Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty. Then one of the seraphim 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, who shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here I am send me! (Isaiah 6:5-8, NIV)
It is a brand new year. While I do not necessarily believe in creating a list of New Year’s resolutions that are heart-felt today and gone tomorrow, I do believe Christians should frequently re-assess their walk with Christ so that they can make, Spirit led course corrections.
Isaiah had an encounter with God that forever changed his life: he saw God sitting on His throne. While one would think that this encounter with God would have been a source of joy for Isaiah; initially, being in the presence of God was a source of great fear and trembling. You see every Christian has what is called a sinful nature that they are born with. According to Paul we all sin and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). To be in the presence of God who is righteous and holy makes all people tremble because we come to realize how sinful we truly are! We are told in this passage that the angel flew and touched Isaiah’s lips with a piece of coal to signify that his sins were atoned for. While Isaiah could have used his sin as an excuse to not serve God, he chose to believe in God’s power to cleanse sin and as a result when God asked “who can we send?” Isaiah immediately said “here I am send me.”
Paul states that we are all sinners saved by grace through faith, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:8-10)! Often I believe we refuse to serve God because like Isaiah we initially feel that we are unworthy to serve. After all, without Christ we are nothing more than dust trying to achieve God’s holiness that cannot be attained by human effort alone! Praise be to God that He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that through our belief in the atoning sacrifice of Christ we might not only have our sins forgiven but also become children of God, forever sealed by His Spirit to inherit eternal life with Him!
When God asks you this year to serve Him what will you say? Will you continue to cower, and use your sins as an excuse that you are unqualified or will you consciously choose to make a course correction and embrace forgiveness so that you might serve Him with a clean heart? It would be rather foolish for any Christian to say to God “Your Son Jesus did not atone for my sins” so there is no path for me to serve with a clean heart, now wouldn’t it! Equally foolish, would be to remain silent when God asks you to serve in His kingdom!
What will you tell God this year when He asks you the question: “who can I send?”