A Life Transforming Encounter with God

 

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Image Credit: The International Church, Mansfield

 

Daily Devotion Monday June 12, 2017

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;… Above him were seraphim… they were calling [singing] to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’… ‘Woe to me’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips,”

Isaiah 6:1-3, 5

There can never be an encounter with God without any transformation. Abram who later became Abraham, a man from Ur of the Chaldeans—a people who worshipped idols didn’t remain the same after his encounter with God. From a pagan practice, Abraham became a champion of faith. Moses who feared for his life and fled to Midian after having killed an Egyptian boldly returned to Egypt commanding Pharaoh to let Israel go. This happened after Moses had an encounter with the LORD in the wilderness at Horeb—the mountain of God.

The life transforming encounter with God happened with quite many people in the past and present. In the biblical times, one of the persons who had a life transforming encounter with God was Isaiah the son of Amoz. Isaiah lived to see the reign of Judah’s king Uzziah. For about fifty years of his reign, Uzziah walked faithfully with God. However,

The closing act of this proud monarch was one of spiritual profanation. With the presumption of an irreverent and worldly temper, he entered the Temple and attempted with his own hands to burn incense. Instantly the Divine judgment smote him with leprosy, and he passed from the throne of royalty to die in a lazar-house (James Nisbet).

In the year Uzziah died, Isaiah went to the same temple where the king acted profanely. While deep in prayer and devotion to God, something like never before except at king Solomon’s time happened. The Glory of God filled the temple and Isaiah’s eyes were opened to see the Lord. In the realm of glory with Seraphim singing an eternal song of heaven, Isaiah saw the Holy God seated in his throne. The glory and holiness of God was far beyond what Isaiah had ever imagined, he realized how wretched and sinful he and his people were. Isaiah describes his vision in these words;

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;… Above him were seraphim… they were calling [singing] to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’… ‘Woe to me’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips,” (Isaiah 6:1-3,5).

Isaiah’s acknowledgment of God’s holiness and his sinfulness was a confession of “his unworthiness to stand before God. His penitence and self-abasement were rewarded. One of the seraphim took a live coal from the altar and touched the lips that had confessed themselves unclean. It was the symbol of forgiveness and cleansing. The youthful penitent knew that he was restored” (James Nisbet).

This encounter with God transformed Isaiah from uncleanliness to cleanliness, Isaiah was transformed from an unworthy man to a worthy vessel that the Lord was willing to use to deliver his message. Like he did for Isaiah, an encounter with the Lord has transformed me and many others who encountered him. After encountering God, Saul the persecutor became Paul the preacher and the persecuted. With God, “Just one touch will change your life for all eternity” ― David M. Edwards.

Just as God took the initiative to have an encounter with Abraham, Moses and others, He has also taken an initiative to meet us through his Son Jesus Christ. Isaiah confessed “For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5 ESV). All mankind is lost in sin and for this cause came, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). A penitent encounter with God through Christ forgives and cleanses us from unrighteousness and makes us new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17 NKJV).

I pray that your daily encounter with God will be a life transforming experience because “all [believers], with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (II Cor. 3:18 ESV). Amen!

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV). Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is currently a candidate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway. He is an author of the Popular Triumphing Over Odds . For pastoral assistance you can contact him here and you can also help to support this site and his ministry by donating here.

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