Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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Some years ago our family was vacationing on the eastern end of Long Island near a little village called Sag Harbor. It was amazing how much that village changed, though, over a period of just 24 hours. One day it was a sleepy little town of tourists kind of strolling from store to store. The next day it was a chaotic beehive with snarled traffic and anxious people rushing from store to store. Do you know what made the difference? A hurricane warning! Yes, a powerful storm was moving up the East Coast and it was expected to hit that part of Long Island. So people were rushing everywhere to get prepared. Batteries and candles suddenly appeared by every cash register in every store. And they quickly disappeared. People were suddenly living differently when there was a major storm.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Year That Everything Changed."
You might be living in a year like that right now; a year when a lot of things have changed. And times like these (hurricane times) can really change your perspective on what's important and how you should be living.
In our word for today from the Word of God beginning with Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah says, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord." Now, you're probably not all broken up over Uzziah dying, but he had been king for 52 years. So if you were 52 or under, King Uzziah was the only ruler you had ever known. And he had brought his nation to an un-paralleled level of prosperity and power. And suddenly he was gone. It was one of those years when everything changed.
So let's think of these words in this way, "In the year that everything changed." That's when Isaiah says, "I saw the Lord." That's when you usually do - when everything is changing - when the hurricane is blowing you around. Maybe God has shaken your world recently so you'll see Him as you've never seen Him before and so you'll live differently.
Now there are three perspectives God wants you to live by in a season when everything is changing. First, Isaiah says, "I saw the Lord, seated on a throne, high and exalted." Isaiah describes powerful angelic beings he sees "calling to one another, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.'"
Perspective #1 when everything is changing - "Lord, You are awesome." God wants you to enter His Throne Room as Isaiah did - by prayer. He wants you to see His majesty; to realize that, by praying, you are entering the Throne Room from which billions of galaxies are governed and bringing your life and your needs to the One who rules it all. When everything's changing, you need to dwell on the awesomeness of your God.
Then Isaiah tells us he cried, "Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Then he describes how one of the angels touches his lips with a live coal from the altar and says, "Your guilt is taken away."
Perspective #2 - "Lord, I'm a mess." See, God wants all this change to be a wakeup call that shows you the sin that you haven't dealt with and to let Him touch it with His forgiveness and His cleansing. Then God asks, "Whom shall I send?" And Isaiah says, "Here am I. Send me!" God wants you to look at His awesomeness, then at your sinfulness, and then at the lostness of the people around you.
Perspective #3 - "They are dying." You've seen the King; they never have. And God has sent the storm to refocus your attention on the mission of rescuing the dying people around you.
With all that's changing in our world, the things that really matter haven't changed. In fact, the changes make the important things more important than ever. Make frequent visits to God's Throne Room, go off and to Jesus' cross to get clean, and go on frequent missions to take some people to heaven with you.
With the storm intensifying, focus on the things that really matter so this can be the time when you really see the Lord.