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
Lucas, Asher, Zach and Josh on why they made the decision to be baptised at Jubilee on Sunday. Not to be missed!
Julie on how she struggles with waiting – but how she has got closer to God while learning to wait.
Chris on knowing the mind of God by growing in His spirit and loving others as He loves us.
Danielle reflects on Dan Morrice’s book Finding the Peacemakers and how we can be the peacemakers in our lives.
Andrew Greenhalgh on relying on God completely and how it completely changed his life.
Michael O’Brien on working for God as a Christian businessman, doing things His way – not the world’s way
Becca Johnson on the meaning of Jesus’ name and the importance of names to God. What does your name mean?
Chantal Robertson on doing what we can to protect our planet without feeling condemned that we’re not doing enough.
Julie Greenhalgh on trusting in the Lord, and being transformed from someone who struggled to make a decision to someone who knew who to ask every time there was one to be made!
Guest blogger Jonathan Kent on the trials and tribulations of the storms we endure – and how we were built for storms!
Andrew Greenhalgh on challenging long-held beliefs and seeing ourselves the way God sees us.
Dave Frodsham on being blessed and knowing God is your comfort and joy and you have real people who care around you.
Nicki Frodsham on running the race with God with endurance – and encouraging others to keep the faith, too.
Dawne Cooper on going through trials, and trusting in God in the darkest times.
Chantal Robertson on being half-French and remembering that God doesn’t make mistakes.
Vernon Martin on the power of the tongue and asking God to heal the scars that words leave on us.
Andrew Greenhalgh on the challenges of living in the world but not taking on its values as our own.
Helen, who admits she doesn’t like blogs, on why it might not be important how you listen to God – but that it is important that you do.
Andrew Greenhalgh on gifts, encouragement and using what God has blessed us with to help others.
Julie Greenhalgh on putting God in the driving seat of our lives – instead of insisting on staying behind the wheel ourselves!
Danielle says thank you to all the people who played a part in her walk with God.