A Pain That Sets You Free

“‘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, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’”

– Isaiah 6:5-7

Isaiah’s response to the glorious presence of the Lord is certainly worth taking a closer look at. I think it’s safe to say that he “freaked out” when he saw God’s glory and his immediate reaction was to exclaim, “Woe to me! I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips!” It’s incredible that beholding the fullness of the Almighty made the prophet immediately mindful of his own sinfulness, yet God’s response was amazingly merciful. After his desperate exclamation, a seraph, with eyes all over his body and wings to cover his face, took a pair of tongs and got a live coal from the alter. With the thing hissing in his hand, he flew directly toward Isaiah and touched his mouth while proclaiming to him that his sins had been atoned for. Did it hurt? I’m pretty sure it did, but in the end, it was a pain that set him free. 

Such is the purifying fire of Jesus, my friend. Though acknowledging how far you are from holy is a difficult thing to do, the reward is always greater than the discomfort. When you choose to take ownership of your compromised position in the presence of God’s righteousness, there will be heat, but it will not consume you. The sting of the Refiner’s fire, while it may be searing for a season, will ultimately release you from sin’s grip and set you free to serve Him wholeheartedly. It’s His love that presses the coal to your mouth to remove your guilt and shame, and when you embrace the fullness of its power, you will be redeemed and transformed!


Jesus, thank you for redeeming my life with the heat of your refining fire.


In what area(s) do you need the searing mercy of God’s purifying fire?

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One Response

  1. Still arduous & difficult to do!

    I’m sure it’s worth the effort.

    It’s amazing that some personal sin remains this side of heaven.

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