Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Fit for Service

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

“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.”
Isaiah 6:5, NIV

We probably all long for a closer encounter with God, to be able to see Him as He really is. However, for some people in the Bible, their response on seeing the Lord was to fall on their faces, overwhelmed by their own impurity alongside His holiness. In today’s verse we read of Isaiah’s response when he had seen the Lord on His throne, in all His splendour and majesty: “Woe is me! I am ruined!”

The particular area of uncleanness which concerned Isaiah in that moment was his lips, and those of the people among whom he lived. And this was the precise area that God was wanting to use. He was to be the mouthpiece of the Lord for his generation, prophesying to Israel and to the nations around. For this calling he needed to be a clean vessel, so the seraph took a live coal from the altar and touched his lips with it, saying, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7).

For us, living as we do in the benefit of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our atonement and cleansing comes, not from a hot coal from the altar, but from His blood shed for us. There is the general cleansing from sin that we receive when we first believe, and then the ongoing washing we can experience as and when we need it. In particular, I believe that God wants to purify any gifting we have received from Him, so that it can be sanctified for His use. For instance, people with musical gifts who want to be involved in worship may need to ask the Lord to cleanse and sanctify those gifts from any tainting from the world, before they join a worship team. Those with a teaching gift may want to ask God to sanctify that gift as they offer it for His holy use, and so on.

For Isaiah, who was set apart to be a prophet for the Lord, it was his lips that needed touching and cleansing. This was preparation for him, so that when the Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”, he was able to respond: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

What about us? Is there a particular area of service or ministry that God is calling you into? If so, does there need to be a cleansing and sanctifying of your particular gifting to purify it for the King’s service?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the calling that You have on my life, and the gifting to fulfil that call. I want to respond to Your call, like Isaiah, and say: “Here I am, send me!” But as You send me, I ask that You would cleanse me from any defilement that would hamper that call, especially from any past worldly or wrong use of my gifting. I want to be a pure and holy vessel for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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