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.”
-Isaiah 6:5-8 ESV
In this passage, the biblical prophet, Isaiah, went from insecurity in his present circumstance to boldness through swift obedience. There was a crucial process that occurred in the few lines between those two versions of him. His lips were touched with burning coal (he went through a refining process, brief but transformative) and life-giving words (blessing) were spoken over him. In that blessing, he was made aware of the purpose of the process, which encouraged him to let go of the guilt he felt and step confidently into his calling.
What is holding you back from stepping into your calling? Is it your insecurity? Your desire to remain in a place or state of comfort? What is it? You have to identify the root issue in order to understand its connection to your current circumstance. Isaiah, in a moment of conviction when faced with the glory of the Lord, began to confess his sin and identify his struggle. He said that he dwelled in the midst of people with a shared issue. We have a tendency of doing that as well. Are you familiar with the leper colonies mentioned in the Bible? They were comprised of people considered to be “unclean” due to various forms of illness who had to remain quarantined from the rest of the community until they were healed (I imagine that hits closer to home in the face of the pandemic our world is currently experiencing).
Could it be that this season of social distancing is meant to give you the space and time to heal from your wounds? Or, maybe you (like the members of the leper colony) possess “unclean” traits (in your attitude, thinking patterns, and/or behavior) that are a danger to yourself as well as those around you. It may be difficult to admit, but it is absolutely necessary to acknowledge so that proper precautions can be taken. Acknowledgement is the first step of the healing process. God’s work in you is hindered when you refuse to confess the issues He draws your awareness to. He won’t force you to heal. You have to be willing to give your brokenness to Him so that He can make you whole again.
While we are being made clean we need to keep a safe distance between ourselves and the harmful influences that exist in our lives. Isaiah said he “dwell[ed] in the midst” of people who shared his brokenness. How counterproductive would it be for him to continue dwelling there when he was in the process of being cleansed of those traits. Sometimes we make the process of refinement more difficult than it needs to be because we insist on dwelling in the same spaces (mentally and physically) that God is specifically trying to prune away from us. This is not to say that you should isolate yourself from everything and everyone. However, praying for and utilizing discernment can help prevent you from remaining in the breaking season longer that you need to. During his process of refinement, Isaiah found himself in the presence of the Lord and His helpers. Who are God’s helpers in your life? Ask God to reveal the people who are good for you. In doing so, He will highlight the relationships that help you draw nearer to Him, which is always the ultimate goal.
As your heart and mind shift towards alignment with the desire(s) God has for your life, you will begin to notice opportunities to step into them. This is the part to get excited about. This means that you are nearing the end of the breaking season. You will still be called to let go of residual baggage, but you will have a clearer view of the light at the end of the tunnel. The pain of unlearning and letting go of strongholds will be cushioned by the growth of your faith and the peace you will have after learning how to trust God through your previous tests and trials. You will begin to see yourself free from the bondage of what once stifled you. You will recognize, more and more, God’s divine purpose for your life and you will be better able to choose His best for you without hesitation. Like Isaiah, you will become excited to live in the will of God and share His goodness with the world around you. Can you imagine that beautiful version of yourself? Free from mental and relational bondage and delightfully dwelling in the presence of the Lord? It may seem cloudy right now, but I promise you, it is possible with God’s help (Luke 18:27; Philippians 4:13).
If you are ready for breakthrough, take a moment to settle your heart and pray these words with me:
I thank You for today and the leading of Your Spirit to this moment of decision. God, Your word says that we have not because we ask not and because we ask with the wrong heart. Please purify my heart Lord. Please open my eyes to see things as they really are. Please cover me as I walk with You through this season of breakthrough. You alone can help me through this, for Your word says that Your strength is made perfect in weakness. God, I admit that I am weak. I am tired. I no longer want to do this on my own. I have tried things my own way for long enough and I recognize the fruit of the flesh that it produced. I now ask that You prune me of any way that is unpleasing to You and lead me in the way everlasting. God, I desire to bear fruit in alignment with Your Spirit. May You meet me here today and begin to transform my heart. You have my full attention. You have my full permission. You are welcome here Lord. I praise You. I thank You. In Jesus’ name.
- No Bondage by Jubilee Worship
- Something Has To Break by Kierra Sheard & Tasha Cobbs Leonard
- Refiner by Maverick City Music ft. Chandler Moore & Steffany Gretzinger