“Near, far. Near, far.”
One can easily picture Grover from Sesame Street running back and forth in front of the camera. The closer he gets to the camera, the bigger he gets. The more steps he backs up, the smaller he becomes.
In walking with the Lord, sometimes He appears larger than life. Other times, we seem unable to find Him. But He doesn’t change, He is the same. He is the one constant (He. 13:8).
So what changes? Our perception changes.
Sometimes I try to do more for God. I want to be more active in his work, but I try to do it apart from him. I think I’m finally starting to see another way.
My proximity to the King is directly proportional to my productivity for his Kingdom.
Who Will Go?
Read Isaiah 6:1-7:
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Even though God ruled over Israel as King (1 Sa. 12:12), the people desired to have a man as king like the other nations (1 Sa. 8:5). They traded the King Eternal for a man who is but dust (Ps. 103:14). It is noteworthy then that in the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord lifted up, remaining on His unshaken throne.
The strongest, most powerful of men will decease, but God still reigns.
The angels never missed a beat of worshiping God as they called out, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Foundations were shaking, smoke was rising, and Isaiah didn’t have to be too bright to figure out that he didn’t deserve to be there. He was a sinner and surrounded by sinners. And now he was in the presence of the Almighty God, the true King (v. 5). And all of a sudden, he was clean, pure. His sins had been forgiven.
Due to Isaiah’s encounter with a forgiving God, he was up to any task that the Lord may have given him. Look back at v.8, what did Isaiah know about his mission when he accepted it? Nothing. He didn’t know where he was going, what he was doing, how long he was going to be there until he had signed up!
He just knew that he had been forgiven and that changed everything.
Isaiah didn’t commit to go until he had been cleansed. While the Lord promised opposition, that didn’t change Isaiah’s resolve to go and to instruct the people concerning the Lord.
Are You Called?
Have you seen the Lord high and lifted up in your life? If you haven’t, it’s your job to draw nearer to Him (Ja. 4:8).
His size doesn’t change, but our perception of Him does alter due to the degree we draw near. Have you been forgiven?
If you have, then you should be so grateful at His mercies that you are willing to do anything for Him. Due to His grace, we should be able to say, “Here am I, send me!” before we even know where He is sending us. Are you willing to be obedient to the Lord’s calling on your life even before you know what it is? In Isaiah’s case, the Lord’s call was for somebody willing, not necessarily a certain individual.
The Lord is now calling to each of us, “Who will go to all the world for Us?” So are you called?
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army once said,
“’Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help…And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”