There’s nothing quite so sorrowful yet at the same time joyful as being confronted by the Lord about where we stand in relation to where he expects us to be. Going through our normal routine of life, especially when things seem just fine as they are, can sometimes act as a hindrance to us seeing the reality of what is really happening around us from God’s perspective. I’ve been guilty of that on several occasions before the Lord gave me a rude awakening–whether it was something I read in his word or a word a fellow believer shared or a dream the Lord gave me.
So I can relate to how Isaiah felt in Isaiah 6 when a dramatic change happened in his life and God gave him a paradigm shift. Uzziah, the righteous king who brought about positive reforms to Judah, passed away in a leprous condition given to him from God when he acted presumptuously outside of God’s will (2 Chronicles 26:18-21). It was at this time Isaiah discovered, even in the midst of the positive reforms and possible concerns about the future, that God had a vision for him to improve himself and his nation. It was a vision that woke Isaiah up to not only his own shortcomings, but to the many faults and dangers that lay ahead for Judah if they failed to change.
Confronted by the presence of a loving, holy God, Isaiah realized, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts,” (Isaiah 6:5). God’s glory instantly highlighted his faults. Isaiah had spoken things out of his mouth from his heart that were not in line with God’s will. After confessing his sin, God lovingly, mercifully cleansed him as reflected by an angel in his vision touching his mouth with a hot coal from the Lord’s altar–a symbol of being purged.
After having been cleansed via repentance and accepting God and his word, Isaiah received his commission when God asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). Being made aware of the greatness of his sin and the great joy of being forgiven of them Isaiah excitedly replied, “Here am I; send me.” So God sent him, making him aware of the type of wickedness within the people that he was up against and the other challenges that lay ahead. But Isaiah was fine and determined to carry out what pleased Jehovah, knowing that this vision he had from God was more real than the reality of those challenges because of the Lord’s unlimited power.
My prayer is that we will be as determined in our godly calling as Isaiah was in his when life in this world becomes more challenging, because God’s vision in us is more real than what the world is pushing.