Section Three: The Lifestyle Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic One: Having A Servant’s Heart.
Our reading for today: Isaiah 6: 1-8 (MsgB)
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of His robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above Him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other, “Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies. His bright glory fills the whole earth.” The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said, “Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted — blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!” Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said, “Look. This coal has touched your lips. Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out.” And then I heard the voice of the Master: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?” I spoke up, “I’ll go. Send me!”
Let’s make one thing really clear as we move into this third, and final section of this blog series on Christian discipleship. Following Jesus of Nazareth wherever He may lead, requires all of us who desire to follow, to look far beyond ourselves, our personal needs and wants, and our own personal comforts.
Now, in all honesty, God’s requirement to focus our attention outward is not particularly good news to a generation of people living in a “what’s-in-it-for-me?” society, where looking out for Number One is a prerequisite for success. Yet, if one looks carefully in the Holy Scriptures, they will find story after story where God comes to rescue a person’s life, only to later ask that same redeemed person to go and invest their life in the lives of others who are, for one reason or another, less fortunate than them.
Let’s begin this third section of our blog series with one amazing story found here in today’s scripture. We go back to the 8th century BC, in the land of Judah, where we find a godly man named Isaiah. Today, the three major religions of the world; Christianity, Judaism, and Islam; all believe Isaiah to be a prophet, sent from God to give guidance and direction to a people gone astray. In the first chapter of this story that bears his name, we find an amazing encounter where the Creator of the Universe has welcomed Isaiah into the gates of heaven, allowing him to see the inner workings of the throne room of the Living God. Now whether this spectacular event was a literal one, or just a vivid dream or vision given by God, the encounter is something so important in Isaiah’s life that it apparently formed the basis, or core, of everything Isaiah did with his life from this point forward.
The bottom line here is that Isaiah, once he regains his balance as he finds himself standing in the dazzling magnificence of God’s glory, is caught up in the midst of a holy conversation that is going on in the throne room of God. As Trinitarian Christians, we must conclude that the Father, Son, and Spirit are having an in-house discussion amongst themselves on who will go, on behalf of the Triune God, to a lost and dying people in great need of salvation and hope.
“Whom shall I send?” and “Who will go for us?” are the burning questions being asked by a God who loves His creation so much that He refuses to let it remain in its broken state. Now we all know that God is big enough and powerful enough to snap His finger and fix a problem such as this. Yet, it’s apparent that this same God who can speak one word and the entire cosmos comes into being (see the Genesis’ creation story) also has a burning desire to involve his creation (i.e. men and women) in the redemption process of that same cosmos which has fallen away from Him.
Just think about it.
The same sin-sick, feeble and flawed men and women who fail regularly at their God-given commission (see Genesis 2) to watch over this beautiful blue marble we call Earth, are the same men and women God cleans up and then asks them to go, on His behalf, to work alongside Him in the grand redemption of this broken world we all helped to break!
So, as I see it, just as it was in Isaiah’s time (8th century BC), God is still looking for broken and frail men and women who’ve been rescued and redeemed by God, to bravely step up to the plate and respond just as Isaiah did…
I’ll go. Send me.
One look at the brokenness and emptiness around us tells us that our generation certainly needs some good news, don’t you think? I mean if things looked bad back in the 8th century BC in the land of Judah, just think how lost the world looks today to that same loving Creator, now that we human beings have had nearly 2,800 years since the time of Isaiah to find creative new ways of messing up what was once a beautiful garden arranged nicely by the hands of God?
So, my fellow servants of the Living King, let’s pick up the mantle given us by Christ, and let’s go into our generation with the same commission given others who have gone before us. From all I read in God’s Holy Book, it’s time for us to step up and step out on behalf of our Loving Creator, allowing His love to flow through us into this lost and dying generation. For His Name’s sake.
My prayer: Father God, my Creator/King, like Isaiah, I hear Your burning question of “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?” But Lord, my spirit is willing, yet my flesh is very weak. Holy Spirit, fill me and empower me as I respond, as Isaiah responded, with the words… “I’ll go. Send me.” Thank You, Jesus, that You have gone before me and now all You are looking for in me is that same servant’s heart found in Isaiah…a willingness to go in Your love, by the power of Your name. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Like Isaiah, have I heard the call of God in my life? Am I responding like Isaiah, who first of all, fully confessed his personal sinfulness, and the fact that he was part-in-parcel with a sin-sick generation? Am I allowing the magnificent work of Christ to come and cleanse me, burning God’s purity into my broken sinfulness, making me whole so that I might go as a rescued and redeemed servant, working out of God’s strength rather than going out on my own?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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