DRAWING NEAR TO GOD
This week is an opportunity for reflection toward action. What did we see? What did we experience? What is our response? What did God say to us? And what are we going to do about that?
Steps for Drawing Near to God
Isaiah 6:1-13 – In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.
Over the last few weeks, we have learned from Isaiah’s encounter with God. Use this week to meditate again on the passage considering the insights, commands, and call to action for you.
Now is the time for action. We have marveled at the holiness of God, looked at our unworthiness and confessed sin. Forgiveness has been given and now the call to follow must be acted on. To assist you in your processing, use the following questions to determine next steps for you personally, for your role on your team, and for WV as an organization. Commit to an action this week.
Hear God’s Word
- As you listen to God in the silence, is there additional awareness of what your next steps are?
- Isaiah 7:1 marks a new day for Isaiah and by extension for us as well. How will Isaiah 6 be worked into your life walking into the challenges of tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrows?
Speak to Him
- James 4:8 tells us, among other things, that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Talk to Him about this. Does any other Scripture come to mind about moving toward God?
Submit to Him
- As we pray for God to send out workers, share the gospel, or to fill a need, we too often say, “Send someone” and do not always grasp if God is giving us a personal assignment or role in it. What personal assignments do you feel God is placing on you in this next season?
- What is one thing you will do in this week that has spiritual impact on you personally, on your team, and WV as a whole?
- Accountability is critical. Who will you share your insights and next steps with?
We began this month-long pursuit of drawing near to God in the crossroads of disruptive changes at work in our world in light of Covid-19. We’ve experienced the tumult of social unrest in many parts of the world, and especially in the USA, over issues of justice. We’ve also experienced the loss of colleagues in layoff decisions for the next fiscal year and the reverberations of how this may impact our work. This has been a heavy month. And yet, God has met with us through praying, reading, meditating, fasting, Scripture memorization and in sharing with others our journey.
Through this time we wanted to draw near to God to seek His face and to hear His voice; not only individually, but as teams and as a mission as a whole. You may recall that we first did a deep dive into that wonderful vision of God “high and lifted up” with the resulting worship coming close on its heels. We then did a deep dive into confession, for we recognized that we, just like Isaiah, are lost and people with “unclean lips” and that we live among a people of “unclean lips” which led to potent expressions of confession. We then reflected deeply on our availability to be used by God, wherever and whenever. And now this week, we have been realizing the difficulty of the task and yet the privilege of being ambassadors who boldly proclaim the Gospel to those near and far from the it. This has driven us to the conclusion that we have to declare our dependence on the Lord by praying. Daily.
Take time to reflect on these weeks and what God has revealed about Himself and His will for us.
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you… From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. –Psalm 22:22 & 25
Print off a “Drawing Near to God” Notepad set to write down your take aways from each section. Includes marks for cutting into smaller pieces and placing in easy-to-see locations as important reminders. Designs are available in A4 and US Letter sizes. Click your preferred link below to get a file ready for printing.
Father, help me see the world as you see it. Break my heart with the things that break your heart. And when you call me to act, help me not to duck!”
– Steve Hayner
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