fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Here I Am. Send Me!


Today’s lesson was inspiring, for lack of better words. Sandy out did herself today in presenting the material. To review, I’ve outlined the notes from today’s lesson:

Isaiah’s 7 Visions That Will Transform Your Life  – Isaiah 6:1-13 (By Sandy M.)

  1. Isaiah’s vision of God and his holiness (Vs 1-4)
  2. Isaiah’s vision of his sinful self (Vs 5a)
  3. Isaiah’s vision of sins of the people around him (Vs 5b )
  4. Isaiah’s vision of God’s redemptive power (Vs 6-7)
  5. Isaiah’s vision of his life purpose (Vs 8 )
  6. Isaiah’s vision to be faithful regardless of results (Vs 9-11)
  7. Isaiah’s vision: in spite of circumstances God promises hope and future restoration for His people (Vs 13)

 The throne in verses 1-4 emphasizes the Lord as the true king (since the nation of Israel was morning the death of an earthly king (Uzziah). The temple emphasizes that God is always on his throne. Isaiah was privileged to see these truths because the people were missing out on them. Isaiah felt unworthy of being in God’s presence because he saw his sinfulness and the sinfulness of the people. However, Isaiah also saw God’s redemptive power and it wasn’t until he was cleansed of his sins that God commissioned him.

 

Today’s lesson helped me to appreciate that God will commission us when we come forth and ask him to be used for his purpose. We may have had a different purpose in mind that we want to carry out, but it is God who calls us to service. I like the way Sandy put it, “Our #1 calling is to bring glory to God, but we have spiritual gifts that He uses to fulfill his purpose for us.

 

Isaiah was sent on a difficult assignment – he had to preach God’s judgment to unresponsive people. It’s no wonder that he asked God how long he will have to carry out the work. God lovingly provided an answer; Isaiah was to preach until the desolation of his people and the land they lived in. (I wonder how much time that actually was. I’m going to have to research it and get back to you. If anybody knows, please feel free to post a comment). Many of us are carrying out our assignments and also asking God how much longer we will have to endure. It’s comforting to know that He will bring a finishing point in His due time – He always does. In the meantime, He embraces us with the strength and power to continue our assignments. Amen to that.

 

On a side note, wouldn’t you agree that the message in today’s worship service about Mary and being a “bondslave of the Lord” (Luke 1:38), was in line with today’s lesson in class? Looks like we were blessed with the same empowering message twice in one day! “Here I am, Send Me! (Isaiah 6:8)

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March 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

5 Comments

  1. After careful research, I found out that Isaiah prophesied from 739-686BC. He was called to prophecy in the year of King Uzziah’s death (739BC), so this means he preached for 53 years. Judah was actually desolated by the Babylonians in 586BC, so he didn’t get to see the fulfillment in Isaiah 6:13 of the remaining remnant and the restoration of Judah. Isaiah remained faithful until his death in 681BC. Please comment if any of this information is inaccurate.

    Comment by Linda | March 10, 2009

  2. Linda, thank you for this outline. A friend and I used it for the basis our Bible study on Monday morning. As we read through each vision and discussed their relevance in our own lives, my friend pointed out something I had not considered but had originally planned to discuss in a later chapter of Isaiah that day. She pointed out the pain. The redemptive hot coal that touched Isaiah’s lips in verse 7 surely must’ve hurt. And isn’t that the way? Are we not all brought forth in pain? Whether in our birth in the flesh or our spiritual birth, there was pain involved. I wonder if Isaiah walked around with blistered lips for some time allowing everyone who saw to question and thus provide a witness.

    In this era of mega churches with their clean and comfortable learning centers, upbeat worship music, and an assortment of bumper stickers, T-shirts, and plagues to proclaim our salvation, I think it necessary to think about the pain.

    Studying the redemptive power of the blood of Christ lead me to question the pain. The soul-for-soul reconciliation of Jesus’ blood poured out for me can at times become detached from the further meaning of the cross. I accept the payment made, but somehow can keep the blood in a neat little package devoid of the torture. If blood was all that was necessary to redeem me from sin and give me audience with God, could not Jesus simply have slit his wrists and poured it into a goblet to offer his father the life-for-life payment? Why the pain? Why the mocking? Why the spit? Why the insults? Why the shaming? The name-calling? The beatings that tore his flesh? The slow, agonizing death on the cross? What does it mean for me, one saved by the blood of Christ, to ponder the torture given my Lord 2000 years ago? Should I go there? Is it healthy for Christians to focus on pain when we’re called to peace and be free of anxieties? Does the Bible give any direction for us to focus on the pain? I believe this is the point of a ritual we are commanded to keep.

