Service, the Natural Result of Holiness

Isaiah 6:1-8

The ancient prophet Isaiah had an encounter with the Lord. It is presumed he was engaged in worship at the time. As a result he said, “I saw the Lord…” His attention was undivided. This is essential in order to enjoy a meaningful experience with the Lord. It begins with contemplating His glory.

He heard an unearthly antiphonal choir composed of seraphim sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord…” It is repeated three times, indicating the Trinity. Though we should not expect an exact physical experience as he, we should realize a sense of God’s holiness.

I Thess. 4:3 records, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” The Greek word for “sanctification” is hagios. It is the same root word from which comes the word holiness. 

Actually, holiness and sanctification mean set aside for the Lord’s use. That is what we are set aside for. You only fulfill your function when serving the Lord, that’s why you were set aside.

He exclaimed, “Woe is me, for I am undone…” (Vs. 5)  Ego vanished. A sense of God’s unlimited and undiminished holiness made the prophet aware of his own sinfulness. It does the same for us.

He experienced an awareness of his society, “I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…” (Vs. 5b)  He became aware of the sinfulness of sin. When we become aware of the holiness of God, we become sensitive to the sinfulness of sin. We realize we are a people of unclean lips.

The angel removed a coal from the altar, the place of worship. Touching the lips of Isaiah he said, “Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged.”

Only when our lips are clean are our ears open. Only when there is assurance of forgiveness is there a willingness to serve.

The Lord now, as then, was looking for someone to serve Him. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Note the US, a reference to the Trinity. Isaiah’s response is that of one who has had a true encounter with Christ. The person who has been cleansed is one who serves freely and gladly.

Consistency counts for more than capacity. A secular minded Fredrick Nietzche realizing this wrote, “The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is… that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”

For too long the mandate of many has been to come out of the world into the church and be set aside. Good advice, but set aside for what? Too long it has stopped there. A new mandate needs to be heard. Come out of the church, after being equipped, and into the word to serve the Lord with gladness. Get out where your salt can be felt and your light seen.