The pastor and author Tim Keller makes a distinction between churchgoers for whom God is a concept (they philosophically acknowledge Jesus) and those for whom God is a reality (they experientially know Jesus). The “concept” rarely impacts and changes you whereas the “reality” shapes everything about you. Right now, which one of these views of God most accurately reflects your life? Are there steps we can take to more deeply experience God as a reality or do we simply wait until he shows up? See John 14:21; Eph 1:15-21; 3:14-21; Phil 3:7-14
The appearance of the real God shakes the temple and Isaiah personally. What do you make of Isaiah’s response to this thrice holy God? Have you ever been “undone” by the Lord and made deeply aware of your own sinfulness? How did you respond at that time? Why do you think the Lord would bring us to the point where we are overwhelmed by the immensity of our sin? See Luke 8:36-50
God takes Isaiah’s guilt away and atones for his sin by means of a coal from the altar (the place of sacrifice). Do you think it is significant that the coal touches Isaiah’s lips? What part of your body most needs the cleansing touch of God?
How does Isaiah respond to the forgiving touch of God? “A genuine encounter with the holy and merciful God is the only necessary ingredient of a true missionary!” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?