We don’t know how really desperate is our need to see Jesus. Anne Graham Lotz makes the point that even Isaiah, the prophet of God; the intercessor (God’s sentry on the wall) did not fully understand the depths of sin and its toll even on his own life. He had a head knowledge of sin and its solution. But this knowledge needed to make the journey 18 inches from his head to his heart.
Isaiah had just pronounced five chapters of “Woe” on Judah and Israel. BUT when Isaiah himself had a VISION of God he cried out, “WOE UNTO ME!”
Isaiah 6:1-4 says, “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. 2) Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having two wings to cover their faces, two wings to covered their feet, and with two wings they flew.
3) They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” AND 4) Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.” (NLT)
When Isaiah saw God he said, “It’s all over for me! I am doomed. I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips and I live with a filthy lipped people (6:5).” (NLT)
Isaiah thought his heart was right. But when God showed up, Isaiah realized how dirty even he was before a holy God and even he had to repent. When he did, God cleansed Isaiah’s filth and called him to service (6:7-12).
Like Isaiah, we don’t know how desperate is the condition of even our own heart. But when we get a vision of God, everything changes. Before God, none of us is as good as we think.
We seek revival, but often it is just a plea for God to help us to get back to where we once were…you know, when things were better (before 9/11; no terrorism. No horrible hurricanes or treacherous wild fires. No deadly COVID-19. No economic turmoil. No social and cultural upheaval – darkness, fear and despair). Can’t we just go back to when life was good?
But with God it is never about the way back; the way we were. It’s always about the way forward, what we need to become – humble, repentant and surrendered. Then the burning coal from the altar can touch and cleanse us. The Seraphim says, “See, this coal has touched your lips Roger. Your guilt is removed. Your sins are forgiven.” Oh, what cleansing I need.
As intercessors we are all in the same need. As we pray for God’s intervention, for revival and awakening, consider these questions about the people of God…about ourselves, before a holy, yet merciful God.
- Do we have a truly deep and abiding hunger for God’s word?
- Do we neglect private prayer or the corporate gathering to pray?
- Are we satisfied with our level of spiritual health and vitality?
- Are we 100% available to the Holy Spirit for mission?
- Are we witnessing for Christ or do we fear what men think?
Oh Lord, how we need an expanded vision of who you are and a cleansing from within.
Lotz, Anne Graham, Expecting To See Jesus (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2011) 68-84.