Do you remember those days of job interviews, trying to sell yourself to a prospective employer? I admit I remember it being somewhat intimidating. Here you are, sitting across from the decision maker who is deciding if you are qualified to handle the job. Boy, am I glad those days are behind me!

Yet what about working on God's behalf? What does He look for in a prospective hire? If we look into the "interview" God held with Isaiah in Chapter Six of the book with the same title, we quickly notice an interview which is intense, to say the least. As Isaiah comes face to face with the holiness of God, he cannot help but realize something: He, Isaiah, is terribly unholy.

When Isaiah sees God, his first reaction is not excitement, as if he's happy to have been given the privilege of seeing something no one else gets to see. He doesn't immediately run to Facebook to pat himself on the back like so many modern-day prophets might. Instead, Isaiah's initial response is, "Woe!"

This isn't the "Whoa!" that means "this is really cool." This is a different "Woe". This is the one that says, "I'm in a lot of trouble here." "Woe!" as in "Help!" And this is how we should approach the responsibility of serving God. When you see what true holiness looks like, you cannot help but recognize the extent of your own sinfulness. There is no use in pretending things are better than they are, attempting to hide your flaws from a God who sits high and exalted on a throne surrounded by a multitude of angels declaring His holiness night and day. There is no rationalization of bad behavior. There is only confession.

Confession is not something we value anymore, even though we should. What else is there to do when you come into the presence of a holy God but to agree with Him in His assessment of your life? He says you have missed the mark and fallen short of His glory. Once you have caught a glimpse of His glory, you find that you're not in much position to argue with Him about that.

Applicants of Christianity realize they are called to carry God's message to God's people, but applicants also realize they themselves are unclean. We, the applicants, lack the integrity necessary to be God's messenger. To be equipped for this job, the applicant needs cleansing and forgiveness, but he cannot receive it until he is willing to fully own his sin and turn back to God (ol' timers and Jesus referred to this as "repent").

Unfortunately, our society today has elevated rationalization and justification to an art form. We hardly ever value remorse or tears of confession. Perhaps that's because we rarely reflect on what we've done from the perspective of the one we've hurt. Perhaps it's because we rarely stop to think about how sin keeps us from being holy like our Father in heaven is holy.

One more thing. The pay isn't all that great, but the retirement plan is out of this world!

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Rev. Robert Templeton resides in Orangeburg.


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