5 Then said I, 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: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Although there have been men and women throughout scripture who have been privy to eternal majesties and have been assigned to spectacular missions by God himself, their qualifications were not much different than our own. James writes of the prophet Elias that he was a man subject to like passions even as we are. Notwithstanding, the virtue and nobility of those men and women selected by God for magnificent purposes lie not in the fact that they were sinless and perfect like our Lord, but within the fact that they were deeply aware of, and admitted their own sinfulness when others were not and would not. Though Isaiah’s vision of the throne and his subsequent response, “Here am I; send me” is quite familiar to most, what’s most impressive about the prophet is his acknowledgement of his own uncleanness, and God’s subsequent purging of his sin. His proverbial confession was not, “I am righteous!” Yet rather, it was “I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips.” For this pattern is one whereby all believers follow when responding to a call from God to serve. One must be completely assured of one’s own forgiveness, and having been forgiven, one must serve.
[For how much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?] KJV Hebrews 9:14
Brian Johnson, Ph.D.