How’s Your Outlook for Tomorrow?

Sermon PastorBryon September 8, 2019


Introduction

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? For me it was a pilot. When I was a young boy I had experienced flying in a small aircraft where the pilot allowed me to take controls of the plane for a while. That desire stayed with me for some time but it was superseded by another event that consumed me. In fact I was so consumed that I wasn’t able to completely commit myself to another career path. When I was 12 years old I was a boarding student at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. Each week we had a mid week chapel service we were required to attend. During this one particular service I was sitting in the congregation with other students all around me when I heard someone speak my name. I started to inconspicuously look around to see who was talking to me but I couldn’t tell who it was. Again, someone spoke my name and again I looked around. It puzzled me because I couldn’t make out the person’s voice and I didn’t feel like someone was messing with me. Then again someone spoke my name but this time it was as if they were inside my head and it was followed up by saying “you will be my missionary but you won’t ever leave the country.” Those words rung in my head several times and I knew with every ounce of my being that God was speaking to me. God put a vision in my head for my future and it was my motivating force for the rest of my life, even today. Now sometimes it motivated me to run but none the less, it has always been a factor in my life.

There is a difference between having an idea for your life and having a vision for your life. Ideas are merely thoughts that can come and go, a vision drives you in the direction of goal. What is your vision for the future? Do you have one or are you just making it from day to day? Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

As I was preparing this sermon I thought about this church and the vision we have for this ministry. “To grow a strong, united church family, to help the hurting and hopeless, to teach people about Jesus and help them grow in their faith and to impact our community for Christ by reaching out in love.” What are we doing to live into that and what are you individually doing to live into it?

Today we are going to take a look at a Prophet who got a vision from the Lord and it influenced not only him but an entire nation, in fact it still influences people today. We’ll discuss how God helps us see our own vision and meet that vision.

Scripture Isaiah 6:1-8

 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am [a]undone!
Because 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 live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin [b]purged.”

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

About Isaiah

The book of Isaiah is the most frequently quoted Hebrew text in the New Testament, especially in association with the birth, life, and death of Jesus. The book gets its name from the author, Isaiah who was a Hebrew prophet who lived 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. We know who his father was, that he was married and had two sons but beyond that we don’t know much of his personal life.

Scripture Examined

This passage begins by teaching us that Isaiah’s prophecy and vision came in the same year that King Uzziah died. It’s important to understand out this king and how it impacts the culture and future of these people. It helps to define relevance and put things into perspective. This was a king who had served for 52 years.

During the period of Uzziah’s reign, the nation prospered, and desert areas were reclaimed by water conservation. Jerusalem’s walls were reconstructed, towers were added, and engines of war were mounted at strategic points. A large army was also maintained. The nation’s prosperity under Uzziah was considered to have been a result of the king’s faithfulness to God.

Can you imagine the stability this King brought to his nation? However, that time was now past and several other nations threatened to seize this nation. It was at the beginning of this dark time just as chaos was about to break out that Isaiah receives this vision.

(Verse 1) We also learn in this verse that his vision takes place in the temple since it says, “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.”

(Verse 2 – 3) describe others in the vision and what they were doing. He saw seraphim; that is a particular type of angel. They were in a position of submission and worshiping God.

(Verse 6) When Isaiah saw God in all His glory he was humbled. In comparison his righteousness was as filthy rags compared to God, a comparison he would share later in life (Isaiah 64:6).

(Verse 7) In response to Isaiah’s confession of unworthiness an  angel takes a hot coal from the alter and touches it to his lips to cleans him. The angel then says, “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.”

(Verse 8) Finally in verse 8 Isaiah said, “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Everything Isaiah does from this point on is motivated by this vision. It’s his life’s driving force.

What does this scripture teach us?

  1. How we see God determines our motivation

Isaiah saw God as high and lifted up. It said the train of his robe filled the temple. He saw God in his glory and it impacted him so greatly that he took inventory of his own life and found himself to be unworthy.

How do you see God? As a distant being who doesn’t really care what your up to or as a loving almighty ever-present God who loves you? Those people we see who have a passion for serving Christ, who love the Lord and make it obvious by the way they live, are committed to Christ because He is real to them.

  1. God prepares you for His work

Isaiah realized he wasn’t worthy or prepared to for the work God had for him. He said,  “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; He didn’t mean he had a potty mouth or spoke like a sailor. Matthew 12:34, 34 teaches us about our lips and speech.

34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

It went to the condition of his own heart. God heard his confession and prepared him to be worthy by cleansing him and making him sanctified or set apart for the work God had for him. This was a foreshadowing of Christ in that Isaiah did nothing to receive this cleansing other than make a confession of faith in God. 

  1. We only need to be willing

Isaiah didn’t even know what the calling was before he accepted the Lords request and asked to be sent and used by God. Remember when God feed the 5000 in the New Testament? The Apostles wanted to send the people away to get something to each because they couldn’t see any way they could feed all those people. Jesus told them “you feed them”. All He told them to do was bring me what you’ve got and he worked with that.

He never asks us to bring anything but our willingness to serve. He provides everything needed to complete the work he has for us.

Conclusion

Isaiah wasn’t any different than you or I. He sought the Lord, he had faith in the Lord and he had a vision for his future that the Lord provided and everything he did was driven by that vision.

You may be sitting here and say well, God’s never spoken to me. Are you sure about that? Maybe he’s spoken and you didn’t realize it was coming from God. Or maybe there’s something God has put in your heart to do and you’re ignoring it. God has put something in your heart, some way to serve Him and maybe it sounds so unreal that you can’t imagine how that could ever be something you could do. Maybe because you don’t think your worthy, or your scared or you just lack the faith needed to take the first step.

Most often what God wants you to do, the plans he has for your future will require you to step out of your comfort zone and enter the unknown. Do you think it was easy to start a church? Honestly, that wasn’t something I would have chosen to do on my own. There have been many challenges, people in opposition, critics, and even people just flat out lying about me but God put this vision in my heart and now it is a share vision among us. Today that shared vision is to continue developing an environment of trust and family to help those who attend Community Church to really see God and be motivated to grow closer to Him and become all that God intended. For me, I want our community to say of us, “those people at Community Church are very loving, kind and gentle and do a great deal to help people in our community, we are better off because of them.”

If you have no vision for your future your hope is hanging on by a thread and without a vision you are more likely to fall back on your past.

So what can you do? Pray this prayer, here I am Lord, send me! 

~Amen

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