Updated: Apr 29
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord. . .” (Isaiah 6:8, italics mine)
Isaiah’s “then” came after his remorseful acknowledgment of personal sin.
"'Woe to 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!'" (5)
When the confrontation of God's holiness and awe occurred and the confession of Isaiah's sin followed, then—and only then—did Isaiah hear the call of the Lord.
"'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'" (8)
Then—and only then—followed the humble, sincere response:
"'Here I am, send me.'" (8)
Please do not misunderstand. God is not seeking sinless servant-vessels. Only His Son was that. But what He does desire and require are servant-vessels who, when confronted, are humble enough and broken enough to say “woe is me” in authentic acknowledgement of personal sin. It’s only in this acknowledgement that the call of the Lord is clearly heard and then heeded. Because unconfessed sin—fueled by a careless view of the Creator's holiness and awe—diminishes the audibility of the Lord's personal messages in our lives, resulting in diminished activity of the Lord personally working through our lives.
And sometimes, it requires the experience of a “woe is me” monumental moment to get us to a truly hearing posture.
The Almighty, "the Lord, high and exalted," knows exactly how to use our individual environments and circumstances to confront us with the wonder of His presence and awe, the magnitude of His holiness and glory, just as He did with Isaiah. He knows exactly what will humble us toward confession, resulting in crisper spiritual perception, so that we will commit ourselves to carry out the Heavenly purposes determined by His wisdom.
The only right reaction, the only right response that will bring about our participation in His righteous, good plans, is an Isaiah-one:
Reverence that leads to repentance,
resulting in spiritual ears that hear
and a heart that willingly obeys.