In our culture today – even worldwide – we often preach or say, “Come to God, and He’ll fix you.” But when you read the Scriptures it is more like, “Come to Him, and He will ruin you (in the best sort of way).” When Isaiah saw the Lord in the temple, he said, “Woe to me, I am ruined.” That experience squashed him flat, squeezed out all of his pride, emptied him of self-ambition. And then three verses later, when God asked, “Who can I send?” Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me.”
I believe we need to notice several things:
1>God did not fix any of Isaiah’s problems – at least, not immediately. Nor did He proceed to send Isaiah out to minister to the needs of others – not immediately. The issue was Isaiah’s character and inner life. As soon as Isaiah saw God he was into rapidly taking a spiritual inventory and a rapid season of self-examination. As King David said in the psalms, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew in me a right spirit.” This would have been the inner attitude of Isaiah when he had his first glimpse of the living God. God’s focus is always our character.
Too often our focus is on our immediate issues and the circumstances that we face. God’s view is much more eternal and much less temporal. He is more interested in character than circumstances. He is more concerned with who you are than what you are or will do for Him. If He can work on character and heart issues you will then be ready to walk with Him in an intimate relationship and come to really know His heart. This will then place you directly in the centre of His will. From this place of security and safety you will then reach out and minister to others.
2> The focus was really not Isaiah because on God’s heart was the issue of the multitudes who did not know the Living God and either needed to hear about Him for the first time or encouraged to repent and return to the God whom they once loved and followed. So, once Isaiah’s heart was touched by the Living God He discovered the heart of God – the lost and spiritually dead. God’s focus immediately became Isaiah’s focus and he immediately volunteered to become involved in prophetic evangelism – speaking the Word of the Lord to turn the hearts of the people back to their God.
The same should be true for us today. As we “see Jesus” (John 12:21) and deal with our hearts (character) we must then immediately focus on those whom we know and don’t know telling them about this awesome God we have seen and touched so that they too can join us in our fellowship with the Lord (1 John 1:1-9). The focus is not out temporal and immediate needs but the lostness of all those who have not yet encountered the living God.
3> There is a need in our churches and in our approach to the lost to stop making promises that are not true and cannot be fulfilled. It is time to be much more realistic about the journey of faith we are on and that we invite others to join us on. It is not about us – it is about Him. It is not about our needs – it is all about His mandate to ‘seek and save the lost’ as we ‘go into our world and make disciples’ (Luke 19:10 and Matthew 28:19). This is an immediate switch from the Gospel of salvation which is really not the Gospel at all to the Gospel of the Kingdom…
Our prayer today should be: “O God, that I would see you in all your awesomeness and that you would ruin me.”