Join us today for an episode about the presence of God...

Today's episode is focused on Isaiah 6: 1-8...

In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Isaiah 6: 1-8. I share what it means to be overwhelmed with the presence. I also talk about why knowing and serving God are not the same.

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Episode 1440: All-Consuming Presence

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,440 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:08] Nathaneal Garrett Novesel: Hello, this is author Nathaniel Garrett Novacel, and I'm here with my friend Scott Mader and his inspired Stewardship podcast. We both have a goal of helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their lives. And if you're interested in developing yourself, others, and using your time more effectively to live out your calling, then please check out his podcast, Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:39] Scott Maderer: Some, like me, start with the knowing. that profound experience of God's presence and then move into a state of willingness to serve or to be sent. Others start with serving and then discover the God that they are serving is there in the act itself and they see God through all. [00:01:00] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:01:05] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:33] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about Isaiah chapter 6, verses 1 through 8. I share what it means to be overwhelmed with the presence, and I also talk about why knowing and serving God are not the same. Isaiah chapter 6, verses 1 through 8. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty, and the hem [00:02:00] of his robe filled the temple.

[00:02:02] Seraphs were in attendance above him. Each had six wings, with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said, Holy holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory. The pivots on the threshold shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.

[00:02:24] And I said, Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. Yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then one of the seraphs flew to me holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said, Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has disparted, and your sin has blotted out.

[00:02:49] Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, I Whom shall I send and who will go for us? And I said, here I am, send me. [00:03:00] I think I've had moments and usually in nature, but often two moments that come from relationship where I found myself in overwhelmed and in awe at the presence of the Lord in that moment.

[00:03:18] Whether it was standing on a high peak and looking out across a valley, whether it was having a moment with friends at a show or in an evening, or even just in a moment of laughter, whether it was that moment when my son was born and I looked down and saw him for the very first time in the world. These moments that we have where we feel the presence of the Lord in creation of creation.

[00:03:45] They're awe inspiring, they're terrifying, they're humbling, they're overwhelming. And I think maybe in some ways we're capturing a little something of that moment of Isaiah's experience, but it's [00:04:00] probably not the fullness of it either. Just like when someone else has one of those moments and they describe them to me, I hear that movement, but I'm not really completely in that moment either.

[00:04:15] It's almost impossible, but not fully impossible, to grasp and have empathy for that moment that Isaiah is describing. When we observe the glories of creation, that often can bring us into a moment where we recognize the presence of the Creator. Whether that's artistic expressions that we see in the world or some sort of transformative movement that we have in a moment of time that changes how we look at the world.

[00:04:47] And leaning into those relationships begins to form us, to make deeper connections, to bring us a little bit into the kingdom or community that [00:05:00] maybe Jesus is calling us to be in. None of these experiences, of course, are the same as what Isaiah encountered, or he's describing, when he came into the presence of God.

[00:05:11] And yet, this moment that he's describing, notice it's not really that he came face to face with God. Instead, the presence of God here is high and lifted up. Isaiah sees only the hem of the robe filling the temple. He then goes on to give a detailed description of the beings that were flying around this presence, but he doesn't really describe what he saw or felt or heard of the Lord himself.

[00:05:41] Maybe it's just that he didn't want to say it. He was cautious about making an idol of his words. Maybe he was simply too overwhelmed to come up with ways to describe the presence, or maybe God simply did not reveal too much in this vision. After all, think about the moment [00:06:00] where Moses comes to God and God kind of hedges on the whole meet me face to face thing and protects Moses because we are frail beings in some ways.

[00:06:14] But whatever it is that Isaiah sees, it's enough to shake him to his very core. He says, Woe is me, he cries. There wasn't a threat being made. There was nothing threatening about the moment, at least overtly, that we can see. There was nothing that was causing him to need to cower for protection. God did not say anything in judgment.

[00:06:35] Neither did the Sarish. And remember, the whole hot coals to the lips comes after he says, woe is me. There was just this moment of presence. And something about that presence drove him to his knees. And I think oftentimes we feel that what must have drove him to his knees is that feeling of judgment, that feeling [00:07:00] of being unworthy.

[00:07:01] In fact, he even talks about how he's unworthy in the next moment, but it's actually not a threat in my opinion. It's the feeling of love. Isaiah is overwhelmed in that moment by the love of the Creator, by the love of the Lord God, by that presence exuding grace filled love. Think about it. We normally assume that experiencing love brings us that warm, fuzzy feeling.

[00:07:38] But often, the very first feeling that comes the first feeling that came to me when I realized I was falling in love with my wife wasn't a warm and fuzzy feeling, it actually was a little fear that I was not worthy of her love. It's a profound feeling of unworthiness at times. [00:08:00] That woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips and yet have been given a glimpse of the glory of God is a reaction to feeling that love of God and thinking to yourself, but I'm not worth it.

[00:08:13] I'm not worthy of it. I don't deserve this, but what would happen if the presence is so overwhelming? What will happen when the call is issued? Not a social call here, not a call to come and visit for holy tea and biscuits. No, a calling, a vocation, that word vocation comes from vocalization, the same word that we use to be spoken.

[00:08:43] The calling into the life, that moment where he says, you are a prophet, you are a preacher, pay attention. And Isaiah is overwhelmed by the presence of God, but dares to speak and say, I am a man of unclean lips. [00:09:00] God's own words to God's own people would have destroyed him completely. And so he needs to be cleansed.

[00:09:07] Something needs to happen just like in our life. Something needs to happen sometimes to cleanse us. Something needs to happen to help us move beyond the feeling of unworthiness and be able to stand and say, Here I am. I am worthy. I am love. Send me. It's one thing to be aware of God to know God, to know of God.

[00:09:32] It's something else to truly come into the presence and serve God, to recognize that it's not that moment at the mountaintop. Instead, it's something to be guided every day by that presence, to become so familiar with and open to God's all consuming presence. That's a lifelong journey. That's not something that happens in the moment.

[00:09:55] That is something that happens day by day, week by week, moment by [00:10:00] moment, decision by decision. Knowing and serving gods are two sides of that same experience. Some, like me, start with the knowing, that profound experience of God's presence, and then move into a state of willingness to serve. Others start with serving and then discover the God that they are serving is there in the act itself.

[00:10:28] And they see God through all those to whom they minister. Either way, it's not that one is right and the other is wrong. Either way, it can be a humbling experience. an energizing experience to come fully into the presence of God. Thanks for listening.

[00:10:51] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back [00:11:00] and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to facebook. com slash inspired stewardship and like our Facebook page and mark it that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.

[00:11:34] Until next time, invest your time, Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.

In today's episode, I talk with you about:

  • Isaiah 6: 1-8... 
  • What it means to be overwhelmed with the presence...
  • Why knowing and serving God are not the same...
  • and more.....

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!" – Isaiah 6: 8

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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