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When God Draws Near
By Pastor John

Isaiah 6:1-8
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 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!"

Isaiah was a priest, apparently seeking God, and God drew close.

James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Jeremiah 29:12-13
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

WHEN GOD draws near we see His holiness and His glory.
Isaiah 6:1-4
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

This was seemingly more than a vision, because there is interaction.While going about his priestly duties Isaiah saw God. The Lord pulled back the thin veil between our physical world and the spiritual reality and Isaiah saw the big picture.
Seraphs = only place mentioned in the Bible.

WHEN GOD draws near we grasp the depth of our own SINFULNESS.
Isaiah 6:5
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."

The holiness of God revealed Isaiah's unholiness. He rightly understood that he should die. He expected his destruction to come at any moment. When God is present people are convicted of sin. They don't get their toes stepped on, as we say in church circles. They feel the full weight of condemnation and the fear of God's righteous wrath. They tend to confess their sin very soon after.

At Asbury College in Kentucky, God showed up during a chapel service. One student stood and openly and specifically confessed sin. Pretty soon a line formed toward the front of students confessing and repenting. This revival spread to the rest of the campus, then the community, then the region. For weeks people in that college chapel came forward because they recognized their sinfulness and need of God's grace.

This leads us to the next sign that God's in the building. Not only do we grasp the depth of our own sin, but

WHEN GOD draws near we find FORIVENESS from our transgression.
Isaiah 6:6-7
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."

This is strange language until you understand the imagery. The altar was the place where sacrifice for sin was made. An animal, typically a sheep, would be killed and burned there. The life of the animal was taken as payment for the sin of the person. This system of sacrifice looked forward to the offering of the Son of God for our sins so that we could be permanently forgiven.

In essence, the seraphim takes a coal from the place where sacrifice happens. Isaiah received forgiveness and healing from his sin.

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Your sins were paid for by Jesus Christ. All he asks is that you trust what he did for you.

WHEN GOD draws near we hear his call to MISSION.
Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"

Isaiah is called to be a prophet to his own people. His mission is to be the messenger of God. The calling occurred during worship. The same thing happened in the New Testament:

Acts 13:1-4
1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

When God draws near, and we really worship Him, it can be seen in the fact that
we respond in OBEDIENCE.

Isaiah gave a simple response.

Isaiah 6:8
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

William Temple wrote:
"For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose-and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin."

The author of Romans puts it this way:
Romans 12:1
Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.

Isaiah's Calling
Isaiah 6:9-13
9 He said, "Go and tell this people: "'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, 12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."


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