faith are fragile, I want you to know that I truly want to worship you forever. I love you! May my praises to you, as weak and feeble as they are, bring pleasure to you. I want my heart to sing joyful praises to you, forever ascribing how worthy and great and awesome you are.
I long for the day when I get to see you as you are. It is the cry of my heart to stand before you and live in your house one day, but for now, I ask that you give me constant reminders of your magnificence and holiness, so that I am always reminded of you. My heart overflows with praise and abounding joy for you are MY GOD! I love you, Lord!