Friday, July 04, 2008

Completely Exposed

Isaiah 6:1-8: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty: the whole earth is full of his glory.' At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
"Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips and I lie among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen he King, the Lord Almighty.'
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips: your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.'
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!"

When the prophet Isaiah comes before the one and only Holy God, he is exposed; exposed as a sinful man. In verse 5 he says: "Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips." He is exposed for who He really is, a man of unclean lips. Encounters with a Holy God will flatten us, expose us for what we really are--sinners. Encounters with the Holy God strip us of any "spin doctored" image we have; it's a true picture and it humbles us.

Secondly, his culture is exposed. He lives in a nation of people with unclean lips. Lying in America is a way of life; let's be honest, we all do it in some form. As a culture, we lie and in many ways we could care less.

The third thing that happens in this encounter, he is transformed. This sinner exposed liar, slanderer or maybe even cursing prophet is transformed by the Holy Spirit. His guilt is taken away and his sin is atoned for. (Atoned is the process of how God and man can once again become "at one".) When we beat ourselves up with our guilt and sin, we feel we are not worthy to take Christ's message to a hurting world.

But...the Lord has other plans for us. He uses sin-forgiven, former liars, slanderers, and God cursers for His glory. And all the initiative comes from the Lord. We don't accept His guilt freeing, sin forgiving grace. He calls us. He transforms s to do what? Sit and slap each other on he back marveling at our good fortune? No, we are sent by God to share the Good News with a hurting world. The Lord asked and Isaiah answered--"send me."

Are you an "exposed" man or woman with unclean lips, living in an unclean culture who has been atoned for? If you're a believer, get ready--God is going to use you!

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