Here is something I’d like to give you as a “add on” to our lesson.
In the first lesson of the study, we did so much reading in the Old Testament where we saw those three words, “Here I am” being prayed to God. We were able to see the consistency of that prayer being cried out from someone fully surrendered to the Lord.
Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Samuel all answered the Lord God with those three words and they all used that one Hebrew word, Hineni, to express their total readiness to give of themselves fully to the call God was placing on their life.
We also looked at when a name is said twice, in Hebrew, that it is an expression of incredible intimacy. When God called Abraham, Abraham, Moses, Moses, Jacob, Jacob, Samuel Samuel…in all situations, the double name was actually communicating from God a deep level of intimacy that was shared between Him and them. The day I discovered the expression of intimacy that is tucked inside of God saying a double name, it just helped me to realize that as we walk with God in love and obedience, our relationship with Him only grows stronger, deeper, closer, more intimate and He says our name two times. Just whisper your name two times…and let that warm your heart with His unconditional love for you.
But on this mid-week mark, I want to ask you to look at one other man in Scripture that said, “Here I am” in did they ever mean it!
Read Isaiah 6:1-10 in your Bible, or read it below. Read the verses out loud as many times as it may take until the words and the thoughts become clear to you.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphim[a] were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.
3 And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies;
his glory fills the whole earth.
4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said:
Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Armies.
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs.
7 He touched my mouth with it and said:
Now that this has touched your lips,
your iniquity is removed
and your sin is atoned for.
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking:
Who should I send?
Who will go for us?
Here I am. Send me.
9 And he replied:
Go! Say to these people:
Keep listening, but do not understand;
keep looking, but do not perceive.
10 Make the minds of these people dull;
deafen their ears and blind their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their minds,
turn back, and be healed.
When Isaiah said, “Here I am” write in the blank what he was saying. (look back at your notes and recall the definition of the word “Hineni” – pronounced hee-nay-nee
Write out the first three lines of verse 5:
When Isaiah said those words, he was confessing his sin before a holy God but more than that, he was meaning it! He meant every word! Nothing had to be thought through, nothing was first assessed to see if it really lined up with what he was thinking or feeling. No! When he was in the presence of God, he MEANT IT! Every word that came out of his mouth that we now have in our Bibles as “verse 5 in chapter 6 of Isaiah” was not a verse for Isaiah….it was his heart’s cry!!
He saw his sin and named it. Owned it. Hated it. Confessed it. And fell to his face because of it. His sin was what took him to the floor! Isaiah didn’t beat around the bush – he literally confessed emotionally. We know he was emotional because of the word ‘Woe.’
When the word woe is used, it is quite possibly signifying impending doom, condemnation and/or the wrath of God. In Hebrew, woe is the word אוֹי which means, an impassioned expression of grief and despair. It’s a word that carries a great deal of emotion.
Isaiah acknowledged that his lips were not clean, but he didn’t simply confess a sin he committed. His sin lifestyle (which that is what he was admitting to when he said, “I am a man of….” he was saying, I’ve been doing this…I’ve been behaving this way, and I live among a group of people who also live this way. He was woefully admitting that he had used his mouth for tainted and blasphemous speech. He knew and was repenting of saying things that were absolutely not true and polluted with impure motives.
Isaiah’s beholding the glory and purity of God in all His holy splendor caused him to fall to his face and to see himself and his sin. When he said, “Woe is me for I am ruined” at that moment he was seeing himself – a man in the presence of God who was filthy in habitual sin. When he said, “because I am a man of unclean lips,” he was confessing his sin against God.
When I came home that day and plopped on my sofa, as I began to meet with God for the next several consecutive days, I did just as Isaiah. I confessed and cried out to God, acknowledging myself and every sin I could possibly confess. I remember asking the Lord, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psalm 139:24.
Some of what I had confessed were places of hurt that caused me to still hold on to the pain. I truly thought I had forgiven, but I realized that there was still some hurt that I was holding on to so I confessed woefully my sin of withheld forgiveness. I wanted to “fix things” so I had to confess a lack of submission and patience. I struggled with my own self-worth, so I confessed my disbelief to all HE has said about me, and instead allowed the lies of Satan to wear me down and straight jack me, making me motionless. I confessed fear – I confessed debilitating doubt. He helped me to see that doubting His Word and doubting the work of the Word in my life was such a sin against Him.
