Look! The Lord is coming from far away,
burning with anger,
surrounded by thick, rising smoke.
His lips are filled with fury;
his words consume like fire.
His hot breath pours out like a flood
up to the neck of his enemies.
He will sift out the proud nations for destruction.
He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin.
Isaiah 30:27-28, NLT
Isaiah had one of the worst jobs ever.
Like other prophets before and after, he had to tell people they would be ruined because of their wrongs.
He had to tell them that a lot. Like, over and over.
In different ways. For years. I don’t care who you are; that’s no fun at first and likely excruciating after a while.
It’s a job made for burnout.
Have you ever been to the place of burnout?
You’ve given everything, and it’s not making any difference? You’re a shell of a home caught on fire. You feel like you could sleep forever but still don’t feel rested. You’re positive someone has made a mistake asking you to do what you’re doing or keep doing.
Sometimes, for things to be purified, they must first burn.
Isaiah is remembered for saying, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips…” And then hot coal burns those lips, and he is purified.
It’s in the ashes and ruin that we are forced to start anew.
“The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.” Isaiah 9:1-2, NLT
Isaiah’s vision in Chapter 6 of God’s throne room and how God had forgiven him had to be big enough to carry him through decades of painful prophesying. He had to know he was doing it not just for himself but for a God he adored, for generations to come, and for nations he would never encounter.
When we are burned out, we need to renew our God-perspective, too.
We need to open our hearts wide and let Him in. We need to dream of Him in technicolor. And when we need the motivation to go on and keep doing the thing God has asked us to do for the people, He tells us our hearts need to be broken for them. We can’t possibly love people toward God without our hearts loving God and loving people first.
Our burned-out purification is the start of seeing God clearly, and loving people dearly.
Are you burned out? What quality of God can you fix your mind on this day?
God, renew me in experiencing your crazy, huge love for me, and give me a crazy, huge love for those you have given me to serve and speak to, in Jesus’ name.
Think back and name 3 ways God has loved and shown He is trustworthy. Pray over these and ask for an opportunity to speak of them to another, particularly someone who needs to be drawn closer to God.