Today we read Isaiah chapter 6. I don’t know about you, but this passage has always both amazed me, and shamed me a little. The amazing part is how God reveals Himself and Isaiah responds. This is a moment where the reality of who God really is, shines brightly and it humbles Isaiah – as it should! When we truly recognize God, as He actually is, being completely humbled is really the only appropriate response. God is awesome in His power and purity and, in contrast, we are weak and broken. The fact that He chooses to pursue a relationship with us, as our Father is… well… it’s hard to fathom. This leads to the part of this passage that shames me a little… As Isaiah realizes that He is in the presence of the Lord, Creator, and Holy God, he responds with this, “Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.’” Isaiah 6:5 (NLT) This is the healthy and fitting way to see ourselves before God. It accurately reflects the reality that we are not holy, pure and good, and that we do not deserve God’s kindness or favor. I am ashamed to say that there are many times when I fail to see this. Instead, I just take God’s presence for granted, and quickly launch into giving Him a “to do” list of things I want Him to take care of for me. HOW INAPPROPRIATE AND DISRESPECTFUL IS THAT?! Isaiah reminds me that I am flawed, and need to be healed and changed before anything else. By admitting his sin, Isaiah put himself in the position to receive grace and forgiveness, which in turn led him to genuine fellowship with God – and we can have the same.
One of the words for worship means “to bow before another” and it creates a picture of someone who recognizes the superiority of another. When we come to God this is what we should do – readily admit that He is supreme, that we need what only He offers, and then humbly accept it. This attitude alone sets the stage for everything else God offers!