In Isaiah chapter 6 God commissions Isaiah to preach to a people who will not hear and to those that will not respond. Wondering how long he is going to have to endure ministering where his message and lifestyle was not embraced, Isaiah asks the Lord how long he will have to do this.( Vs. 11) God replies, “Until their towns are empty, their houses are deserted, and the whole country is a wasteland; until the Lord has sent everyone away, and the entire land of Israel lies deserted.” (Vs 11, 12 NLT)
We like to be popular with the people around us, we don’t like it when our message is not received or when we have to consistently stand against opposition. The implication in these verses is that Isaiah would need to stand and proclaim the truth for a long time, and that it would seem to have little results. The picture is shown of Isaiah speaking and conditions getting worse, hearts getting harder, people becoming more blind to the truth. Yet in these situations Isaiah did not hold back in declaring what God had given to him.
There are times when we can see little fruit in our kingdom labors. There are times when it seems like there is opposition all around us, we would feel like calling out like Isaiah, wondering how long will we need to endure and struggle through the situations around us.
Isaiah’s strength to persevere in the face of rejection came from an awareness of his sinful condition, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Vs 5) and allowing God to touch him, “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged” (Vs 6,7).
Our strength in times of rejection and seemingly unfruitfulness will come as we walk in an honest awareness of our sinful nature and then as we constantly allow our Lord to touch us and to strengthen us.
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