Perhaps the greatest moment of Isaiah’s life came when he wrote; Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Five decades of prosperity attended to Uzziah’s reign over Judah. Uzziah offered the people a lifetime of decent living. Isaiah lived comfortably in the environment and shadow of Judah’s king. Yet, it was only when the king died that Isaiah finally saw the Lord. Whether intentional or not, the king clouded the vision of the people. He led from a platform of human governance all the while eclipsing the God of Glory. Finally, when the natural king died, the King of all kings could be seen.
It’s hard to see the spiritual things when we are comfortable with our natural surroundings. This has been true since the beginning of time. God’s wonder is often masked by the pleasantries of daily life. Our need of Him seems to diminish when we are prospering. It’s only in the valleys that we seem to yearn for Him; calling on His name; crying after Him. Success rarely garnishes intercessory prayer.
The American lifestyle lends itself to more wants than needs. We are a people intoxicated with possession and pursuits. To be Kingdom-minded means we have to fight for focus. God has always been on the throne. His train, i.e. victories, has been established long ago. He is a mighty God and a victorious King, but we cannot see Him through the maze of our convenient lifestyle. It’s only when our crutch is pulled out from us that we learn to look to the hills from whence cometh our help. It’s only when we purposefully and intentionally decide to seek Him that we find Him.
Focus has been under attack forever, but never as much as today. Sound-bites mixed with quick images are constantly presented in every sort of medium. Media and gaming; television and movies; social media and the plethora of internet options all combined have arrested our attention. It’s difficult for people of all ages to keep their thoughts together.
I submit this word: We must make our time count and our eyes fixed. It is imperative that we stay sober in a shifting world. It is crucial that the church is determined to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ and be faithful in every area of life. As our year closes and another begins, I pray that our homes will become Christ-centered; our marriages will be healthy and whole; and our mission for a revival will become consuming. I’m looking unto Jesus, focused, Who is the Author and Finisher of my faith. I need to see Him, high and lifted up.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole