I’m officially bummed. Why? Because Thursday night Small Group has concluded for the Spring session. We’re all wrapped up.
For those not aware, every Thursday evening a group was meeting to be equipped in the Discovery Bible Study method of sharing the Scriptures with those around us where we live, work, learn, and play. We looked not only at how this method works (conversation, reading, retelling, study, and statements of obedience) but also practiced it with one another in various breakout groups. The main cornerstones of DBS are examining a passage and asking the following questions:
Every week, we’d find the character of God and man within one key text. We would dig in and then apply. For our final evening together, we looked at a section of scripture all as one big group. The passage? Isaiah 6:1-8. It’s somewhat intense, so hang in there and do your best to soak it in:
“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for 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!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
I want you to see what the group discovered together about the character of God in this passage. We saw that God is holy (x3). His glory fills the Earth. He is on the throne, in His temple, the God of seraphim, armies, hosts, and all creation. God has a voice. He speaks. God is accessible. He has authority. He is to be properly feared.
What about me? What about you? What can we observe about the character of mankind from this passage? Isaiah as our representative is unclean, with unclean lips and dwells in an unclean environment. He is weak. He recognizes his lostness. He recognizes his guilt. But also, he is able (able is a key word here) to be atoned for, forgiven, and blessed.
You might see other aspects of God and man too, which is great! But I want to zoom in on two last things we noticed that I believe the Church needs to hear today:
This begged a mega question of the Small Group that night, which I now pose to you as a reader. Having discovered who God is and what God is seeking… “Are you willing?” Are you willing to be like Isaiah and submit to God’s call with pure willingness?
What would that look like? What would it look like to be willing to submit to God to be “sent” within your home? As a husband? A father? A wife? A mother? A grandparent? Or a child? What has God been nudging you towards recently that you know you’ve been avoiding? Knowing what you now know, are you willing to make a change? Are you willing to remove those barriers that are keeping you from a deeper relationship and joy with Him? Are you willing to raise your hand and say, “here I am” in your home?
Likewise, are you willing to submit to God, willing to be “sent”, in service to the body of Christ at Bridges? Do you have a heart or passion for greeting people, or being the next generation coffee-brewer-extraordinaire, or even for mowing the grass on occasion with the team? If a need arises, or if you already know a way that you could possibly be used by God for the Church, are you willing to say, “send me”?
Isaiah knew based on his encounter that the fullness of joy, unincumbered by guilt, shame, and woe, was only to be found when operating in the will of the Lord. Our desire for you is that you would experience this joy, to be near to the Lord, whatever that looks like for you in your space. Joy in the Lord begins with an encounter but demands a response of willingness.
We have each been given gifts, passions, abilities, and skills, by God, for His purposes. Are you willing to use what God has given you for His glory and your joy in Him? If so (or even if only just maybe) we’d love to hear your story. We want to know how we can partner with you, how we can equip you, in wherever God is leading. Our hope, prayer and encouragement this week is that when the Lord calls for someone to send… that you’d be one willing to respond “Here I am! Send me!”.