By Ryan Shaw
Ryan is the international lead facilitator for Global Mission Mobilization Initiative (GMMI) and currently lives among the unreached.
Our sinful nature tempts us to be satisfied to live with a low and wrong vision of God. Too often we have brought God down to our level instead of rising to His level. We have mistakenly thought He is like us because we’ve often become so familiar with God. The God of today’s Christianity is generally depicted as weak. He is there when we need Him but ignored when we don’t. This is not the God of the Bible nor the One we truly follow. It is becoming common to find believers who seem to be worshipping a God of their own creation. He desires we see Him as He is and not merely according to our opinions or low imaginations. Like Isaiah, we need a shake-up that renews our vision with a right outlook.
An encounter with the high vision of God demonstrates the concern of God in our lives and in the world. It caused Isaiah to be motivated in all he did with a right view of God toward himself and also toward others that He was called to minister to. It prepares us for kingdom work that is marked by His presence and power and not by human effort. We can so often seek to do the work of ministry in our own strength but Isaiah’s revelation of the glory of God enabled him to lay down his own strength and rely on God’s demonstrated strength alone.
Isaiah was ruined by this vision! He was never the same again. It was this correct vision of the Most High God that sustained Isaiah throughout a lifetime of ministry as a prophet of God. His encounter with the living God gave him endurance and perseverance in even the most difficult and adverse circumstances. It became a memorial stone for Isaiah; a benchmark in his life to look back on when he was tempted to give up.
The second phase of Isaiah’s experience was the unveiling of God’s holiness and the power of sin to separate from God. What the prophet experienced was the terror of his situation if God dealt with him in pure justice. We are meant to have this same truth pressed regularly upon our hearts in order to remind us of the greatness of God in redeeming us through the work of Christ on the cross. The recognition of our filth before Almighty God causes a greater heart of gratitude and worship to flow. We know we are utterly undeserving of His mercy and He has chosen, through incredible love, to pour it out anyway.