By Jon Walker
One of the most effective tools the enemy will use to keep you from serving God is convincing you that you’ve either messed up too much to serve God, or that you must clean up your life before you can get God’s attention. When these thoughts pop into your head, sniff the air for the scent of sulfur, because they are lies straight from the fires of hell!
God’s intention when He convicts us of our sins is not to condemn us; rather His breath of life disperses the “fog of war”—that satanic smoke the father of lies uses to keep us on the run from God.
If you follow the sequence of Isaiah 6 (see below), you’ll see how God initiates the process that brings you into His holy presence and purifies you to remain there. Your new guilt-free, sin-atoned status will compel you and prepare you for the unique mission God sets before you.
Isaiah reports that God’s fire is a cleansing fire that burns your guilt away and purifies you from sin, sealing within you the work of Jesus Christ. The prophet also suggests God’s ultimate purpose for cleansing us is to prepare us for mission: “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!’” (Isaiah 6:8).
Prior to God taking the initiative to cleanse Isaiah, the prophet felt overwhelmed and unprepared for any mission on God’s behalf. After the cleansing, Isaiah is energized with a desire to serve God.
'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips . . . and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.' Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal . . . which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.' 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!'
—Isaiah 6:5-8 (NIV)
Adapted from Growing with Purpose: Connecting with God Every Day, by Jon Walker