Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Jerome Ocampo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 19 March 2017.
WORSHIP IN THE MIDST OF TRANSITIONS/ CRISIS
Are we in the midst of a transition or a crisis? Transition and crisis may bring fear and worry into our lives.
Things are changing in America, the Philippines, and UK (Brexit) – many uncertainties and major changes are taking place. We may be in a crisis or in a transition which means, it is time to experience God.
Isaiah 6:1-8 – “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.” The nation of Israel was in transition. King Uzziah had died and there was a vacuum in the government. In the midst of this crisis, Isaiah saw the Lord.
Isaiah did three things:
1. Isaiah looked up to God.
Isaiah had an encounter with God during Israel’s crisis. He saw a powerful Almighty God, who was not moved by the shakings of this world. In the midst of the chaos in our life, remember that we have a God who is not shaken by the things of this world. When God speaks to His people in transition, He reveals who He is. Don't look around before looking up to our Almighty God.
2. Isaiah looked around after He looked up.
If we look up first, God will reveal things that we don't normally see around us. Isaiah saw the train of God’s robes fill the Temple of God and saw the King in His glory.
Isaiah 6:2-5 – “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. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “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.”
Isaiah understood that only we humans experience God as a Redeemer. God does not redeem angels but He redeems us, His priceless creations. God cares for us and He is involved in our lives.
This is contrary to the teaching of Deism (God is a watchmaker) – a belief that God is only a creator but God is not involved in the daily life of His creations. A Deism believer, Sir Thomas Jefferson re-wrote the Bible and he removed all writing on miracles of God. Our problem is not a problem until we perceive it as a problem. God cares for us and He wants us to know that He is for us. 2 Kings 6:17 – “And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” God is for us and those who are with us are more than those who are with the enemies.
3. Isaiah looked within.
God sent a fire from heaven to touch Isaiah's lips. The truth which we think condemns is actually the truth that cleanses us and brings healing into our life. Don't be afraid to look inside us, it is a pathway to restoration.
John Rockefeller, the first multi-billionaire, fell very sick at the age of 54. He started donating money to build hospitals, churches, missionaries after an encounter with God. Doctors said that he would die at 54. However, after His supernatural experience with God, Rockefeller went on to live longer until the age of 98.
Be ready for an encounter with God. An encounter with God may not always be spectacular, but it is always supernatural.
Look up, look around us with spiritual eyes, and look within us. There is not a crisis that God cannot turn around. God is able to restore everything. Let God open the eyes of our heart so that we are able to see that miracles are on the way.