Knowing myself has been a hobby of mine for some time. I was fully convinced of the importance of knowing myself after taking a Career Directions Workshop in college. I was undecided on my major and Junior and was in need of some help. The workshop gave me the time, space and guidance that I needed to do some self discovery. Since that workshop I have drawn on this knowledge gained about myself often. Not just as I was trying to choose a major, but also a career.
In the last week while studying Isaiah 6:1-8 it has become crystal clear that know yourself, you must first look at God. John Calvin insisted that no one ever achieves, “a clear knowledge of himself unless he first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating Him to scrutinize himself. For we always seem to ourselves righteous and upright and wise and holy-this pride is innate in all of us unless by clear proofs we stand convinced of own own unrighteousness, foulness, folly, and impurity. Moreover, we are not thus convinced if we look merely to ourselves and not also to the Lord, who is the sole standard by which this judgment must be measured.”
This progression is exactly what we see in Isaiah. As Isaiah gets a vision of God he sees himself all the more clearly, “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!”
Sam Storms in “Pleasures Forevermore” continues the progression, “This self-awareness in turn inevitably leads to brokenness and pain, followed by confession and repentance. This in turn leads to cleansing and forgiveness. The holiness of God that first hurts, then heals. Finally cleansing leads to commissioning. Mercy leads to ministry.”
Has knowing God lead to knowing yourself? Has the mercy you received form God lead to your ministry?