Over the next few weeks, our Igniting Hope blog is going to focus on vision. Our hope is that God will use it to reignite your personal vision for your life and ministry and foster some good contemplation and reflection with the Lord.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
–Isaiah 6:8 NASB
I must admit that even though I had heard this particular verse a number of times and even though I was very influenced by Isaiah’s answer to “GO!”, I really had no idea what the context of Isaiah’s response was about. Isaiah had a vision, heard a call, and answered affirmatively. That was the gist of my understanding.
Over the years, I would read more of Isaiah, but my reading through the book had this rhythm: I don’t understand, I don’t understand, I don’t understand, POW—that’s the most powerful passage of Scripture I’ve ever read! And then again: I don’t understand, I don’t understand, I don’t understand, POW—that’s the most powerful passage of Scripture I’ve ever read! Suffice it to say, I really didn’t understand the message of Isaiah.
This changed a few years back when our small group studied Isaiah together. Now, we’re just an average small group, but we had a secret weapon—one of our number had graduated from Gordon Conwell Seminary. He loved to study and teach Scripture in a way that helps you to see biblical narrative in context. And while it may be an oversimplification of Isaiah, I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that whatever circumstances Isaiah is writing about in each chapter, the context is God’s holiness. Whatever judgment is being pronounced on Israel, on other nations, or on individuals, the judgment is declared because of God’s holiness. Whatever hope arises out of the ashes of judgment is also forged from God’s holiness. So, it stands to reason, also, that Isaiah’s vision and subsequent submission to that vision is grounded in God’s holiness.
Taking that thought and making it personal, I like the idea that any vision we have for ourselves, our ministry, or even other people, needs to be grounded in God’s holiness. For even when we come to the place of realizing, like Isaiah, that, “I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips,” God’s holiness is not a “scorched earth policy.” His holiness is not only a consuming fire, it is the righteousness that redeems and transforms the unclean and makes them children.
So, as His child, do you have a vision for yourself, your ministry, and others around you that is grounded in God’s holiness? What does that look like for you?
ACTION: How do you think about vision in your life? Does it pertain to thoughts of your design? God’s plan? Desires? What is the underlying foundation of it?