To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.
If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.
His Calling and Our Commission
Isaiah 6: 1-9 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people:”
These are some powerful scriptures describing Isaiah’s encounter with the Lord’s glory. Followed by that is the voice of Lord ‘calling’ him to be His spokesman. I would call it the prophet’s ‘commission’ meaning a directive, an instruction, a command, or duty given to a person.
Summary of the sequence of the events: Isaiah sees the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne. The Lord discloses His power and glory. He demonstrates His splendor, grandeur and holiness. Isaiah realizes how short he is in front of His glory. How sinful and underserving he is in comparison to His holiness. How unworthy he is to witness His grandeur. When Isaiah acknowledges his sinfulness, the seraphim touch Isaiah’s mouth with a coal and say that his guilt is taken away and his sin atoned for.The Lord cleanses him! After that, the Lord asks him who He should send as His messenger. Now, Isaiah says, “Here am I. Send me!” The Lord has changed Isaiah’s mindset from being ‘unworthy’ to being ‘ready’ to take up the mission the Lord had for him. The Lord has prepared him to carry out his commission! In Isaiah Chapter 6, we will see that the Lord gives the exact message, signs of how and when Isaiah’s prophecy will come true and for how long it will persist.
How do all these experiences and these wonderful conversations between the Lord and Isaiah relate to us? What significance does it have for our time and our lives? What does it all mean to us specific to His calling and our commission?
Whenever God has a ‘calling’ in our ministry, He will play a major part.
- Before the Lord brings a calling into our lives or a specific purpose, He will walk us through a journey demonstrating His power and His holiness. The journey will bring us to the realization of how great our God is and how insignificant we are. How limited we are and how little control we have over our lives or any situation.
- Often, we can realize His calling when we meditate on His words, when we hear his voice during our lone time with Him. We can also hear His calling through the preached Word from the pulpit; when we are under the authority of the church and spiritual leadership. Through the preached Word, He gives us promises for our ministry.
- If we feel we are sinful and unworthy of His call, He will get us to the place of realization that we can never be perfect until we are all changed into His likeness, when we meet Him in Heaven. The Bible says, ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’. It means that we are sinners from childhood up until the point of our death.
- All believers have their own struggles. We can never be perfect enough to be able to carry out His calling; and He knows that. Ephesians 2:8-9 says by “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” None of us can strive and prove ourselves to be sinless by our efforts. Salvation is given by grace through faith and not because of our works and our actions. It is an unmerited gift from God.
- If we are in close relationship with Jesus in our daily walk Him, we will continue to get specifics for our commission: our mission, our audience, prediction of the response of our audience, and counter steps we need to take towards their response. If we are keen on listening to His voice and direction, we will know exactly who our audience is and what our purpose is.
- When He calls us for a mission, He will lead us through a journey of preparation. There are a series of changes that need to happen in our spiritual areas. Learning to depend on Him rather than on our flesh and on worldly ideas and remedies. Letting go of our pride and learning to be humble. Dealing with our sins, disobedience, unforgiveness, wrong attitudes, self-righteousness and anything that would prevent us from being used for His Kingdom. The corrective actions we need to take to address the three major reasons for downfall – lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life.
- He will strengthen and equip us through the Holy Spirit. When we fall back because of sins or are slowed down because of discouragement, He is there to strengthen us. God will give us spiritual sensitivity with the intuition of the Holy Spirit.
- The Lord will impart His anointing on us. Anointing is what enables us to fulfill God’s ministry in our lives. Spiritual sensitivity and anointing come from the Lord. Meditating on the Word of God and having a close relationship with Him through prayer and fasting will get us here.
- When it’s time, we don’t have to worry about how to do or what to say. He would have equipped us during the journey of preparation. Mark 13:11 says, “Don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:4 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:”
When the Lord calls us, let’s not wait to see if anyone else would step up to accomplish it. Let’s make ourselves available to take up the mission Jesus has for us. When God asks who He should send as a prophet to His people, Isaiah responds, “Here am I. Send me!”. We can take up our mission with the confidence in God’s promise, that He is always with us. It is never too late, and we are never too short to share about Jesus and be obedient to His calling. We can be used for His Kingdom with the little we have! We can take up our commission by trusting in His strength.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.