Thoughts 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.

Jubilee Church Wirral Life Group leaders Vernon and Yvonne Martin

Vernon Martin with his wife Yvonne

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