Monday, February 1, 2010

Words of Encouragement - February 2010

"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 6:5-8

The "A's" in the Assignment.  Acknowledgement. I was watching a program a few days ago and the person mentioned this scripture. I read it and began to meditate on what the message is in these verses. For the month of February, uses these points to help you as you pray and seek God regarding your assignment for the kingdom.

In verse 5, Isaiah makes a declaration after seeing the holiness of the Lord (vs. 1-4). He sees himself against the greatness of God and ackowledges who he is. He says, woe is me, I am ruined. I am unclean and I live among a people that are unclean. Isaiah realized that he could not stand in the presence of the holy God. It is imperative that we do likewise. We must look at ourselves not against each other, but against the backdrop of the holy God. When we do, we too will say as Isaiah did, I am not worthy to stand in your presence. Not me, not anyone. The first step that needs to happen if we are to live out the purpose that God has for us, is we must acknowledge who we are in God. When we acknowledge who we are, it calls for us to humble ourselves because nothing in us or about us can stack up to the beauty and wonder of God.

Atonement. When Isaiah saw himself against the holiness of God he acknowledge his sinful condition. With the acknowledgement of his condition, God sent an answer to change his standing. In verse 6 and 7 it says the angels came and touched his mouth and purged him from his sin. As I read this I also thought how fitting that the "heat" of the coal was applied to his mouth, since it was soon from the mouth of Isaiah that God's words must come. If we are to fulfill the purpose or the assignment God has for our lives, we must be purged from our sins and our mouths must undergo the cleansing fire of God so that what will come forth will be the words of God and not the noise of that busy member, our tongue.

Attuned. After Isaiah was cleansed he says, "he heard the voice of the Lord..." He heard God's calling after he experienced God's cleansing. If we are to be a part of the call of God, we must be first cleansed from our sins so that we can now hear the voice of the Lord. The cleansing helps our once dull ears to now be able to hear and percieve who speaks to our hearts. Our once dull of hearing ears can not receive the voice of God, we can be attuned to his voice alone. Even as believers we still struggle with this one because we hear voices but we are not always attuned to the one voice, God. God helps us to hear, but you and I must make the effort to hear what is being spoken.

Ambassador (appointee). The Lord ask a question, Whom sall I send and who will go for us? He did not tell Isaiah you must go, but he asked him, who could he send. I find this interesting. In other places in scripture we see God telling individuals that he is sending them (Moses for example) or that he has appointed them to do his work (Jeremiah). However, in this instance he ask a question. Why do you think he did it this way? Allow me a moment of speculation. After being in the presence of God and seeing his holiness, do you think you would need much to be willing to go and do for the Lord? I do not think so. I believe, that God first knew Isaiah's heart and that he was ready for the assignment but also God know that he had shown himself to Isaiah and the impact of that would move Isaiah to action. It should be the same for us today. God has an encounter with us so that he can make a lasting impression upon our hearts. When he does, his desired results is that you and I acknowledge who we are and seek his forgiveness. When that is accomplished, he will speak to us and give us the work he has called us to do. He ask us a question, will you be willing to go for me? Will you be willing to be my ambassador, the one I appoint for this task? What will our answer be?

Available. We know Isaiah's answer. He said Here am I, send me. I am available to you, is what his answer is. God saves us for a great purpose. The first is that we be reconciled back into a right relationship with him and then secondly that we make ourselves available to him (yield ourselves) for his purpose.

What are the "A"s in the assignment? We must acknowledge who we are before a holy God, we must then seek the atonement that his Son's blood does for our lives. We then must be attuned to his voice to hear when he calls us to be an ambassador or to be appointed to a special place, person or position. When we recieve the call, we must be willing to make ourselves available to the assigment.

This month of February I challenge you. What assignment does God have for you? Oh, don't say he does not have something for you, because he has something for each of his children. Is it to pray for someone this month? Is it to help someone in need this month? You go and allow your ears to be attuned to the voice of God and hear what he has to tell you. If you like, share how you made yourself available to God this month that it might encourage someone else.

My Prayer: Lord help us this month (and always) to seek to find out what our assignment is from you. What do you want us to do? Help us to no longer look at ourselves against others but against the backdrop of your righteousness and holiness. When we do, we realize we too are like Isaiah a wretch undone. Helps us be about your business. This is our prayer, Amen.