In Isaiah 6, Isaiah is taken in a vision into the throne room of God. His reaction—“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!” He panics. He is unworthy of God’s presence. He has said bad things, and his people have said bad things.
But an angel comes over and touches his lips with a coal from the altar. He is declared to be atoned for and without guilt. Then, when God asks who God can send, Isaiah responds, “Here am I; Send me.”
We often feel unworthy when God calls us to things. And we think because we feel unworthy that we must be unworthy. Why would God use us? How could God use us? We have made to many mistakes. We are not holy. We are not the most talented.
But let me tell you a paradoxical truth. While we think feeling unworthy makes us unworthy, feeling unworthy is actually the first step on the path to being worthy. Think about it this way—what makes you truly unworthy is thinking you are worthy. If God calls you to do something and you say, “Yep, I got this,” then we have a problem. There is no space in a big head for God’s leading. Our pride and arrogance constricts the Holy Spirit.
We must confess that we are unworthy so that God can use us. We must walk through saying “Woe is me” so that we can be ready to say, “Here I am. Send me.”
You think you are not worthy? Good. You are not worthy. I am not worthy. But when we admit that we are not worthy, we actually become ready. Ready for God’s grace and ready for God’s sending. I am not arguing for some kind of negative self-view, but rather for a self-view that comes from God’s view.
You say, “Woe is me. I am not worthy. I am not able.”
God responds, “Good. You admit it. Now, let’s get to work.