Prayer, Praise and Spiritual Warfare

Worship and Ministry (Isaiah 6)

Isaiah, upset about King's imminent death is praying in the Temple, 

concerned about what would happen now to Israel (Uzziah had basically been a good King). So he prayed and sought God and was granted an open vision of the Lord upon the Throne. 

'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' (v1).

 

Whatever is going on around us, we need a revelation that God is on the Throne (this keeps things in perspective). This does not mean He approves or is behind everything but He can overrule it for our good if we trust Him (Romans 8:28).   This gives us stability in life. When our eyes are on the problem, unbelief starts to take over.  When things are hard we need to pray and see the Lord on the throne - high and lifted up.  He is ABOVE those things.  He descended to conquer them and is now exalted above them.    When our eyes are lifted up and we see Jesus far above, faith rises.

 

We know Isaiah saw Jesus because John 12:39,40 quotes Isaiah 6:9,10, and then says:  'These things Isaiah said when he saw His (Christ's) glory and spoke of Him' (John 12:41).

 

Worship starts with a revelation that our majestic God is high and lifted up, seated on the throne of ultimate absolute authority.  Worship is our response of submission, adoration and surrender.

 

'Above it (above the robe) stood (hovering in place) seraphim (high ranking angels); each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew' (v2). 

Notice the priority of worship in heaven.   

They used 4 wings for worship, and 2 for service. 

The first use and best use of our time and energy is our worship. 

If we try and minister without worshipping (spending time in God's presence) it will not be genuine ministry. 

'The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth' (John 4:23,24).

 

In the heavenly Temple there is continual worship: 'And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts (the Trinity is the thrice holy One). The whole earth is full of His glory!' (antiphonal singing) (v3). 

 

 Holiness is the perfection of all His moral attributes - His transcending incomparable excellence. There is none like Him.  

His GLORY is the shining forth (manifestation) of His holiness.

 

We enter His Gates with thanksgiving and His Courts with praise but when you come into the Holy-of-Holies - into the immediacy of the Glorious Presence of God - the only possible response is WORSHIP (surrender of our being to God and His will). 'Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness' (1Chron 16:29, Ps 29:2). 

'O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness' (Ps 96:9).

 

Worship is powerful - its effects are now described: 'And the posts of the door were shaken (Isaiah was standing at the door - for he was not fit to enter in) by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke (the incense of thanksgiving and worship filled the room)' (v4). 

'So I 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; 

for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts' (v5). 

When we enter into God's Presence our sin is revealed (not to condemn us but to cleanse us). It is a barrier to go in closer.  Isaiah realised he could not enter the door into worship. Isaiah under strong conviction of his sin does the only right thing - CONFESSION.

 

CLEANSING FOLLOWS CONFESSION: 'If we confess our sins He is faithful (to His promise) and just (through His blood) 

to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1John1:9).

 

And this is exactly what happened: '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 purged' (v6,7). 

 

 This coal came originally from the ALTAR (and so had the blood of sacrifice upon it). It was taken and put on the incense altar. Then the offering of incense (worship) rose to God purified from the fire of that coal. This was symbolic of a worshipper (as Isaiah 6 demonstrates). We are incense altars called to offer up sacrifices of praise and worship from our inner being to God. But in our natural state we cannot do this from a cold heart. For the incense of praise to truly rise to God, our heart and lips must be touched by a coal from the fiery altar. This applies the blood of Jesus and heat of the Holy Spirit to our heart. The blood cleanses us from sin and the fire heats our cold heart. Then the incense of praise will ascend from a cleansed and burning heart to God. SO NOW ISAIAH COULD JOIN IN THE WORSHIP.  He now entered in.

 

*In our life we must spend extended times before God in worship so that this can happen to us.

 

MINISTRY flows out of WORSHIP: 

'Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us (Father, Son and Holy-Spirit)?' 

Only after spending time in worship does Isaiah get his call to ministry. 

Only because He was there in God's Presence did he even hear the call. 

'Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.' This is Isaiah's call into ministry. 

The depth and value of ministry depends on your time with God. The disciples of Jesus first had to spend time WITH Him before being sent out as WITNESSES to Him. The anointing you have comes from the time you spend in God's Presence. Often we want to enter a powerful ministry but first we must get before God and let Him prepare us and remove the impurity that would spoil it.  Because Isaiah's ministry was founded in God's presence and he let himself be cleansed he was used to give the most glorious prophecies.

 

This experience of worship in the Holy Presence of God marked his whole ministry. As a result His favourite name for God was: 'the Holy One of Israel.' Thank God he had this encounter - he was used to gave the greatest prophecies of Christ.

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