Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 – June 24 – Unworthy, But Chosen

Study from God’s Word Isaiah 5: 24 – 30; Is 1: 27-31; Is 2: 19-21; Is 2: 22 – 3: 7; Is 4: 2 – 6; Is 2: 1 – 5; 2Kgs 15: 19-28; 2Kgs 15: 6-7 [2Chron 26: 22-23]; 2Kgs 15: 7, 32-33; 2Chron 26: 23, 27: 1, 8]; 2Kgs 15: 34 [2Chron 27: 2]; Isaiah 6: 1 – 13; 2Kgs 15: 35 [2Chron 27: 3-6]… Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 6: 5 – 8 … NIV 5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

My Journal for Today: This is one passage from God’s word which calls up great empathy and identification from me. No, I’m not called to be a “Prophet.” I don’t even have the spiritual gift of prophesy. But I have been called out of unworthiness to carry out a task for God and His kingdom, … a ministry dealing on the front lines of spiritual warfare. And like Isaiah at his calling, which is documented in today’s highlight passage, when I was called, I felt totally unworthy to be called.

HOWEVER, the more I have gotten to know the characters of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, I have found many who didn’t feel worthy at their time of calling by God; and I’d almost bet you’re thinking of Moses at the burning bush, who felt like a stutterer who was called to be God’s spokesman; or there was Gideon, the coward who was called by God to become a mighty warrior. There was Amos, also called to be God’s prophet, who declared he was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. And here is Isaiah, who declares that he’s a man of “unclean lips,” being called out to be God’s mouth-piece to His people. All of these men of God became Godly men, used by God, because they responded to God’s calling out of unworthiness. And for about 15 years now, my response to Gods’ calling has actually been used for His glory. Go figure.

But as was Isaiah, when I was called into ministry, I was tuned in to my own weaknesses and unworthiness. Isaiah knew that God was asking him to go forth into a role which would make him a hated man as well as vulnerable to those whom he’d be carrying God’s message. Isaiah knew that he was an unrighteous man being asked to carry a message of righteousness to a people racked by unrighteousness. And as Dr. Smith points out today in his devotional concerning Isaiah, “If righteousness was a prerequisite for the job (of God’s calling), he (Isaiah) of all people wasn’t qualified.” Yet, as we read, in that wonderful verse 8, when God finally gave Isaiah His calling, Isaiah responded, with the powerful Hebrew reply, “Heneni,” which means “Here I am, send me!”

There’s a wonderful song, written and sung by Marty Goetz, a former orthodox Jew converted to Christ, … a song which I’ve called up on my laptop as I meditate here this morning and write this. The song is entitled, Heneni; and the song celebrates the spirit of the one called by God and knowing that the calling is for an inadequate servant; but it is with the understanding that God’s calling is His enablement. Isaiah could say – and mean – “Heneni” to God because He knew God was God and would not have called a lowly, unworthy man to be His prophet unless God was there to lift him up. That is also the message of another message to Isaiah from God. Go find it in Isaiah 41: 10; and meditate on the truth that we need never fear God’s calling because God’s calling is His promise of power to overcome any weakness we might have. The Apostle Paul certainly discovered that truth.

The New Testament Apostle, recognizing that he was the “chief of sinners” (in 1st Tim. 1: 15), yet he could say to believers, “You can imitate me, because I imitate Christ.” (1st Cor. 11: 1) Had learned his own message of 2nd Cor. 12: 9 … that God’s grace is sufficient to cover any weakness we might have. None of us is worthy of God’s calling; but we can know that God is God [!]; and when God calls, we can respond, as did Isaiah, or many others did to God, … HENENI! … Here, am I, Lord, send me!

My Prayer for Today: Heneni, Lord! Amen

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