AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
What’s involved when someone has an encounter with God? Many times it’s a sense of being overwhelmed by His holiness. When the Apostle John saw the Lord, he fell at His feet like a dead man. The prophet Isaiah gives us a detailed account of his encounter with God as he was overcome with a sense of his sinfulness when he saw the Lord,
Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” — Isaiah 6:5
Isaiah was struck with a profound realization of his own sinfulness in the light of God’s holiness. Although Isaiah was serving God as His prophet, his righteousness was nothing compared to God’s holiness. Regardless of our goodness, an encounter with God will bring about an overwhelming conviction of sin. Isaiah saw himself in the light of the Lord’s infinite holiness. The amazing truth is that regardless of the depth of our depravity, God’s grace is always able to bridge the gap. Although we are sinful, God enables us to have a relationship with Him as we see God’s gracious act of forgiveness as Isaiah’s sin was forgiven,
He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” (Isaiah 6:7)
God’s cleansing act of forgiveness enabled Isaiah to hear from the Lord. Are you able to hear from God? No matter what sins you’ve committed, God’s grace is able to take away your iniquity and allow you to have Christ’s righteousness. When God brings us into a right relationship with Himself, then we are able to hear His voice.
Then 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!” — Isaiah 6:8
It is significant to note that God did not direct His call to Isaiah, the call was available to anyone who had ears to hear. Our ability to hear from God depends upon our spiritual condition. Isaiah recognized his sinfulness, received God’s forgiveness, and responded with an attitude of gratitude and surrender toward God. Isaiah gave God a blank check with His life – He was willing to go anywhere, at anytime, at any cost to serve God. Isaiah was able to hear God’s word after he realized his true spiritual condition.
As you grow in your knowledge God, you will discover a greater realization of your sin, but you will also have a greater understanding of the grace of God. You will come to see that God’s grace is greater than your sin and that nothing that you have done is beyond the reach of His gracious forgiveness. May you hear God’s call and respond with gratitude and surrender to God.