Jesus Cleanses and Calls
by Jon Walker
«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 usí» And I said, «Here am I. Send me!» (Isaiah 6:4-8 NIV)
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One of the most effective tools the enemy will use to keep you from serving God is to convince you that you’ve either messed up too much to serve God, or that you must clean up your life before you can even get God’s attention. When these thoughts pop into your head, sniff the air for the scent of sulfur – because they are lies straight from the fires of hell!
If you follow the sequence of Isaiah 6, you’ll see how God initiates the process that brings you into his holy presence, purifies you to remain in his presence, and that your new guilt-free, sin-atoned status will compel you – and prepare you – for the unique mission God sets before you.
In today’s passage, we see that God draws Isaiah into his holy presence – in the same way God is reaching out to you. God began working to bring you home, back into his presence, long before you were born. God knows we can’t make the journey home on our own, so «… while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. … For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, [then how] much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!» (Romans 5:6,10 HCSB)
In the presence of God, we – like Isaiah – are overwhelmed by the magnitude of our sin and ungodliness. It is no longer something we can wink at or rationalize. Even Isaiah, a Hall-of-Fame prophet, sees the woeful ruin of his own life, «a man of unclean lips … among a people of unclean lips ….»
Yet God’s intention when he convicts us of our sins is not to condemn us; rather his breath of life disperses the «fog of war» – that satanic smoke the father of lies uses to keep us on the run from God.
In fact, Isaiah reports that God’s fire is a cleansing fire, a blaze that burns your guilt away and purifies you from sin (sealing within you the work of Jesus Christ). The prophet also reports that God’s ultimate purpose for cleansing us is to prepare us for mission: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, «Whom shall I send? And who will go for usí» And I said, «Here am I. Send me!»
Prior to God’s initiative to cleanse Isaiah, the prophet was overwhelmed and unprepared for any mission on Holy God’s behalf. But after the cleansing, Isaiah is energized by a desire to serve God.
· Saved to serve – As Rick Warren teaches in «The Purpose Driven Life,» we are not saved to sit in church; we are saved to serve God. As God transforms our lives, he places within us a «calling» for mission.
· No condemnation – When God convicts us of sin, his goal is not to condemn us; there is no condemnation in Christ. God’s intentions are revealed in this truth – that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-11)
· God’s power cleanses you – Your work for God does not cleanse you or make you worthy to stand before God. It is only through God’s power – his ability to wash you white as snow with the blood of Jesus Christ – that you are able to approach God’s throne boldly.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org