    Whether we gather for communion on a daily basis or once a month, we are told to “keep the festival” (1 Cor 5:8). What do you think about when you partake? I think about a lot of things. I remember how Jesus delivered me, I think about all the brothers and sisters I am joining with all over the world, I think about heaven, I pray for the unsaved, I praise God with thankfulness that he called me to partake of His divine nature. But there is a specific directive we are called to focus on whenever we eat the bread and drink the wine.

    23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Cor 11:23-26)

    What does it mean to “proclaim the Lord’s death?” I can’t help but be drawn to Isaiah 53 and see the pain of his death. I believe it is necessary for us to see it in all it’s ugly and gory details.

    Isaiah 53 opens with,
    “Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

    Who has believed? What is at the core of our Christian belief? Is it that we have a comfortable place to go on Sunday morning? Is it that we’re stirred by the worship music? Is it that we love being part of a social network? Is it that we agree with Jesus’ moral teachings? Is it that we now have a purposeful path to follow? Is it the security of knowing I have heaven waiting for me? While all these things are part of our Christian life, they are not the basis of belief Isaiah points out in the following verses. What does he prophesy about the one who would bring us peace and heal us (Is 53:5)?

    I see a simple, ordinary man who was despised, rejected, and familiar with suffering. (Is 53:3) And I am drawn to him as an equal, for I know of such things. I see his humanity.

    But I also see his divinity in the next verses.
    4 Surely he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows,
    yet we considered him stricken by God,
    smitten by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. (Is 53:4, 5)

    How can he carry my sickness, be pierced and crushed for my sins over 2000 years ago? It is something I believe and yet can not explain. It has to be divine. That is why I go to God’s own word for definition.

    28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

    Perhaps you’ve heard the advice, “give it to Jesus.” Well and good, but how? How do I give to Jesus this pain? How do I endure another day at work with this person? Will Jesus just remove me from the situation? Will he just cure me of this cancer?

    In this life we all have a load to bare. Give it to Jesus. He says “come to me” doesn’t he? Meet him in Isaiah 53. Let him take the blows, he’s strong enough. Don’t be afraid to see him lashed, to see the spit in his face, to feel the weight of rejection. It is the punishment that brought us peace. Let it be. By his wounds we are healed. Thank you Jesus, here is my load, I give it to you to suffer, I no longer have to carry any of it. ANY OF IT!!!!

    I no longer have to beat myself up over my own sins, you have taken the beating Jesus.
    I no longer have to hold in prison those who have hurt me, I give them to you Jesus. You have already suffered for them, though they are still sinning against me (Romans 5:8).
    I am lighter now, able to move, able to live freely. I was weary and burdened and you have given me rest. Why would God do this for us? The illustration I was given was that of a loaded down backpack. God wants to dance with me and I can’t do it with a load on my back. I am free to dance with my Savior now.

    But we must keep the festival. Every day, another weight is put on. Give it to Jesus. Proclaim the death, proclaim the pain. He takes up our infirmities, sorrows, transgressions, and iniquities. We must be reminded often because it’s not a one time thing. We are free one day and burdened the next until we feel the weight of that load drive us to our knees and give it to Jesus. He’s strong enough to bare it and invited us to come to him. At the core of Christian faith is the fact that we were once enemies of God until we believed in the cross of Christ. Not merely the moral teachings of a man 2000 years ago, but the bloody death of him on a cruel cross for each of our afflictions. Keeping the faith means continually bringing all of it to that cross. Proclaim his death for yourself, it’s like the hot coal on the unclean lips of Isaiah.
    See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. (Isaiah 6:7)

    Comment by Julie | March 13, 2009

  3. Julie, outstanding explanation on chapter 6 in Isaiah. You sure made a TON of thought-provoking observations. While I was reading your comment, I started to think about the season we’re about to come into (Easter) and whether people understand the significance of Christ’s death. There’s so much more to it than, “Christ died for my sins”, which is what I use to acknowledge, but really didn’t fully understand. Thanks again!

    Comment by Linda | March 13, 2009

  4. Hi Julie,
    How awesome is this that you and your friend found my lesson outline that I taught my ladies last Sunday!
    I appreciate your interest and positive response. I invite you and others to follow along as I will be in this series of study on Isaiah for several weeks.
    Sunday’s lesson (15th) is in Is. 7: 1-12. Titled “Acting on Revealed Truth” (How to make Godly decisions in crisis situations).

    I hope you will follow along and I welcome your feedback!
    Blessings,
    Sandy

    Comment by Sandy Maddox | March 13, 2009

  5. Julie! wow! I stand amazed at the insight that
    the Holy Spirit is explaining through you!
    Press on dear girl! The best is yet to come.
    Isn’t our God awesome?
    We go to our knees in thanksgiving that HE has
    chosen us to become HIS CHILDREN.

    Comment by marcene | March 14, 2009


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