Saturday, March 18, 2017, 4:04 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Trust Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 6 (ESV).
Holy, holy (vv. 1-4)
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
We serve a holy and righteous God. He is not like us, but we are to become like him in holiness and in righteousness, for he created us to be set apart to him. To be holy means to be separate, apart, sacred. It means to be unattached from sin and impurity. God’s intentions and his ways are always honorable, just, and pure. He is absolutely righteous in all that he does. Not only is he a holy God, but he is awesome in magnificence. He is to be high and lifted up above all things, for he is all powerful, all knowing, and completely sovereign and in control over all things. We are to revere him, respect him, honor him, obey him, and to be fully devoted to him.
For believers in Jesus Christ, being holy means to be unlike, different from the world of sin because we are being conformed into the image of Christ. It means to be godly, upright, honorable, pure, honest, and decent.
Sin Atoned For (vv. 5-7)
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for 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!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
When we are confronted with the holiness of God, it should cause us to have a similar reaction as Isaiah’s. We should realize our own sinfulness (our lostness) and our utter hopelessness apart from God’s saving grace. And, we should desire to be delivered out of these bodies of flesh, i.e. out of our slavery to sin. We should long to be made holy and righteous in God’s sight. We should feel totally unworthy of his grace or to be able to stand in his presence. In other words, we should be humbled that he would even consider us or care about us or that he would desire to save us from sin.
Yet, this is not the presentation of God or the reaction to his saving grace that typifies the day and age in which we live. Today, at least here in America, God is often painted more like a buddy or as a doting grandfather in the sky there to grant our every request, and as one who requires nothing of us other than to “believe” in him, although “believe” is not really defined, at least not biblically. Biblical belief is God-given and is thus in conformity to God and to his will for our lives. It desires what God desires, not as man desires, so it requires repentance and obedience to Christ and to his cross.
Still, people are being taught that they can pray some words after someone else, which do not include repentance or submission to God, but that merely acknowledge that Jesus died to save us from condemnation and to give us heaven when we die. They totally leave out the fact that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not just that we might escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we leave this earth. And, then they are told that salvation and heaven are guaranteed them. But, there is no sense of what Isaiah expressed at all, because the fear of the Lord is not taught, and his grace is being taught as free license to continue in sin.
This human-based belief does not put sin to death, but it just forgives it, i.e. it gives it a pass. It is also not raised with Christ to righteousness, but rather to a slightly cleaned up version of the flesh-driven life that existed before “being saved.” Yet, if we want to have our sin atoned for, we must humble ourselves before God in surrender to his will for our lives, for this is God-given faith. We must acknowledge, as did Isaiah, our utter sinfulness, especially in contrast to God’s absolute holiness, and submit ourselves to the cross of Christ in allowing our Lord to put sin to death in our lives and to give us new lives in Christ (born again), free from the control of sin over our lives, and free to live for Jesus in purity, righteousness and holiness.
Send Me (vv. 8-13)
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.
When Jesus saves us from our sins, that is not the end of it all and then one day we go to heaven. It is only a beginning of a lifetime of putting sin to death, resisting Satan, fleeing temptation/sin, and drawing near to God in full assurance of faith (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14).
Also, when he saves us from our sins, puts sin to death, and raises us to walk with him in his righteousness, he calls us to his purposes and to his will for our lives. Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ means that we follow him wherever he leads us, that we go where he says to go, and that we do and say what he says we are to do and say. God-given faith is a commitment to a lifetime of service to our Lord, not by our own choosing, but according to his will and purposes. When he saves us he also empowers us to be his witnesses, and he equips us for his service. God assigns each one of us our parts (roles) within the body of Christ (the church), and his Holy Spirit gives to each one of us spiritual gifts, according to his choosing, which we are to use to edify, encourage and to build up in the faith the body of Christ.
So, when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord (owner-master) of our lives, we must realize that our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, for we were bought with a price – the blood of Jesus Christ shed on a cross for our sins. With his blood he purchased us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives. When he saves us we should now desire God and his will for our lives, and we should be wide open to going wherever he sends us and to doing whatever he has called us to do, even if it means to go someplace completely foreign to us and to leave our lives of comfort behind us, for we were not put on this earth for our own pleasure, but for the glory of God and for his praise.
And, God may send us to people with stubborn and unrepentant hearts who attack us, mock us, persecute us and who reject us because of our love for God and because of our testimony for Jesus Christ and for his gospel. But, God is completely faithful. Our work will be rewarded. We just have to wait on God, trust him, endure unjust suffering, and believe him to move in people’s hearts just as he did in ours. God’s ways are not like our ways, and he is very patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So, we should not grow weary in doing good, for we will reap a harvest of righteousness if we do not give up.
Trust Him / An Original Work / August 15, 2012
Based off Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be of courage;
Be strong and take heart today.
Do not fear when foes attack you.
Trust in God always.
He will rescue you in times
Of trouble and distress,
He’ll comfort you in all ways
As you trust Him with your life today.
Trust in Him always.
God is with you; He’ll not leave you.
You can always count on Him.
He will fulfill all He promised
Before you began.
His word teaches you
All that you need for this life.
Let Him lead you. Open your heart;
Let his truth envelope you today.
Listen and obey.
Love your Lord God; follow Jesus.
Repent of your sins today.
Make Him your Lord and your master;
Trust Him and obey.
Follow Him where’er He leads you
In His service; be His witness,
Telling others about Jesus’
Price that He did pay
For your sins always.