2012 Vision: Commissioned

This morning in preparation for our annual business meeting, I wanted to share with you all the vision that I believe that God has given me for New Hope during 2012.
As indicated by our current ministries and recent personal spiritual health assessments, we find that we have been very successful as a church in growing in knowledge and understanding in Him as believers, which is critically important and something to celebrate that we have been successful here.  However, we also find that we have grown weak and somewhat imbalanced as a church in the areas of missions and outreach – GOing.
I believe that this year, God is leading us from a place where GROWING is in the forefront and focus of our ministry efforts into a new realm of ministry to a place were we are
GOing out into a world in need and being the incarnate word of God; to be putting into practice all that we have learned and know to be true!
God is commissioning us as a church to be His presence and influence in our region; to hold true to the great commission and to Go! and make disciples.  I believe that as we step out in faith and trust and do so, that we will begin to see tremendous areas of breakthrough in our region and in our own lives as we are obedient to Him.
This year’s vision is “Forward motion – GO!ng out into the world to serve as He served.”
I’ll be sharing some of our goals this year and some of the ways that we will begin to take steps to practically bring this to pass at the business meeting following.
In this morning’s message entitled “Whom shall I send?”, we’re going to take a look at the life of one man whom was also commissioned by God to GO! – Isaiah.
Isaiah 6 1-8
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
   “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “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, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Here we see four aspects at work in Isaiah’s commissioning to Go! which we are going to look at this morning.
1. Received vision from God in His presence v.1-4
As we see things from His perspective with His vision, things become clearer and what seemed hopeless and impossible becomes certain and feasible.
We need to allow God to open our eyes and ears spiritually to see and hear things as He does – proper perspective.
In fact, this is the primary purpose for which God was commissioning Isaiah.
Isaiah 6:9-10
9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
Sometimes, we live our lives blinded by ourselves, by our current circumstances, our past failures, our flaws, etc.
*Garbage bag on head
We see nothing but darkness and hopelessness.  We feel alone even when we are surrounded by crowds of people who care for us.  We give up and just sit down, allowing our circumstances to control our actions and to define who we are.  We use them as excuses to justify who we are and what we do.
However, God says this:
Ephesians 2:6 (NIV)
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
Although we are here on the Earth physically, spiritually, we are seated in the heavenly realms.  Receiving God’s perspective can be as easy as us allowing our spiritual eyes and ears to be opened.  We need to have our eyes opened to see the authority and hope that God has already provided us and to rise up in spite of our circumstances and be the overcomers that we were created to be!  Christ paid to high a price for us to expect anything less than His best for ourselves.
2. Received a revelation of the reality of his condition v. 5
He is an unclean man unworthy to be in God’s presence.  On his own and even with the help of his friends, he CAN’T.  However, when Isaiah cried out in despair, his plea was quickly answered.
3. Received atonement from God v. 6-7
Hebrew atoned – kaw-far’ – cleansed, forgiven, purged, pardoned, cancelled, reconciled.
What Isaiah was unable to do for Himself, God did for him.  Isaiah could have clung to his broken state and used it as an excuse for why he was unable to GO and be used by God.  However, he chose to allow God to have His way in his life!  I’m certain that he must have been scared to death as the seraphim approached him with the hot coal from the altar, but he trusted that it was for his own good that he be refined by God’s fire.
4. Is commissioned to GO! and proclaim God’s word v. 8
Since God had cleansed Isiah and showed him mercy, Isaiah’s response to God questioning whom He should send and who would go for Him was immediate.
Isaiah didn’t need to take time to pray about it or even consider the cost of GOing out to share God’s word with his people.  In complete trust and abandonment, he simply stated:
“Here I am. Send me!”
God has given us a vision and He has already done the work; the paid the price for our atonement.  We need simply respond to God’s call just as Isaiah did: Here I am, send me!
From the moment that we respond in obedience, God will give us direction and will fully equip us for how He calls us to go.  He also goes with us and is ready to quickly fulfill His promises which follow the preaching of His word.  He will give us the words to say, setup the divine appointments, and meet our every need along the way.  We need simply only obey His calling and keep in step with Him.
If you’re with me this morning, stand to your feet as our worship team leads us in a closing song and let’s give it all over to Him!  Here we are, send us!
*Invite all to stay for the business meeting and provide event time frames.  Dismiss those not staying for the business meeting.