Meeting of Passions

Encounters with the Lord should always have some practical effect on our lives. That was Isaiah’s experience. His vision of the enthroned Lord and the cleansing of his lips prepared him to respond to God’s call:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
“Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”
(Isa. 6:8-10)

The Lord gave the prophet a message, its duration, and its outcome. The people with unclean lips were to become spiritually insensitive and drift further from God. Their homeland would be devastated. A mere one in ten would retain any spiritually viable life (v. 13).

Perhaps it was a good thing that Isaiah had already committed himself to going without waiting for the small print. Most of us would turn down a job offer like that. But apparently Isaiah was so impressed by God that he responded immediately.

Rather than chide ourselves for half-heartedness and hesitancy, let’s ask God to deepen our experience of His presence in worship. Seek a fuller knowledge of the One who fills all in all (1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 1:23). Meet Him as you really are, with all your faults and failings, and allow Him to cleanse and transform you.

When worship is good, we become more like God; we catch His heart for the world and are motivated to go.

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God. William Temple

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