January 7, 2022

The Father’s Holiness Motivates Mission

Lord’s Prayer Focus: The Father’s Character
Jesus taught us that prayer begins with understanding the God we are praying to. The Lord’s Prayer begins: “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name…” (Matthew 6:9). Jesus said that when we pray we are praying to our Father, which means we can have the same level of intimacy with God that Jesus had while He walked around on the planet. But in this prayer, Jesus also reminded us that our Father is in heaven. Jesus taught us that He is near us (our Father) and He is far away (in heaven).  He desires to live in relationship with us (our Father) but in the relationship we need to show Him honor because He is holy (in heaven). Let’s learn more about this Father we are praying to and depending on, and how his nature and character invites us to be a part of what He’s doing in the world.

Isaiah 6:1–8 (ESV) — 1 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. 2 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. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 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!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” 8 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.”

Another aspect of God’s unchanging nature is His holiness. The prophet Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord God seated upon His throne in the splendor of His glory. The eternal chant that Isaiah got to hear in the Lord’s presence was “Holy, holy, holy!” Holiness is God’s self-revelation of His moral character. He is perfect in all of His ways. It also means that God is set apart - different from us. He is pure, we are sinful. He is all-powerful, we are weak. He is Creator, we are creation. Isaiah’s response in the presence of the Lord’s holiness was, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am 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!” In other words, holiness demands holiness. Thankfully, Isaiah’s sin was atoned for, just as ours is atoned through the cross of Christ. 

What’s interesting is what comes next. The Lord is seeking someone to send to the people of Israel. In Isaiah’s day, Israel had become prosperous and lived with a false sense of security. This led them to forget God’s holiness. So God is seeking someone to declare His holiness, even though he knows they won’t listen (Isaiah 6:9-13). God will come to His own defense and uphold his holiness at all costs. This is important for us to remember as a “sent” people! We are to “re-present” God’s holy reputation and character. This means, our primary motivation for mission has to be God, not the receptivity of culture or individuals.

Take a few moments to reflect on Isaiah’s response to God’s holiness in Isaiah 6:5 and invite the Holy Spirit to name what’s in your heart and the hearts of those around you.

Prayer Points:
  1. Confess to the Lord anything that is not aligned to the holiness of God.
  2. Repent of what the Lord has revealed to you and commit to obey what He’s asking you to do about it.