Revival of a Great Prophet-7
The Commissioning of the Servant Preacher
Confession, repentance and cleansing are indispensable for a servant of God to be used of the Lord. It will follow towards commissioning, recommissioning, renewal and revival in the servant’s heart and life. He will then be ready to be sent by the Lord. Prophet Isaiah’s life experience as depicted in Isaiah Chapter Six is a prime example which every servant ought to follow all through his life. It cannot be or need not be a one-time experience, but is the oft-repeated and continuous driving force in the life and ministry of all the servants of God.
Isaiah’s experience teaches us that when the call of the Lord is responded to in the affirmative, willingly and voluntarily, the Lord has some directions to give. If the response is seen as genuine and the commitment total, then the Lord has something more to say to the servant whom He is willing to send. He must go wherever the Lord sends him. He must speak the truth to God’s people without watering it down. He must not mince words. He must speak boldly in the power of the Spirit of God.
The Lord warns Isaiah that he may not be frustrated when he sees the response of the people. It is likely that the people might not respond positively to the prophetic Word. But the preacher is not to be discouraged about it. The test of the ministry is the faithfulness with which the work is carried on and not on outward success in terms of human reactions.
The Lord’s warning with its undertone to Isaiah and others is that if Isaiah, or for that matter even today’s preachers, is unwilling to deliver the message as it is, the Lord will send someone else. He must remember the millions of seraphs who stand ready to fly and serve Him and to execute the commandment if Isaiah relents. Isaiah must realize that the door to the opportunity to serve the Lord will not remain open forever, but the disobedient servant will be the loser.
Isaiah’s response is seen in the remaining sixty chapters of oracles of God that He spoke through him. Moses and Jeremiah were quite reluctant to be sent because of their own feeling of inadequacy. But Isaiah had passed that stage in his life because he was totally broken and made whole again by the live coal from the altar. It seems there was no room for him to give an excuse for not going or to even think about not going.
The revelation given to Isaiah leaves with a strong message of hope that even if the entire garden of God’s people is to be cut off or burned down because of resentment, cold-heartedness and passivity, its stumps will remain for the Lord to work on and that these stumps will sprout. This was a great message of hope for Isaiah and it was sufficient for Isaiah to continue with his ministries with great expectations.
Lessons for us today
During the vision of the lifted up Lord, Isaiah was in Heaven. He truly saw the Lord Jesus Christ seated in Heaven (John 12:41). We are today seated in Heaven with Him (Ephesians 2:6). So we have the greatest opportunity to catch the vision of the same Lord in and through His Word, through our meditations in His presence and our intimate time of prayer. It is then that our hearts will burn within us to be able to see the Lord in His glory (Psalms 39:1-3). We need to be broken before the Lord and confess our sins, failures and inadequacies so that our eyes will be healed to a full vision of the Lord. For us today, it is not a physical vision, but a spiritual vision of Him, His attributes, power, love and concern for us. If we catch such a vision, we will be able to see what Isaiah saw in our inner mind. But such an experience will have to be evidence-based in our attitude, actions, ministry and relationships. It is not enough to call Him “Lord! Lord!” but to prove to Him and to the rest of the world that He is Lord indeed (Matthew 7:21).
Isaiah received the boldness of a brokenness experience through this vision and now he is so humble as to invite us to the lowest ebb of his life. Perhaps we would not show such boldness and tenacity to invite others to see our broken, contrite and humbling experiences. If not, it might mean that we have yet to experience such a time of intimate interaction with the Lord. If we have such an experience, we will testify about it for others to learn lessons from it for their edification. Otherwise, we will hide it from others and wear a self-righteous face.
We must realize that we are not better than Uzziah or even Isaiah. We must recognize it and follow the pathway of Isaiah and get matters settled with the Lord rather than go on the wrong way shown by Uzziah and progress towards doom, at least spiritually.
We can truly minister in the power of the Spirit of God if only we are ministered unto by the Lord. We must develop evidence for brokenness in our lives. We must be humble enough to be ministered unto by the Lord before we qualify to minister unto others. Such a sense of spiritual need is essential for us to progress towards revival and renewal.
Just as Isaiah has experienced a change and a renewal in his soul, we must experience a change in our attitude. We must get a newly renewed, cleansed and refreshed tongue to minister. When the tongue is changed along with the heart, we cannot and will not remain quiet, but will speak to the people in a transformed way. Our message will then be a new and dynamic message with a new focus, with Jesus on the Throne of our lives and our ministries. We must exhibit a new set of convictions and must be convicted preachers. But our lives should preach more than our tongues. We must have a new zeal and exhibit it to the people who are under our ministries. We will then demonstrate the heart of a renewed preacher and prophet with a revolutionary message. We must realize that reverence and devotion to the Lord are far more important than activities. This is possible only through attitudinal change for which Isaiah is a prime example. Our goal and motto are to promote the Lord, His glory and cause and not ours, for He says that He will look after our affairs if we look after His mission (Matthew 6:33).
As Isaiah graduated through his temple experience, he begins a ministry of exposing the glory of the Lord to the people through words of comfort and encouragement. He was able to see the crucified Lord which He expressed in Chapter 53 and other portions which expound on the New Testament account of Calvary. He speaks on the first and second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ through the rest of his ministry. He proved to the rest of us that he is the expositor of the salvation of our Lord to all of us. Hallelujah! What a Saviour! What a glorious Lord! What a magnificent servant of the Great Servant who humbled Himself to carry our sins on the cross of Calvary!
Isaiah Chapter Six is the autobiography of a prophet where he has not hidden his experience of lowliness and brokenness. Will we write an account of our lowly experience in our autobiography? Isaiah Chapter Six is an episode of change in a great servant of God. Will we allow such a change to take place in our lives? When it happens, the world around us will know and be moved by it.