in light of it

Posted: August 25th, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | 6 Comments »

Isaiah is the most important prophet for the Hebrew people. His words were poetry and visions, hammers and chisels. God spoke through him for about forty years. Through Isaiah’s mouth came a poetic banner of God’s holiness. Yet, when he was in the presence of God he cried out that he was ruined because of his unclean lips. Apparently being in the presence of God makes you aware of your sin.

‘I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted— blasphemous even!’ -Isaiah 6:5

In all that God said through Isaiah’s mouth, Isaiah was still a man who, in the presence of God, saw that he had unclean lips.

According to Matthew 5, we’re supposed to pray for our enemies. In the reality of the Christian sub-culture, our ‘enemies’ are often other believers. If another Christian is hurting you, condemning you or excluding you, then pray for them.

Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:20 and Proverbs 25: 21-22 talk about praying for and showing kindness to your enemies. According to these scriptures, your response to them will ‘heap burning coals on their head.’ I don’t care how much I want someone to pay for the hurt they caused, I can’t say that I want them to experience that kind of torture.

However, if you consider Isaiah in the presence of God, he saw his error and begged to be cleansed. When I pray for my ‘enemies’, I pray that God reveals himself.

‘Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal…’ -Isaiah 6:6-7

He was cleansed with burning coal.

The purpose for praying for and showing kindness to your enemy is so they can be in the presence of God. If Isaiah is any hint of what being in the presence of God is like, then no man can stand. He will ask to be cleansed and God will heap burning coals.

If you want someone to see the error of their ways, then love them. God changes people through love. He saved the world through love. God is love.

When they have been cleansed, you’ve made a friend (Matthew 18:15). Together whole and healed (James 5:16). That has been the goal from the beginning (John 17:20).

“Look. This coal has touched your lips. Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out.” -Isaiah 6:7

If your {sister} wrongs you, go and show {her} {her} fault, between you and {her} privately. If {she} listens to you, you have won back your {sister}. -Matthew 18:15

...if she listens, you've made a friend. {matthew 18:15}


6 Comments on “in light of it”

  1. 1 Lynn Mosher said at 5:27 am on August 25th, 2009:

    Serena, Great post! It's always good to be reminded to pray for our enemies. I try to do this but sometimes I forget. I also try to see a cross placed over them. Thanks for this! May the Lord bless you!

  2. 2 L. Wade said at 5:31 am on August 25th, 2009:

    As I agree with you on this, I must also say, sadly, it doesn't always work.

    Having learned this the hard way, for some enemies as well as "christian" enimies.

    AS I posted today on my fb page, Illusioned or disillusioned?

    So many are under the illusions that "their " way of thinking IS the only way.

    Love this though. Awesome. I know GOD is able where man fails daily. BUT, itis in HIS time and will not ours.

  3. 3 Sisterlisa said at 6:04 am on August 25th, 2009:

    Thank you for this. Not only do I see the message you intended for prayer, but how God, in His holiness, shows us our sin. We don't need man usurping the authority of the Holy Spirit by pointing out our sin to us. He shows us through His love. Like a mirror. The mirror is God's perfect love and when we look into His perfect love we will see our sin on our own and in humility make the necessary changes. That is an aspect of grace that is so nurturing.

    I'm glad Sarah Mae introduced me to your blog.

  4. 4 Kathleen said at 6:07 am on August 25th, 2009:

    One of my favorite prayers is a prayer from the Eastern Orthodox church. It resonates with me for the same reason that this post does. I have learned that, while I am called to live at peace with everyone, there will be those who simply will not live at peace with me. So I am to pray for them. I can't write the entire prayer here, but I posted it on my own blog sometime ago.

    Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

    Dear woman, the more I read you, the more I see God revealing similar things to us. Thank you for being generous with your mind, your heart, and your journey.

  5. 5 Serena Woods said at 6:16 am on August 25th, 2009:

    Lynn: you should post the story you messaged me. It's a fun sparkle in the my point.

    L. Wade: "…it doesn't always work." Nothing is finished until it's dead. 🙂

    Lisa: me, too. 🙂

    Kathleen: "the more I read you, the more I see God revealing similar things to us." That's because He has one voice. 🙂

  6. 6 Cassandra @ Apple Pi said at 6:23 am on August 25th, 2009:

    Another reason to pray for my enemy is that it changes me.

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