At the beginning of this New Year, are you ready for service? Let me tell you how one man became prepared. His name was Isaiah. Many Old Testament scholars tell us it happened on New Year’s Day. Whether that is true or not, it was a new beginning for Isaiah.
Isaiah was permitted to see the glory of the Lord, high and lifted up. Above Him stood the seraphim crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of host.” And when He spoke, the thresholds shook and the house was filled with smoke. Is this God? Or is this Jesus? In John 12:41, after quoting Isaiah 6:10, John said that Isaiah “saw Jesus’s glory and spoke about Him.” If this was Jesus, it is well to remember that Jesus “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3).
After seeing such holiness, Isaiah becomes acutely aware of his own sinfulness. He cries, “Woe is me! For I am ruined! for I am a man of unclean lips!” Then one of the seraphim touched his mouth with a burning coal and said, “See, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:5-7).
No one is ready for service until he is cleansed from sin. David knew this when he cried out for a clean heart and spirit. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You” (Psalm 51:10-13). First cleansing, then service.
Isaiah was now prepared for service. When God called, Isaiah responded. “Here am I! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Now as Christians, we have been washed, cleansed and sanctified. We are ready for service.
Remember the admonition of the apostle Peter, to those Christians and to us, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
~~ John Gibson, Little Rock, AR