Putting gravity back into your life
Vision might mean something like “seeing something worth seeing”. Much is worth seeing. There is not a lack of good to fill our sight; and a ton-weight of the not so good thrown in for measure. What would do us the most ultimate good if we saw it clearly? What should be our vision?
The wonderfully valuable and important sight of who we want to be – our identity, character and depth?
The essential and purposeful rehearsal of what we want to do – our mission, strategy and stewardship?
They are big. But they are not ultimate.
Ultimately worth seeing
A stunning vision of God must supersede any vision from God and gives gravity and life to the planets of our existence.
In Isaiah 6:8-13 Isaiah receives a vision from God: a true vision, though bleak and hard. God does not always (or even often) call us to ease and comfort but fight and purpose. It is a mission with minute prospects of success (6:9) that will take Isaiah’s lifetime (6:11-12) leaving only a shattered stump for the future (6:13). Is there anyway Isaiah would have accepted his mission without first seeing who God was? It would produce a terrified no from even the most stable and strong and yet Isaiah yells ‘Here I am Lord. Send me!’ (6:8) because he stands the other side of a stunning vision of God. Having seen truly who God is, intimidation and cowering is replaced with blazing hot and so Isaiah’s story does not end at chapter 6 but chapter 66.
Seeing must come before hearing
In the language of Isaiah, he had to see God before he could hear from God: I saw the Lord (6:1)…then I heard the Lord (6:8).
The planets of our lives
Imagine the planets of the solar system without the gravity of the sun at their centre. Chaos, uncontrolled collisions, lifelessness. With the sun present there is the settling, ordered gravitas of its weight and the warming, bright light of its life-giving rays. God is the sun. Without a clear vision of God there is no gravity to the cosmos of our lives, and no warmth and light to flourish and fertilise. Without a clear vision of God the planets of our lives collide and lose their purpose and life shrivels.
Five glimpses of God Isaiah saw within the first few seconds (Isaiah 6:1-3)
God is alive
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord…’
Uzziah is dead but God lives on. Uzziah, like every head of state that has ever lived is dead. Every mighty figure today will be dead in 50 years time. In a fleeting 130 years the seven or eight billion people in the world will not include one single person breathing today. The entire planet will be populated by an entirely new set of people – everyone existing today vanished like vapour. But not God. He lives.
God is in charge
…I saw the Lord, high and exalted sitting on a throne…
The King is dead, his throne is empty but God is on his throne. He is sovereign: high and exalted above all others. He is in charge. And he sits – a finished, settled, confident, un-paniced authority.
God is resplendent
… and the train of his robe filled the temple…
Imagine a bride whose train did not simply flow behind her, or need gathering up and carrying by an army of maids but instead stretched and billowed and folded into every corner and rafter of a battle-ship sized cathedral! In Israel’s day the temple was the most splendid place. Yet every part is surpassed by the splendour of God. What is your place of most splendour? The splendour of God once seen would make that previous breath-taking sight ugly and chintzy by comparison. Instead of stand and stare it would become not even worth a second glance.
God is honoured
Above him were seraphim, each with six wings; with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
No one knows what these creatures are. They are not chubby winged babies fluttering about. The scene is of grandeur – nothing puny or silly here. When one of them speaks, the foundations of the temple shake (6:4). They are more like the Red Arrows diving in formation before the royal entourage and cracking the sound barrier as they sweep past with even the experienced guard involuntarily cowering. They would terrify us with their brilliance yet they hide themselves in reverence of God.
God is knowable
And they were calling to each other ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty…
Holy means set apart. Utterly different. Not the same as. Hidden. Repeated three times it emphasis above everything this is the core reality of who God is.
Yet …the whole world is full of his glory. Glory is the public display of God’s holiness. Imagine the opening of the Oscar’s envelope. What was hidden is now made public and seen by all.
Go hard after a stunning vision of God that supersedes any vision from God. A vision of God that dominates and subjugates everything else that crowds into our eye-line of life. A vision of God that brings ordering gravitas and bright warmth to the planets of your life.
One way is to fast – from food or media or screens or sex or cigarettes. To allow the pain and weakness of hungry to drive your need for God. To allow the delight and sustaining power of the feast that follows to ignite your delight and dependence on God. This might help: http://lionheartedandlamblike.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/hungry-for-god-fasting-and-feasting-on.html