Transition – Part 4
“‘Woe is me!' I cried, 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.'” (Isaiah 6:5 NIV)
“In the year that King Uzziah died,” in a time of change and uncertainty, Isaiah gets this amazing view of God; and so great is the glory of God that even the seraphim have to cover themselves, though they’ve never sinned. God is so holy and so pure, that the experience is overwhelming for Isaiah. He was in some heavenly experience we can’t even imagine. How do you think he responded? Did he shout, “Hallelujah”? Did he join the angels in calling out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty”? No, he went down into the dust and cried out, “Woe is me!” That’s because when you experience God and have a revelation of his goodness and his holiness, you stop strutting and you end up saying, “Woe is me. I am a person of unclean lips!” You see, for God to use a man or a woman, they have to be broken; and the best breakings are not those that come from the disappointments of life—though God uses those in our lives as well. The best breakings are when we see God for who he is; and that happens only in the presence of God.
We can’t effectively minister to sinful people, unless we see ourselves as a mess without God’s help. The truth is that without fresh revelations from God, we can get self-righteous and judgmental, and look down on people. But when we have an encounter with the Lord, we get very tender with others. Some people may seem like a thorn in your flesh; but have an encounter with the Lord, and you'll soon find yourself praying for them. They won’t seem repugnant anymore, because you'll see yourself for who you are, compared to God’s holiness.
So there’s this revelation of who God is, and there’s the accompanying, “Woe is me!” on the part of Isaiah. And he’s a prophet! This wasn’t the first day he had an encounter with God! But even a prophet sees things differently when the light of the sun is shining. That’s what happens when we get the brightness of God’s light in our lives. We’re no longer looking at the specks in other people’s eyes; we’re trying to get the two-by four out of our own eye!
So Isaiah had to be broken. To be used by God, we have to be broken. Unfortunately, some of us are filled with self-righteousness. We may have grown up with family members who had all the answers and judged everybody; and because they didn’t fall into flagrant sin, they thought they were something. The fact is that without the grace of God we’re all lost.
To be continued…
Read Isaiah 6:5-6.