I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple…. Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” …Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Is. 6:1,5,8 NIV).
Five chapters into the powerful writing of Isaiah, the prophet stopped and spent some time telling us how he had come to this place of proclaiming God’s truth to a sin-filled world. He first tells us of his awe-inspiring vision of the Lord in all His majesty, seated on the very throne of heaven, and then he tells us of his response to this revelation of God’s holiness and sovereignty. He realized he was hopeless and helpless in the presence of one so great and magnificent. He recognized the depth of his sin and depravity in light of a holy and sinless God. And he repented and confessed accordingly.
After a seraph touched his lips with a live coal, taking away his iniquity and purging his sin, Isaiah was ready to respond to God’s call to go forth and proclaim the Word of the Most High. And that, of course, is where we all must begin if we are to answer God’s call on our own lives to go forth and proclaim His Word, whether in writing, speaking, or daily living. But even then we must beware that we don’t become complacent and begin to compromise the absolute holiness of the One we serve and the complete righteousness He requires of all who would claim His name as their own. What good is a watered-down, user-friendly gospel if it has lost its power to save and deliver? What good is a message of unconditional love without the accompanying need for repentance? What good is it if we all “get along” if that camaraderie is based on a false foundation?
Our call as writers and speakers—indeed, as servants of the Most High God—is to proclaim the vision of the Holy One, seated on the throne of heaven, where no sin will ever taint or mar its beauty. Nothing less than complete repentance, a 180-degree turn from following our own way to following His way, and an absolute and total dependence on Jesus, the only righteous and sinless Being who ever walked this earth, will qualify us to enter that holy place.
When we find ourselves tempted to soften this one-and-only-way-of-salvation message under the guise of not offending someone or making others feel more comfortable or welcome in our presence, let’s remember Isaiah, who took the time to interrupt his prophetic message long enough to let us know his one and only qualification for delivering that message: He had seen the holy and righteous God, recognized his own sin, repented and confessed, and allowed God’s live coal to cleanse his lips before he spoke another word. If we ourselves will walk in that truth, then we will more readily call others to do the same, so that they too may come into his presence with the joy and confidence that comes only from being translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
Kathi Macias is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—as well as an “occasional radio host” and an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her popular international Extreme Devotion fiction series from New Hope Publishers. Thank you for sharing your devotions with us through this column, Kathi.