It’s two weeks into the new year, and I’ve given little thought to my usual “Going to get a fresh start, gotta do better at….” litany of new year resolutions.
My lack of enthusiasm is partly due to years of setting goals (largely about how much I’m going to work out and how many vegetables I’m going to eat) but seeing little change in those areas.
But mostly, I sense the Lord taking my new year resolutions in a new direction. This sense began with familiar words from Scripture taking a new / New Year meaning:
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord” (Isaiah 6:1).
In one sentence, Isaiah states two major events:
The King of Judah died, and he saw the Lord.
The death of King Uzziah was a turning point for the nation of Judah. For most of his 52-year reign, the king “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 26:4).
Though the king became prideful in his later years, God blessed his reign and Judah prospered. “King Uzziah’s death brought to an end an era of prosperity and well-being and ushered in a time of uncertainty and anxiety. The Assyrian threat was beginning to loom on the horizon” (Asbury Bible Commentary).
To a nation, a king died.
For Isaiah, a greater event happened.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne.”
A major world event became the backdrop for the most life-changing event of Isaiah’s life.
Isaiah SAW the Lord. He had a supernatural revelation of the glory of Jesus (John 12:41).
He saw Jesus on His throne.
He saw Jesus in His glory, high and exalted.
He saw His all-consuming presence as the train of His robe filled the temple.
Isaiah saw the heavenly beings passionately worship Him.
He heard their guttural cry of HOLY.
Isaiah saw the glory and holiness of God in the person of Jesus. Isaiah SAW, and he was forever changed.
God wants the same for us today.
What will be the hallmark of 2018 for us?
We have the opportunity to experience in 2018AD what Isaiah experienced in 736BC. With all we don’t know about the year ahead, it can go down in our history books as:
The year we Saw the LORD:
perceived with our mind,
had our spiritual eyes opened,
experienced through fresh revelation,
sat in the presence of and were profoundly changed by
What more could we ask for 2018?
The vision changed Isaiah’s life.
It brought deep repentance and humility:
“‘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’” (Isaiah 6:5).
The revelation brought total surrender.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8).
Isn’t this what we want?
This is what I want for 2018. I believe as you ponder this, you’ll find it’s what you want too. Is it not the highest, most holy use of our minds, energy and time? Is it not the path to the spiritual growth we seek?
Isaiah had a supernatural vision of God — we can have that too.
We can see the Lord in new and glorious ways — higher and more exalted than we’ve ever seen before. We can see the Lord move in our lives in ways we’ve not experienced before.
As I reflect on 2017, I’m amazed at the changes and events I was completely unaware of at the start of the year. What I treasure most in all of them — in the good and the difficult — are the ways I saw and experienced God.
2017 was a year of seeing God move greatly in my circumstances. I saw God move us to a new city. Even more, I saw Him move our hearts to this city before He ever physically moved us.
My desire for 2018 is to turn my gaze more intently on Him, to see HIM as He truly is: high and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the whole earth. I want to worship Him more fully, be mesmerized by His holiness and beauty. I want to be humbled and become more fully surrendered.
I want 2018 to be about seeing and celebrating Him. I believe you want this too.
Will you join me?