Beyond Rinse and Repeat

Speaker: Pastor Darin Browne

Isaiah 6:1-3 (ESV)
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS!

Life for almost everyone looks like this. Get up, go to work, perhaps shop a bit, come home, watch TV, go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Day after day, month after month, year upon year. Maybe a moment’s excitement on a Friday or Saturday night. Life can be pretty mundane. But I prophesy to you today that God has a higher calling for you.

John 8:23 (MSG)
Jesus said, “You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You’re at a dead end. If you won’t believe I am who I say I am, you’re at the dead end of sins. You’re missing God in your lives.”

So many look at themselves and their lives and say, “This is all there is.” The world looks at you and sees you as just another person, another opinion in a sea of opinions, another vote, another consumer, another dollar. But God sees you like this…

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

OUR DESTINY IS NOT A LIFE OF RINSE AND REPEAT

We are destined for heaven one day, but waiting on the Lord is not passively going through mundane motions until we die. No, the road to glory is paved with purpose, and that purpose lives within you. You don’t need to go find it; God has planted a seed within every believer, a desire to serve and be a part of His Kingdom on earth. Like any seed, though, it requires nurturing; it’s meant to grow. But it’s not going to grow just because you desire it to do so. There’s fertilising, weeding and pruning. Moving into your destiny means living a godly life, and it requires more than a Sunday-only effort; it’s an all-the-time activity.

A young Isaiah had one earth shattering encounter with Jesus, and this changed everything!

1. A VISION OF NEED

Isaiah saw a vision of the throne of God, and it happened at the end of the reign of Uzziah. Though he certainly wasn’t perfect (see 2 Chronicles 26), Uzziah had been a good king who had brought Judah a long way back toward God. Judah had been prosperous and successful under King Uzziah, but Isaiah was reminded of an even greater King.

In Chapter 7 we see Isaiah with the new King, Ahaz, clearly seeing the reality of this world. Judah looked peaceful and prosperous, as do we, but Ephraim, Syria and Assyria posed immediate and direct threats to invade and destroy their nation.

Isaiah 7:2 (ESV)
When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

Like Isaiah, we see our prosperous country. We see the wealth, lifestyle and riches we have. But we’re also aware of the insidious destructive threat we face socially, for our kids and youth, and it’s barrelling down on us like a freight train, and we seem powerless to stop it.

2. A VISION OF GOD

Isaiah, a young aristocrat, saw a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ on His throne.

Isaiah 6:1-3 (ESV)
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Isaiah had an encounter with Jesus, and saw Him exalted, lofty, high, and lifted up. He saw that the Lord has the right to rule over everything on this earth, including the situations of his day and age, and Isaiah was never the same again.

Just pause and look at those words: “I saw the Lord.” You will never say yes to the Lord until you have had an encounter with Him. Chances are you won’t get a vision of heaven like Isaiah. You shouldn’t look for skywriting in the sky tomorrow morning, “Go! Become a missionary.” But you must see the Lord high and lifted up, sitting on the throne. You must see that He has the right to rule and that He does rule all things. When He calls you, everything changes!

Have you had a genuine encounter with God? Have you experienced a genuine call from the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, today is the day if you are open and willing.

3. A VISION OF INADEQUACY

When faced with this amazing encounter, note Isaiah’s immediate reaction. This exalted scene of worship cut his heart to the quick. The event revealed his own personal brokenness and sinfulness in contrast to God’s perfect holiness.

Isaiah 6:5 (ESV)
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Some of you here are like that, you look at your sin, your past, your life in general and think, “I am so unworthy, God could never use me.” That is 100% untrue!

If God can use a slave like Joseph, a murderer like Moses, a timid manual worker like Gideon, a tax collector like Matthew, and a bunch of uncouth fishermen, He can definitely use you, if you are willing. That’s the missing ingredient, your being willing.

Isaiah, along with his brokenness, sensed, God was here. He was and is enthroned. He is lifted up and He is everywhere in this place. Then this happened…

Isaiah 6:6-7 (ESV)
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

If you are willing today, God can make you Holy. Whatever you have done, if you truly yield your life to Him, He can set you apart for a great purpose. Notice the coal was held to Isaiah’s lips, because this is where so much damage is done. We need to have consecrated lips, that speak life not death, blessing not cursing.

4. A VISION OF COMMISSION

Isaiah 6:8 (ESV)
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

Isaiah was in the very throne room of God, and he discovers that the Lord is looking for someone to step up for their generation. Isaiah wrote in the 8th century BC, and two centuries later Ezekiel showed that God was still looking for a special someone…

Ezekiel 22:30 (ESV)
And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

He is still looking even today. He is still calling today, and specifically, God is calling you now. Isaiah was that guy. When God asked, “Who will go for us?” Isaiah said, “Pick me!”

