BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Worship and Mission: A lesson from Isaiah
By Vernon Martin, Life Group and Worship leader, Jubilee Church Wirral
‘Mission exists because worship doesn’t.’
The above quote by John Piper perfectly sums up the two priorities of us as a local church. We are on a mission as children of God, as ambassadors for Christ, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, to carry the message of the gospel to the world around us.
To put it differently – Everything we do (MISSION) is done to advance the Kingdom (WORSHIP). For the sake of worship, we are on mission.
We have an example in scripture where this relationship between worship and mission is illustrated for us – in the account of how the prophet Isaiah was commissioned to go. Isaiah takes us on a journey of what he saw and what he felt that eventually caused him to say: ‘Here am I. Send me!’
In Isaiah 6:1-8 we are introduced to an uncertain time in history where the king has died, and Isaiah says he ‘saw’ the Lord. Amidst the time of fear that existed and the anxiety of what laid ahead, he had a vision of God’s absolute glory. The truth is that despite what you may experience at any point of your life; God remains in charge. For His Glory. In your life.
Isaiah was in a place where he saw God’s sovereign rule and reign over all things in life and it changed his perspective on everything. The Godly vision he got made him not only see the fact that God is in charge over everything in his life, but also that his own situation renders him incapable of surviving before a Holy, Righteous, Glorious God!
Isaiah sees God’s holiness and realises that he is undone before the most Holy God – ruined and literally destroyed in His holy presence; damned to hell! And the very first thing he does is confess his sin. He just blurts it out and admits his depravity before God!
When we spend time worshipping God, we very often experience how wonderful it is to be in His presence – we are encouraged, filled with love, gain a sense of contentment and delight! But…
Have you ever experienced weeping and wailing for your sin because you realise how Holy He is? And how utterly condemned to death you are because of your own sinfulness? Have you ever had an experience of being in the presence of God, so powerful that the weight of His glory makes you weep for your sin and cry out in anguish before Him?
This is what Isaiah experienced.
About as soon as he realises this, an angel comes to him to tell him that his sin is forgiven. The very sin that ruins him and renders him doomed before God – THAT sin is forgiven because of the sacrifice. His guilt is gone! It’s all been taken away. And just like Isaiah, we also have a sacrifice in Christ Jesus that stands as a testament to God’s mercy in our lives! ALL our sin, guilt and shame has been taken away and nailed to the cross!
And the next part of this glorious vision he has allows us a glimpse into the Godhead – as if there’s a conversation between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There’s a question: ‘Who will go for us?’ and ‘Whom shall we send?’
And without hesitation or reservation, Isaiah leaps up and shouts, ‘Here am I. Send me!’. No negotiation. No discussion. No mustering of desire on his part. He fervently accepts the commission to go because of this heavenly vision he had as he was worshipping the most Holy God.
It is out of a place of worship that we are called – moved – to go! And it is that very place of worship that gives us a heavenly perspective of our life….that in the end, quite literally compels us to go on this mission we are on!
My prayer for myself and my prayer for all of us as His bride: May we increasingly become a people who are so in awe of Him that it has no other consequence than for the gospel to naturally flow from our lips and our actions to everyone we may encounter.
Vernon Martin with his wife Yvonne
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?