God is pursuing willing worshipers

Part 2 of 3 Why Worship Matters

Are you willing? Are you willing to do hard things? Are you willing to admit and acknowledge who God is and who you are? Being a willing worshiper is like knowing—what to do when you are on fire: Stop, Drop and Roll. When Isaiah gets a glimpse of God He not only sees God for who He is, but sees Isaiah for who He is. Isaiah responds to God. Isn’t that true when you see the God of the Bible He wows you?

Those who have seen God are never the same. The children of Israel asked to see the Lord of Moses, but when they saw the Lord they were afraid and ask Moses never to allow them to see God like that again. In Revelation 1:9-18, John saw the awesomeness of Christ and fell as a dead man. People who see God are left with an awesome and unforgettable impression. A willing worship will:

STOP and take a long look at who you are and who God is [Isaiah 6:5]

Isaiah is deeply impacted by God as he watches this unfold before him. He feels unworthy to be in the presence of the GOD who IS. He says, “Woe is me.” In other words he is saying, “I’m dead, I’m done for, I am silenced.” It is as if you got to peak under the curtain of the holy of holiest and you were found out. I’m caught. I’ve offended the King. I’m ashamed. Now I’m toast.

In a sense Isaiah asks, “How can I speak on behalf of God? I am unclean and I live with people who are unclean.” Don’t ever think that you are some holy Joe or Jane! Sure compared to the person in the pew next to you maybe, but not compared to God. May God forgive us our pride and arrogance, and give us a holy sense of who we are and who He is.

DROP to your knees and receive God’s forgiveness [vs.6-7]

The natural response to gazing upon the greatness of God is to drop to our knees for forgiveness. There is something interesting at work here. In Isaiah’s day their was a pagan practice called the “washing of the mouth” ritual that took an inanimate idol and made it inhabited by a god. The image would be purified and cleansed to be ready for a god to dwell in it. The cleansing ceremony Isaiah experiences is quite similar, but irony as the True God chooses Isaiah to cleanse and become His spokesmen to the pagan idolaters.

Have you felt the forgiveness of God? Guilt should not handicap you; rather motivate you not to go there anymore and rest in God’s forgiveness. I am so glad the passage does not end in verse 5. In God’s holiness we see our sinfulness. Yet God calls and commissions us to holiness too [1 Peter 1:14-19]. From guilt to grace, Isaiah is cleansed from His sinfulness and experiences God’s forgiveness. God’s holiness is unattainable, but His forgiveness is not. In the midst of chaos there is always Cosmos. God is a Restorer. God’s pursues forgiveness in Isaiah and you too. He pursues you through the work of Christ on the cross that shed His blood as your substitute so that you might be forgiven and free.

ROLL up your sleeves and get to work [v.8]

Forgiveness is never passive, it is active. After the cleansing God calls Isaiah to a difficult task: see to it that My people know I am forgiving too. After forgiveness I am called to share the good news and warning to others. Can you hear God call you to serve Him? Will you respond? Commissioning follows cleansing. In God’s economy worship = serving. Worship = life.

Worship matters because GOD IS and His character demand my worship. GOD IS PURSUING WILLING WORSHIPERS and my presence is expected.

you are a worshiper

What is worship? What is a worshiper? Worship is about God, to God and for God. Worship is about what you love. You love something or someone. What you love you give time, talents and treasures to without thinking. Worship comes natural to us because that is how God wired us. We are wired to worship.

The Bible is chalked full of men and women who followed God with an unquenchable thirst. Followers of Christ are worshipers. Followership is another word for worship. One such follower is Habakkuk. Even in bleak circumstances battered by extreme doubts he praises God [3:17-18]. Then there is the Paul who is imprisoned for his faith [Acts 16], but still finds a way to share the good news.

Over a hundred years ago there was a songwriter by the name of Fanny Crosby. As a baby she experience a traumatic life-altering situation. This is how she describes it,

“When I was six weeks old I was taken sick and my eyes grew very weak and those who had charge of me poulticed my eyes. Their lack of knowledge and skill destroyed my sight forever. As I grew older they told me I should never see the faces of my friends, the flowers of the field, the blue of the skies, or the golden beauty of the stars…Soon I learned what other children possessed, but I made up my mind to store away a little jewel in my heart which I called content.”[1]

When she was only 8 years old she penned this song:

O what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see,

I am resolved that in this world contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy, that other people don’t.

To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot, and I wont.[2]

I wonder what my response would be like if I were in the same situation as these saints who have gone before? Would I have complained or become calloused? Or would I be content, compassionate and worshiping God? Though blind, Fanny could not wait to see Jesus’ face. She has an eye for worship. She didn’t see an end in blindness, but viewed endless opportunities to praise God.

Once you get a glimpse of God you are never the same, even in a world that does not acknowledge His presence or purposes [Isaiah 6:1-13; 29:13]. What we learn from Isaiah in the divine throne room is that God is full of wonder, awe and mystery. He is Qadesh [Holy]. His name is Holy One. There is nothing or anyone like Him ever. He is set apart, therefore, He is worthy of our fear, reverence and life. Once you have seen God you become a worshipful follower. On this side of heaven we have only get to see a drop of His glory in the ocean of His splendor.

Here is both a comforting and convicting fact of the Bible: You become like what you worship. What you follow you worship. Who you follow is who you worship. You will become like the object of your worship either for your ruin or restoration.[3] You will either be blind, deaf and lifeless like idols or full of life like God. Worship must be about God, to God and for God. Worship is about what you love. You love something or someone. What you love you give time, talents and treasures to without thinking. Worship comes natural to us because that is how God wired us. We are wired to worship.

[1] Fanny Crosby, quoted in S. Trevena Jackson, This is my story, This is my Song, Emerald House, n.p.

[2] Ibid.

[3] G.K Beale, We become what we Worship, IVP, 2008.