Isaiah 6:1-8 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Is there something you've done that keeps you out of God's presence?
Isaiah says he saw the Lord high and lifted up which tells us two things: He was in the presence of God and he saw God’s dominion. And being in the presence of God in all of His glory showed Isaiah how unclean or sinful he really was. Isaiah says in v. 5 “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” He’s like I’m unclean, my lips are filthy. He started thinking of everything he’d done and began to deem himself unworthy to be in God’s presence. Lord, I’ve said ugly things about my brother or sister in Christ. I’ve cursed. I’ve lied. I’ve cheated, and my crew does the same thing - I live among the same kind of people. But yet you’ve still allowed me to be here.
And this is my favorite part, v. 6-7 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
No matter what you’ve done, your guilt has been removed. Believing Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead removes your sin. You have a clean slate. So don’t allow what you’ve done, any guilt or shame to keep you from making yourself available. Psalm 103:12 reminds us that, “He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.” That’s far. Where does the east and west even begin and end? We’ll never know and just how awesome is that? God is not holding on to it, so neither should you.
Think about King David who committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover it up when she became pregnant by bringing her husband back from battle to sleep with her to make it seem as if the baby was her husband's. Then he set him up to be killed! That’s terrible, right? But yet, God still used David in a mighty way, in fact, Jesus was born in the lineage of David. The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart.
Or consider Saul, who persecuted Christians and the church. I don’t know if there’s anything you could have done that’s worse than that because to me, that would seem like the ultimate reason for God to disown Him forever, but after Saul’s encounter in God’s presence, he made himself available. See Acts 9:1-18.
We know Saul’s story. God even changed his name to Paul and he went on to do great things for the kingdom of God, preaching and winning souls for Christ. So no matter what you’ve done, don’t allow it to hinder you from entering the presence of God. Oftentimes when we have sinned, we choose that time to step away from God, when we should actually be drawing closer to him so He may cleanse us and renew our mind and spirit. So today, I encourage you to take the first step in making yourself available by entering the garden alone to pray.