I believe that the eyes of the Lord range throughout this room today, looking for someone who says, “Pick me, Lord, I’m your guy/girl.”

It is so easy to float along with a humdrum, rinse and repeat life. It takes courage to yield your life fully to Jesus, but I believe the Lord is calling us this very day.

5. A VISION RESPONSE

God said, “Who can I send?” And Isaiah immediately replied, “Send me!” I believe that God is still looking for those who respond, send me!

2 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV)
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.

The Hebrew for blameless is the word SALEM, which means peaceable or whole. God is looking not for people who dabble, people who do a bit, turn up to church, go through the motions, rinse and repeat, but for people who are wholly sold out for Him, who are totally committed to Him.

STEPS TO BREAKING OUT OF YOUR RINSE AND REPEAT LIFE

So how can we go beyond a rinse and repeat life to become all God has destined us to be? What do we, as Jesus followers need to do? It’s as simple as A, B, C, D.

A – ACT RIGHTEOUSLY

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a HOLY nation, a people for his own possession,

You cannot tolerate sin in your life and expect God to maximise your effectiveness for Him. You will never discover your God given destiny for greatness until you are obedient.

John 14:21 (ESV)
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

If you truly want God to use your life to impact the world for His Kingdom, repent, which means turn away from your sin to God. Don’t flirt with sin, don’t put up with it, and don’t cover it up. Own up, man up, confess up and let Jesus set you free.

If you are trying to lead your child into something great, and they continually rebel and run away, they will never reach the goal. Obedience and Holiness are mandatory.

2 Timothy 2:21 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

B – BELIEVE THERE’S MORE

Ecclesiastes 1:8-9 (ESV)
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Life without Jesus is pointless, a weariness, a mundane existence. Serving Jesus is what makes life worthwhile, to be part of something eternal, something forever, something radical, something history making. Don’t settle for bland existence, believe that God has more, much more for you! Jesus promised us…

John 10:10 (ESV)
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Understand, I’m not talking about material things, comfort and worldly success. Paul tells us we are to be content with what the Lord gives us…

Philippians 4:11-12 (ESV)
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Be content with what you have, but never be content with who you are for the Lord. Always desire more, because God wants you to seek Him first. Inside every one of us is a spiritual superhero, ready to explode forth!

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Never be afraid to trust and unknown future to a known God. Serving Jesus is the greatest joy in my life, and it can be in your life too. There’s always more to serve Him.

C – COUNT THE COST

Luke 14:28-30 (ESV)
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

The devil never says, “count the cost,” he always says, like Nike, “Just do it,” and we will sort out the cost later. Don’t fall for that! If you are buying a big-ticket item like a car or house or computer, you would never agree to buy it without knowing what it will cost you. Jesus says, “count the cost”. If you want to serve Him, count the cost. There is a cross to bear if you truly want serve Jesus.

It will cost you to serve the Lord, but it is a price worth paying! Nothing worthwhile in life comes without a cost. Don’t try and negotiate God down on the price. Be so committed that you will pay any price, because the prize is too awesome. Count the cost.

D – DEVELOP THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST

Discovering your God given destiny to serve the Kingdom is not some prophetic Revelation written in the sky. It’s a journey that involves your development as a servant and child of God. Peter wrote this…

2 Peter 1:5-8 (ESV)
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You can develop these character traits by reading His Word, coming to church, getting involved, studying and rubbing shoulders with other, more mature believers. If you get slack about the disciplines, you simple will not keep developing character. As you develop the character of Christ, God will shape your dreams and desire for ministry into what He intended all along for your life. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it.

WHAT DOES JESUS SEE WHEN HE LOOKS AT YOU?

I remember the story of an ancient silversmith refining silver. He heats it up, the dross rises to the top and is scraped away. He does this, scraping more and more dross away, up to seven times. The challenges you face, the difficulties you endure, you should rejoice in, because they are God heating you up and removing impurities.

And how does the silversmith know when the ore is fully refined? He looks into it, and when he sees his own face perfectly reflected in the molten metal, he knows it is ready.

When Jesus investigates your life today, what does He see? Does He see a person trapped in a mundane life, content with just working, eating, sleeping and watching Netflix, or someone willing to pay any price to serve and be a part of God’s Kingdom here? Does He see someone focussing on their own problems, or someone who sees through their problems to be purified like silver into the person God uses?

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