I don’t know how many times I have read Isaiah 6, quite a few…but the last time I read it I was ready to hear it in a new way. With the focus on discipleship it was hard to not spot a familiar rhythm in the text.
Isaiah is in a bad spot – king Uzziah had died.
God shows up in a vision.
In view of the glory of God, Isaiah is undone. He confesses his sin.
God forgives his sin.
God invites him to proclaim His message.
Isaiah accepts the call.
I believe this is a healthy path for discipleship today. It is the glory of God that drives us to our knees. We are not useful until we are on our knees. Undone! In that position we confess our sinfulness…our pride cannot stand up in the presence of God. God forgives. God calls. We respond and go into the world telling people about God.
Here is our temptation
Our temptation is to skip the process. Go from glorious God to us on mission! But it doesn’t work that way. In fact, that path can be quite dangerous and produce disastrous results. Imagine making disciples who think they too can skip the process…that they too can skip the vulnerability and accountability. Disciples made without the process of humble confession will result in disciples who won’t be able to follow Jesus well. You can’t skip leg day and you can’t skip this process! No matter how uncomfortable it is – we must go through the hot coals to become the spokespeople. There is no other way.
Last, we are going to expect people to confess Christ and repent of their sin. But is that reasonable if they don’t see it in us first?
Just something to think about. Here is Isaiah 6. I encourage you to go back and read it again and consider where you are in this process.
If you would like to watch more thoughts on this and more specifics, this is for you!
I have read Isaiah 6 from that perspective pretty much as long as I have read it… a number of decades by now!
And my approach is that we practice exactly what Isaiah shows us:
1. Awareness of sin to in the presence of God
2. Gratefulness that God has forgiven
3. Excitement about the call
4. And when the message was heard (and found to be an unpleasant message at that!)
5. Followed by the plaintive, “How long, o Lord?”