God’s Man Must Start With Cleaning His Own Spiritual House

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.   Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”[1]   God’s men have gotten careless and forgetful with God’s instructions and James hits the nail on the head with the verse above.  How can we possibly listen to Gods Word and then not do what it says?  As I prepared to write this article I was reminded of Isaiah and his experience regarding a world that closely reflected what we see in our world today.  Isaiah was called to be a Prophet, God’s spokesperson, to a world of people that had strayed far from God’s Word and instruction.  But before Isaiah could carry out the assignment God had for him, he had to first get his own life in order.  He had to do some house cleaning in his own spiritual house before he could tell others how to live a Godly life.

 Scripture tells us that Isaiah was mourning the loss of his dear friend King Uzziah and he went to the temple.  I believe it is reasonable to think that Isaiah was feeling down and possibly even a little depressed over the loss of his friend.  He was likely dressed in his very best attire and had on his finest possessions.  Little did he know what he was about to face when he entered the temple.  Isaiah tells us “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’  At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”[2]  WOW, Almighty God revealed Himself to Isaiah face-to-face!  The statement “His robe filled the temple” is a metaphor demonstrating there is no place we can go in this world and escape His presence.  The seraphs calling to each other saying “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory, demonstrates the awesome and far reaching holiness of Jehovah God!  It’s hard to even imagine what Isaiah was experiencing and what went through his mind as the doorpost and thresholds of the temple shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

 At this point Isaiah is brought to a stark reality of his situation!  He says “Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”[3]  Isaiah had become an expert at pointing the finger of blame at those around him but failed to examine himself to see if he were living up to the standards he was so quick to judge others by.  Isaiah had to confess “Woe to me” because the holiness of God has brought in to clear view Isaiah’s own sin that has distanced him from God while he was judging the sins of others.  He states “I am a man of unclean lips.”  Isaiah realizes that in order for him to be pleasing to God and to be God’s spokesperson he must repent of his own sin and clean his own spiritual house first.

 Isaiah tells us “Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.  With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”  I can’t begin to imagine the physical anguish a hot coal placed on my lips would feel like!  Yet Isaiah is told that his guilt is taken away and sin atoned for.  While Jesus suffered the physical, emotional and spiritual pain to provide atonement for our sins, God’s men must realize that there are times when confessing and dealing with sin can be a painful process regardless of whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual pain.  It is through this process that we are being prepared to serve.  We must first get our own spiritual house in order before we can truly be God’s spokesperson.

 At this point God asks a very important question.  Isaiah says “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”[4]  Make no bones about it, God knew the answer to the question before he asked it; He asked because it was important for Isaiah to hear it.  With this life changing experience Isaiah had just gone through he was prepared to reply “Here am I. Send me!”  [5] Isaiah Chapter 6 is referred to as Isaiah’s commissioning.  This life changing experience led to a lifetime of modeling a lifestyle that is desired by our Heavenly Father.  It all starts with looking at ourselves and doing an inventory and, where needed, a little housecleaning.  Isaiah started with confession of his own sin and God took care of the rest.

 Contemporary Christian Artist TobyMac has written powerful lyrics concerning forgiveness.  The song on his “Eye On It” album says:

 

“Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
And we’ve all stepped across that line
But nothing’s sweeter than the day we find
We find..

It’s hanging over him like the clouds of Seattle
And rainin’ on his swag, fallin’ deeper in the saddle
It’s written on his face, he don’t have to speak a sound
Somebody call the 5-O, we gotta man down

Now you can go and play it like you’re all rock ‘n’ roll
But guilt does a job on each and every man’s soul
And when your head hits the pillow at the nightfall
You can bet your life that it’s gonna be a fight ya’ll

‘Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
And we’ve all stepped across that line
But nothing’s sweeter than the day we find
Forgiveness, forgiveness
And we all stumble and we fall
Bridges burn in the heat of it all
But nothing’s sweeter than the day
Sweeter than the day we call

Out for forgiveness
We all need, we all need
We all need forgiveness
We all need, we all need

(Lecrae:)
My momma told me what I would be in for
If I kept all this anger inside of me pent up
My heart been broken, my wounds been open
And I don’t know if I can hear “I’m sorry” being spoken
But those forgiven much should be quicker to give it
And God forgave me for it all, Jesus bled forgiveness
So when the stones fly and they aimed at you
Just say “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do”

Now you can go and play it like you’re all rock ‘n’ roll
But guilt does a job on each and every man’s soul
And when your head hits the pillow at the nightfall
You can bet your life that it’s gonna be a fight ya’ll

‘Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
And we’ve all stepped across that line
But nothing’s sweeter than the day we find
Forgiveness, forgiveness
And we all stumble and we fall
Bridges burn in the heat of it all
But nothing’s sweeter than the day
Sweeter than the day we call

Out for forgiveness
You know we need that that that
You know we need that that that
You know we need that that

Hey ya’ll let’s talk to ‘em

No matter how lost you are
You’re not that far, you’re not too far (from forgiveness)
No matter how hurt you are
You’re not that far, you’re not too far (from forgiveness)
And no matter how wrong you are
You’re not that far, you’re not too far (from forgiveness)
No matter who you are
You’re not that far, you’re not too far
From Forgiveness
Ask for forgiveness

‘Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
And we’ve all stepped across that line
But nothing’s sweeter than the day we find
Forgiveness, forgiveness
And we all stumble and we fall
Bridges burn in the heat of it all
But nothing’s sweeter than the day
Sweeter than the day we call

Out for forgiveness
We all need, we all need
We all need forgiveness
We all need, we all need

No matter how lost you are
We all need forgiveness
No matter how hurt you are
We all need forgiveness
And no matter how wrong you are
You’re not that far, you’re not too far (from forgiveness)
No matter who you are
You’re not that far, you’re not too far

We all need forgiveness forgiveness
We all need forgiveness forgiveness
We all need forgiveness forgiveness

 

God’s men need to be all about forgiveness and in order to fully appreciate God’s forgiveness we have to start the process with our own spiritual house.  When I look at myself, I cannot find words adequate to describe how thankful I am for God’s mercy and forgiveness!  Isaiah’s experience led to a lifestyle change that remained with him throughout the rest of his life.  So what about you, is it time for some spiritual house cleaning so that you can be the servant God has called you to be?


[1] James 1:22-24.  All scripture used in this article is taken from the NIV 1984 translation of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Isaiah 6:1-4

[3] Isaiah 6:5

[4] Isaiah 6:8a

[5] Isaiah 6:8b

 

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