A popular topic among women, especially in today’s world, are the “I’m not enough” gremlins. How do you overcome them? How do you grow to believe that you are enough for whatever life throws your way? I would not say this to a secular audience because the world shouts the message – “I am woman, hear me roar” – however, I will tell you – I am NOT enough … BUT I am the daughter of the One who is. This is not a new thought – many giants in the faith came to the same conclusion.
This morning I was reading in God’s Word about the account of Isaiah’s commissioning in chapter 6. Isaiah had a vision of God’s greatness and upon seeing God for who He really is – felt completely unworthy. “I saw the Lord high and exalted, seated on a throne and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphim……and they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty the whole earth is filled with his glory’.” The “I am not enough gremlins” got to Isaiah, too, as we read in verse 5, “’Woe is me!!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips.’” I believe that when we humble ourselves and recognize that apart from Christ, we can do nothing, God steps in. When we approach Him in humility and cry out to Him, He promises to hear our cry and promises to never leave us where we are. As you read this account in Isaiah, we read that the angel touched Isaiah’s lips with the hot coal from the altar. We know that it was “red hot” because the angel used tongs to retrieve it. I believe that this was a purifying act.
I have always loved (maybe loved is too strong of a word for this process LOL) the analogy of how metal is purified. The precious metal is heated and the impurities in the metal rise to the top. Those impurities are called the dross. It is scraped off the top, leaving a purified and refined precious metal. The process is the same for us as we desire to become more like Christ. We come to Him as sinful, unworthy and unholy humans – but when He touches us, we take on His righteousness – the hands of the Potter shape us and mold us into a vessel that can be used by Him for His glory.
This is what happened to Isaiah. After the angel touched his mouth with the “red hot” coal, he said, “See this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” What happens next has always been one of my favorite passages. Verse 8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”.
What is so interesting to me about this passage is God did not explain the assignment at all. He didn’t say, “I need someone to go to Africa and preach the Gospel” or “I need someone to volunteer to go and do disaster relief in Haiti or take care of the orphans of El Salvador.” He simply said – “Whom shall I send?” After this divine encounter and realizing he had God’s power coursing through his veins – Isaiah could confidently answer the call. Isn’t that beautiful? Dr. Blackaby always says, it is impossible to be in the presence of God and not be changed.
Isaiah had an encounter with the Lord – and from that that day on, he would never be the same. In fact, many scholars say that Isaiah was the greatest Old Testament prophet. Even his name indicates something incredibly special – Isaiah means ‘Yahweh is salvation’. He is the prophet who foretold about the promised Messiah. In fact, Handel’s “Messiah” was taken from the words of Isaiah.
So … our hope and assurance come from admitting our weaknesses and rejoicing in the fact that we are not – and will never be – enough. So, how is that something to rejoice in, you ask?? Because … I am NOT enough … BUT I am the daughter of the One who is.