In the TV series Mission Impossible, Jim Phelps received his
secret mission assignments from a mysterious voice on a tape
recorder. Listening carefully, Phelps would hear the voice say, “Your
mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it . . .”
Wouldn’t it be great if God sent out tapes like that? Yet God has
His own process for revealing our mission. He has a purpose for your
life for you to discover and fulfill. He doesn’t ask for your ideas
or plans; He asks you to seek Him! How can you discover your mission
in the heart of God?
Get to know God personally. (vv. 1-5)
Do you have a spiritual hero? I believe Isaiah carried a deep
respect for Uzziah, who reigned 52 years as a godly king. When Uzziah
died, Isaiah’s hero was gone. Great uncertainty must have filled his
heart, wondering what would happen to the nation with the passing of
this great man of God.
Perhaps for the first time in his life he was placed in a position
of seeking to hear from God on his own – with no help from a
spiritual leader. When we lose our spiritual bearings, we should
follow Isaiah’s example: he goes where God is. He seeks Him in the
temple. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can seek God in prayer
anywhere. In James 4:8 we have this promise: Draw near to God and He
will draw near to you.
When Isaiah encountered God, what did He discover? First, he
experienced God’s holiness. Isaiah writes that he saw the Lord
sitting on a throne. He saw God in human form! How is this possible?
Years later, the apostle John explains that Isaiah actually saw Jesus
Christ on that day in the temple – a pre-incarnate appearance of the
Savior (John 12:41).
Isaiah felt the building shake as the angels proclaimed that God
is holy. Isaiah was experiencing the presence of a pure, unstained,
uncreated, perfectly good Being: a holy God!
Isaiah immediately became conscious of his own sinfulness. As we
draw near to a holy God, we can expect to become increasingly
conscious of sin in our own life. In much the way that bringing the
lights up in a dimly lit room exposes details we had missed in the
darkness, so exposure to the holiness of God will cause us to become
painfully aware of our own sin.
As you seek God’s face for specific direction in your life, do not
be discouraged when the feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy
erupt. Expect this to happen as you approach a holy God.
Be honest with God totally. (vv. 5-8)
Isaiah cries out, “Woe is me” as he begins to confess his sin in
detail. He is broken over his sin. He does not try to hide it or
dress it up. He exposes his sin before God. If I want to hear the
heart of God, it is vital that I confess every sin that comes to mind.
In some cases, repentance may mean going to someone and asking his
forgiveness for an offense. It may mean returning or paying for
something stolen years ago. When John the Baptist preached the
Jesus-endorsed message of repentance, the first question new converts
often asked was “What shall we do?” (Luke 3:10, 12, 14). John called
these actions the “fruit” of authentic repentance (John 3:8).
Confession leads to cleansing. In the moment of repentance, an
angel grabs a coal from the altar (a place where things died for sin)
and touches Isaiah’s lips. His sin is purged. He is forgiven. He is
Obey God carefully. (v. 8)
The cleansing cleared the way for communication. Isaiah suddenly
begins to hear the voice of God saying, “Whom shall I send, and who
will go for us?” I believe God had been speaking all along, but
Isaiah was out of touch and failed to hear the heart of God.
God’s heart to speak to a generation that is disoriented and
devastated by sin is consistent and does not fluctuate. As Isaiah
began to align his life with the heart of God – dealing thoroughly
with sin and self-centeredness in his own heart-then he began to hear
Isaiah’s heart cry – “Here I am, send me” – was the beginning of a
lifetime of responsiveness to God’s heart. No longer were two wills
vying for control of Isaiah’s life. Now there was only one: Isaiah
set his heart to obey God carefully for the remainder of his life.
In Mission Impossible, Jim Phelps had to quickly review the
details of the mission, before the tape self-destructed at the end of
the message. Phelps and his team had to come up with a plan. They
were always on their own.
While God does not send out tapes that self-destruct, I like his
method of making mission assignments much better. Unlike Jim Phelps,
I don’t have to come up with a plan-God already has one. I’m not on
my own either – God goes before His people to accomplish everything
He asks them to do. This is Mission Possible!
by: Don Pucik,
Associate Executive Director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention
in Little Rock, AR