If the only purpose of your salvation was to get you to heaven, God would have raptured you up to heaven the moment he made you alive in him. Instead, He has saved you to a purpose! Maybe you don’t know what this purpose is? Well, news flash: if you’re a Christian, you’re sent…if you’re a Christian, you’re to be on mission!
This passage in Isaiah is a great picture of this sending. Isaiah’s sins are atoned for and immediately he is sent. And he is a willing volunteer! When we encounter God in true worship, we will be motivated to heartfelt service. Our aim is to please the One who enlisted us (II Tim. 2:4)!
True worship always motivates mission. Any time you catch a glimpse of the glorious holiness of the Savior, it is a natural response for you to desire to long for others to experience him as well. God is worthy of your worship; He is worthy of your church’s worship; He is worthy of your friends/family/coworkers’ worship; He is worthy of the worship of the nations! Your desire should be to see them worshiping the same Savior!
Isaiah was good about not forgetting his fellow Israelites. He included them is his confession of sin (“I dwell among a people of unclean lips”) and he included them in his missions efforts (“Send me!”). He wanted his fellow Israelites to encounter this amazing God the same way he had. Unfortunately, the message he was tasked with preaching to them was less than encouraging (see 6:9-13).
John Piper has a great explanation of the motivation for missions. His says in his book Let the Nations Be Glad, “Missions exists because worship does not .” This is a great understanding and explanation of why we do missions. We don’t do missions because missions is our main purpose. We do missions because worship is the main purpose of humanity and not everyone is worshiping yet!
There is a beautiful cycle that God has established in moving his disobedient people toward being true worshipers. It begins with a revelation of God (“I saw the LORD”). The revelation of God’s holiness leads to repentance (“Woe is me!”). Repentance leads to worship (“Here am I!”). And worship leads to mission (“Send me!”). The cycle repeats because missions is the propagation of the revelation of God!
REVELATION –> REPENTANCE –> WORSHIP –> MISSION
One day, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” On that day, “every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Until the glory of the LORD fills the earth as the waters cover the sea, our response is “Here am I! Send me!”
How do we do this? Here are three levels of application:
True Corporate Worship: The Church that Worships Together, Witnesses Together
In your church services, may your worship be in Spirit and truth, and may that in turn motivate you to do missions together until the earth is covered in worshipers!
True Individual Worship: Private Worship Motivates Personal Evangelism
May your private devotional life be so passionate that it ignites a fire in your bones that cannot be quenched until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD!
True Family Worship: Family Worship Produces a Picture of the Gospel for the World to See
Did you know that marriage was created as an image of what God’s relationship with the Church is supposed to be? If marriage is the shadow, Christ and the Church is the vignette. Your marriage and your family are to mirror the gospel to all those around you. When they see your unconditional love for your wife, husband, they see Christ’s unfailing love for his unfaithful Bride. When they see your willing submission to your husband, wife, they see the Church’s willing obedience to her Head, Jesus Christ. When the world sees your nurturing love and discipline of your children, they see God’s love for His people, for God disciplines the ones he loves.