Lighthouse Outreaches
Touching Africa, Middle East and Beyond
Where To Look In Times of Transition

Where Are You Looking?

by Steven Mills
Isaiah 6:1-9 - In the year that King Uzziah died I then saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.  6:2  Above it stood the seraphs; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.   6:3  And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of Hosts; the whole earth full of His glory. 6:4  And the doorposts moved at the voice of the one who cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 6:5  Then I said, Woe is me! For I am undone; 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, Jehovah of Hosts. 6:6  Then one of the seraphs flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, snatched with tongs from the altar. 6:7  And he laid it on my mouth and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. 6:8  And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me! 6:9  And He said, Go, and tell this people, You hear indeed, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know.  

With the state of today’s economy and the trying situations around the world people find themselves wondering where to look for help.  Many are looking to the new president and his administration to pull us out of hard times.  Others are looking  to the new age religion being endorsed by popular TV hosts.  While still others are lost not knowing where to look.  We can get encouragement by the call of Isaiah and where he looked.

Look Toward Heaven –  The Upward Look (v 1-4)

We can see from this scripture the first place Isaiah looked was toward heaven.  When Isaiah turned his look toward heaven he saw the Lord.  Until a person sees God for who He really is they will never be able to see themselves for who they really are.  Isaiah was given a glimpse of heaven and he saw the Lord on his throne in all his splendor.  This vision allowed Isaiah to see the contrast between the holiness and perfection of God and the ungodliness and sinfulness of man.  God is perfectly perfect and is separated from man because of man’s sinful nature.  God is the standard by which all moral and spiritual character is measured.  By seeing the separateness of God Isaiah was confronted with his own sinfulness and the sinfulness of humanity.  When a person truly sees the Lord everything changes.

Look at Yourself – The Inward Look (v 5-7)

Once Isaiah had the Upward look toward heaven he was forced to take the inward look at himself.  What he saw inside himself was not very pleasant to look upon.  Look at what different translation tell us about Isaiah’s reaction to the inward look.     

·        Jerusalem Bible: “What a wretched state I am in! I am lost…    

·        KJV: “Woe is me, I am undone…”    

·        NASB: “…I am ruined…”    

·        NLT: “My destruction is sealed…”    

·        MSG: “"Doom! It's Doomsday! I'm as good as dead!” 

Isaiah saw the great difference between the holiness of God and his own failures because of sin.  Isaiah also saw that God offers him forgiveness from his sin.  What Isaiah experienced is exactly what John promised in 1 John 1:9 - “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”    As Isaiah looked inward he saw himself as sinful but because of God’s mercy he was able to see himself as forgiven.  There is no greater message of hope than the message that God forgives sin.  It is sin, and sin alone that separates us from God, and it is God, and God alone who can forgive us of our sins.  Jesus didn’t come to earth to start a new religion, but to remind mankind that God desires to have a relationship with all people, and to give His life on the cross to make that possible.

Look at the Lost – The Outward Look (v8-9)


As Isaiah was having that inward look at himself he heard God call; “Whom should I send…Who will go?”  And Isaiah responded immediately, “I’ll go…send me!”  That is an OUTWARD look.  That is a missionary vision.  It was a vision that began by Looking Upward and seeing that God is worthy of our worship.  It was made possible by Looking Inward and seeing himself as sinful and that God forgives.  Now Isaiah was Looking Outward to the world where he was being sent.    


God told him in the verses that follow that he was going to preach and people weren’t going to understand.  He was going to try and open their eyes to the greatness of God’s salvation but they were going to refuse to see.  He was going to try and open their ears to God’s offer of forgiveness but they were going to refuse to hear.  Isaiah asked the LORD quite honestly: “How long will I have to do this?”  God’s answer was that it would be a lifetime commitment.  Isaiah had the strength stick it out because he had seen God.

It has been stated “Before you can have out-reach there must first be an up-reach and an in-reach.”  Our ministry philosophy should be as follows:

     1st minister to God (Look Upward)
     2nd let God minister to you (Look Inward)
     3rd minister to others from the overflow (Look Outward)

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