This is part 2 of 3 in a series called, “The Pattern of Proper Worship” based on Isaiah 6:1-8.
Many Christians are unmoved by God’s holiness, and many have become comfortable with unrighteousness. In our personal worship there must be a deep sense of conviction that sin is wicked.
Isaiah’s response was complete humility as he cried, “Woe is me!”. He was instantly drained of all arrogance as he saw the Lord in his righteous majesty. Isaiah was absolutely broken before God. He was a man who was polluted, not even able to live up to the Levitical demands of Scripture – let alone come close to the absolute perfection of God. He was not alone in this sinful condition – the people of his nation had sinned and come short of the glory of God. Complete honesty and humility were the only acceptable responses to seeing the King of Kings.
God’s response? God greets humility with grace. The burning coal placed on the lips of Isaiah indicates his complete purging from the sin he humbly confessed. He was acquitted of guilt and the slate was wiped clean.
Many years ago John Newton, the converted slave trader who became a preacher and poet, explained to a friend where he could be found in heaven: “I can tell you already where you’ll most likely find me—I’ll be sitting at the feet of the thief whom Jesus saved in His dying moments on the cross!” Although a distinguished man, Newton felt that he could only place himself among the most wicked sinners who have been saved through marvelous grace.
If we do not come face-to-face with the reality that our sin has corrupted and polluted us then we have not come to appreciate the greatness of God, nor have we worshipped him. We must cast ourselves before Him in humility, recognizing both His greatness and our sinfulness.
Isaiah’s testimony shows God’s heart for the humble: “For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (57:15). When we are contrite and humble, we don’t dare offer half-hearted apologies for our wickedness. The humble find a gracious resting place with God Himself, nestled close to the heart of the great Shepherd who revives our spirit and restores our soul.
It is time to become uncomfortable and unaccepting of the pollution in our lives. We must confess our sinful passions and practices and humbly plead for God’s mercy! Doing so brings us to the heart of grace, where we worship and adore God for His holiness while simultaneously experiencing the cleansing, restoration, and revival we personally need.
Have you confessed the wickedness of your sin? God greets humility with grace, and grace will enable your humble heart to be revived to love God more dearly and following Him more nearly. Take time to confess today!