14 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Isaiah 6:8 (NLT): “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me.’”
Reflections from Scripture:
While there have always been men and women who have responded to the call of God upon their lives with reckless abandon, it seems that there are fewer people responding these days. Fewer are readily, restfully available to the Lord.
I believe that it is because fewer people have experienced the powerful principles found in Isaiah 6:1-7. These principles prepared Isaiah to willingly, passionately volunteer for whatever the Lord desired.
The exciting thing is that these principles continue to work in the lives of anyone who will prayerfully participate in the process. So, let’s look at the Pattern of Revival:
1. We Are Reminded of our Humanity
Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that King Uzziah died…”
Uzziah had been a good, godly king for the first part of his reign. When he died, uncertainty brought fear to everyone in his kingdom. “Who would be the next king, and would he be good or ruthless?”
God allows difficulties into our lives to cause fear and remind us that we aren’t in control and we need Him. But, those trials are good because they give us ample reason to run back to the Lord and fall on our knees before Him … something we don’t do often enough when things are going well in life.
2. We Experience Some Powerful Truth about God
Isaiah 6:1-4 “… I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.”
As trials bring us to a place where we sense our desperate need for the Lord, the Lord is free to demonstrate a character quality of Himself. Typically, his followers experience His holiness.
While Isaiah experienced the Lord’s holiness and glory in a realistic vision, we will experience it in other way. For instance, during a reading of God’s Word, it may seem that a verse about God “jumps off the page” at us and demands that we stop and reflect on it. God’s Holy Spirit will allow us to deeply experience a biblical truth about Him in the most unexpected ways.
If it is God’s holiness that He is revealing to us, then God may grant us the ability to see ourselves honestly. That is the next step…
3. We Are Broken Over Our Sinfulness
Isaiah 6:5 “Then I said: Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Armies.”
When Isaiah experienced the light of God’s holiness, he was able to see the sin in his own heart much more clearly.
Principle: The closer we get to God in fellowship, the more we see our sin and sinfulness. But, that is a good thing because when we see our sin, we can acknowledge it to God, repent (turn from it), and receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing as we get our joy back. (But, I’m getting ahead of myself. This is point 4.)
Friend, if you can go day after day without being broken over your own struggle with sin, the root cause is your relationship with God. If you are pursuing Him, you will clearly see your sinful heart, which will bother you deeply. If you are not aware of areas of your life that need cleaning, you are not spending sufficient time in God’s presence.
4. We Experience God’s Forgiveness and Cleansing
Isaiah 6:6-7 “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for.”
God is not indifferent to our confession. When we own our sin and seek His forgiveness, He will move to forgive and cleanse us (1 John 1:9).
We learn something else in these verses: the process of being cleansed and forgiven is often painful. God is not content to do a superficial cleaning. Sometimes, we are left with consequences or a mark to remind us of the event (see Genesis 32:22-32). Sometimes, our cleansing requires that we do some difficult things like going to someone we wronged and acknowledging what we did. Some offenses can be so great that we may have to admit something that may cost us our marriage, our job, or even risk getting in trouble with the law. But, in those times, we need to determine just how much God and truth mean to us.
5. We Are Prepared and Ready to Serve the Lord
Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who will I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.”
Why is it that so few men and women seem open to serving the Lord with reckless abandon? Is it because of busy schedules? Is it because people aren’t properly motivated? Probably.
But I suspect that the biggest reason is that too many Jesus-followers are not enjoying fellowship with the Lord and pursuing personal holiness. So they are unmotivated to serve a God they are not enjoying.
But, when God is pursued and enjoyed, wonderful things happen in the life of the pursuer. Others will eventually benefit as that Jesus-follower is empowered by the Lord to serve Him and others.
In conclusion, I have shown in this post that Isaiah 6:1-8 provides a pattern of personal revival. You don’t have to wait on others to begin this journey. You can start it on your own. Ask the Lord to help you and then chase after Him. Be willing to acknowledge and repent of any sin that He reveals. And then be prepared for His cleansing work in your life and His call upon you to join Him in what He is doing around you.
If you want to pursue this topic, I would recommend two books:
“Fresh Encounter” by Henry Blackaby
“Brokenness, Holiness, Surrender” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank You so much for showing me in Your Word how I can enjoy You and live a productive, meaningful life. Knowing that I will stand before You one day as my life is judged, I want to make my one life count. So, with renewed resolve, I will strive to enjoy You today and live a life of obedience to Your Word. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.