Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Catch the Vision

I love to visit model homes. Of course, no one lives there. Which explains why they are so clean. A professional decorator has come through and used all of her creative resources to make the home elegant and inviting. The furniture all matches and looks plump and comfortable. There are no crooked pictures, no spots on the rug, no dirty dishes, no sneakers by the door.

It’s called staging. The goal is to enable you to get a vision of where you could be living. They don’t need a fancy salesman. You don’t need anyone to list reasons why you should buy the house. No one needs to tell you about the good school district or the neighborhood playground. The vision of elegant living they have provided is enough to make anyone sign on the dotted line.

When God called Isaiah, He did not sit Isaiah down and make him understand all of the logical reasons he should be a prophet. He didn’t appeal to Isaiah’s heart for his people. He didn’t offer him great reward. What God did to call Isaiah was to give him a vision of His holiness. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on the throne, lofty and exalted. Strange winged creatures called out to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. The whole earth is filled with His glory.” The ground shook, and the temple filled with smoke.

Isaiah was overwhelmed. When in the presence of perfect holiness, suddenly he saw himself for who he truly was. “I am a man of unclean lips!” he cried. “I am ruined!” A winged creature flew to him and touched a hot coal to Isaiah’s lips. “Behold, your iniquity is taken away and your sin forgiven,” he was told.

The Lord finally spoke. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Isaiah’s response was immediate and firm: “Here I am. Send me.”

When Isaiah got a glimpse of God in His total holiness, there was just no other option but to give his life into God’s hands. Do you lack motivation for spiritual things? Start seeking out the parts of the Bible which give you a vision for God’s glory. Watch Him create the world in Genesis. Notice how He righteously deals with an unfaithful people through Exodus and Numbers. Observe His faithfulness to every generation. Note how He never wavers from the plan to bring redemption to all men.

Then go to the cross. Watch God hanging like a common criminal. Understand that love keeps Him there. See Him give up His life for you. Then finally, witness the stone rolling away from the empty tomb. Know He conquered sin and death forever. For you.

Get a vision of the greatness of our God. Motivation will not be a problem any more.

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