Transition – Part 3
“At the sound of [the] voices [of the seraphim] the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:4 NIV)
At a time of transition and uncertainty in the life of the prophet Isaiah, God was still going to fulfill his calling on the prophet’s life; but Isaiah had to be prepared for what God wanted him to do. What form did this preparation take? Notice that Isaiah didn’t just do a study on God or read a book about God; he actually experienced God! This is the pattern that we see in Scripture over and over again, whether we’re talking about Abraham, Moses, the apostle Peter, Paul or so many others. Every time God is going to thrust someone out and use a human being for his glory, they seem to have an encounter with God—either a new, fresh encounter, or a very first encounter.
Isaiah was already a prophet, so he was already well acquainted with the things of the Lord. But “in the year that King Uzziah died,” Isaiah was lifted up into a new place with God. We all have to have new and fresh experiences with God. We can’t live on what God did last week or last month or last year or when we were younger. Thank God for every time he’s ever met us, but when Satan is up to new diabolical schemes, God has to do something miraculously new in his people. Sadly, at present, Satan seems to be equipping and emboldening people in a way like I’ve never seen before in my lifetime; so what do we have to do? We have to go to God and say, “God, I need more of you… I need a new experience with you!”
Some say, “Just concentrate on sound doctrine and get your head right about God and that’s enough.” But Isaiah didn’t just engage in a mental exercise about God. A person could do a study on all the attributes of God yet never experience God. But you and I and any other believer, by the Holy Spirit, can indeed have a fresh encounter with God. We could sing the song, “He Touched Me” (Bill Gaither/Gloria Gaither), every week, and have it be fresh and new because the Holy Spirit is making it so.
There’s something about experiencing God that sets the soul on fire. When believers have a fresh revelation of who God is, they want to tell others about him; and then, when they talk about God, there’s a living reality about it. It’s not just some Bible story; it’s not some methodology they’ve adopted for witnessing. What they’re doing is telling folks, “You’ve got to know the Lord! See what he’s done for me! He can do it for you!” And there’s a freshness about it. That’s available to every Christian today.
What we need is not fanaticism or emotionalism or craziness. We do need to study the Word and we do need sound Bible doctrine, but what is also vital— in our individual lives and in the life of the church—is a fresh experience with the Lord. If the prophet needed it, don’t we need it as well?
Isaiah saw the Lord high and exalted, and he witnessed the foundations of the temple shaking at the sound of the angels crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” Your experience and my experience won’t be like Isaiah’s, but that’s up to God. We just have to say, “God, come! I want to know you in a new way.” Won’t God honor that? Do you think that if we lift our hands and say, “God, we want to experience you in a new way,” he’s going to say no? That’s impossible!
To be continued…
Read Isaiah 6:4-5.