He met me there. He touched my life with the hot coal of His mercy and grace and I’m telling you, THAT is when a deeper level of intimacy started between me and God.
If God were to come to you with a hot purifying coal, where in you would He touch? What sin, what thought pattern, what area of your life? When you come into the presence of your holy Lord, what surfaces in your thoughts and emotions? Is there a sin you’ve been trying to hide? A secret sin? Is there something that’s happened and it’s only made you question God? Maybe even feel a little distant?
He loves you so much and He already knows. He longs for you to trust Him in your confession because He has overwhelming grace and mercy towards you. He is not a harsh Father; everything He does and longs to do concerning you is from His heart of compassion. Before you read any further, will you spend time in confession? Invite the Holy Spirit to put everything before you that needs to be burned up by a hot coal. Ask God to reveal any areas of dishonesty, or deception in your life. Then ask Him to give you the grace to live a life of integrity. Write your thoughts after having this prayer time with Him in the space provided. When you write what you’re thinking, it helps to solidify and even trace His response to your honesty.
A purging had to take place in my soul and in my heart, and I never felt Him speak harshly or point a finger of shame toward me.
God is Love and Love does not keep records of wrong, but in Love He opens our eyes to see what is in ourselves that is not birthed from His holiness, and is contrary to His righteousness. We call that sin.
He was so very kind in His correction and rebuke, while being with me as my Fatherly King. And it was after that time of confession and prayer, that He said to me in His Word:
“Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; but I have prayed [especially] for you [Lisa], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith].” Luke 22:31-32.
As soon as I read those verses, I knew a season of sifting was on its way in my life. I had no idea what all that would involve, other than trusting Him and seeking Him day after day. It was also critical that I walk by “worship-filled faith.” He inhabits the praise of His people, and I knew to praise my way on through this path He was allowing me to walk on, but He assured me of two things: That He had prayed for me, and I would turn back to strengthen others.
When the Lord tells you that He has prayed for you, that’s assurance. That’s “stand up tall, throw your shoulders back, hold up your head, and then suit up in confidence” assurance. Because what God prays, is! Not, will be but, is.
And when He says that you will turn back to strengthen others, find rest in that. A strengthening rest because what He says you will one day do, well, to the Lord, it’s already a done deal.
Back to Isaiah – When he said, “Here I am” what else did he say: ____________
Was he answering a calling on his life? YES or NO
And that calling was not going to be easy, but it was important to the kingdom of God.
When the Lord positions you before Him so that you woefully say, “Here I am, send me” you are in position of total surrender. Nothing, nobody, not a single something will stand in the way of you being completely moldable in your Master Potter’s Hands.
There’s a song I’ve sung all my life – literally, ever since I was a little girl and I still sing it today when circumstances call for it and the words are:
Brick on brick, stone on stone, little by little I grow,
Into the kind of vessel that eventually will show.
When the oven heat is turned up high, I will sweat and strain and sometimes cry,
But when broken I will suffer pain, but He who breaks always restores again.
Yes, He restores and I won’t be the same.
For through the breaking through the melting, through the pain,
I will be changed, I will be changed, and will more useful be to my dear Lord who lives in me.
That song always reminds me that there is purpose in our pain. And that through it all, we are changed. We are changed into even greater vessels of service to our dear Lord.
But we need to look at one more thing – the whole “sifting as wheat” imagery. THAT is spiritual warfare. THAT is spiritual attack that will be customized by the enemy to take you down. To hit you where it hurts the most and the goal is to prevent your obedience.
There is no one better to tell you how this form of spiritual warfare ALWAYS precedes spiritual assignments on our life than Dr. Tony Evans. Listen to him to explain the reality of this sifting that is truly nothing other than spiritual attack. It is referred to in Scripture as “the evil day” – the day when our pain and suffering is due to being attacked in the spiritual realm.
Listen to Dr. Tony Evans
Friend, I will have one more lesson for you on someone who said, “Here I am” and exactly why he said it. It is the most important “Here I am” in all the Bible and I’ll share that with you this weekend!
Here is this lesson in PDF — Greater Intimacy with God – Lesson 1 contd. PDF
Here is this lesson in WORD — Greater Intimacy with God – Lesson 1 contd. WORD
Have a blessed week, friend, and I love you dearly!,