Bring on the Praise
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
This is a familiar passage to many Christians and as often as I have heard it expounded on, the focus has been to invite the Christian to release the things or people they look up to so that their eyes might be refocused to see the glory of the Lord. But perhaps what holds us back from seeing God as he really is and offering him highest praise is not so much that we have other idols in our lives, but that we are focused on how others attend to their worship. Isaiah beheld the Seraphim, these pure angels worshiping and crying holy and he cries: “woe is me for I am a person of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips and therefore unfit to worship”. Instead of looking upon the incomparable God, Isaiah is quickly turned inwards on his own unworthiness. Noble and a right response as that is, it may even prove to be a handicap; and indeed Isaiah turned it into a handicap, at least so he thought.
See how quickly the Almighty moves in to prevent him from wallowing in self pity and being unable to worship. The very obstacle he lifts up “his lips” is the very one that he is sent to use after it had been treated by the purifying fire, the refining, sanctifying power of God.
Friends, God knows that when we know we are unfit for service that is precisely the very reason why we are chosen. If we or the world had its way, we would be carrying our unfitness for service like a shield for life. I recall a line from the saga of Prince Caspian in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. When towards the end tasks were being meted out by Aslan, the figure of God, and Caspian was asked to stay where he was and rule his people; his response was that he was not ready. Aslan replies: “That is why I know that you are ready”.
Friends, we are unworthy and so we are ready; let’s bring on the praise.
Prayer: Dear God, please take my focus off myself that I might see you more clearly and serve you more freely as I am enabled by your power at work within me. Amen.
Dr. Esther Acolatse