Here Am I, But Don’t Send Me
Isaiah gives us some interesting insight into the events of his calling to be a prophet of God in the sixth chapter of his book. He is given the special privilege of seeing the throne room of God. His first reaction is one of sorrow and woe, because he immediately recognizes just how inadequate he is to serve God. God’s innate holiness is a specific concern for Isaiah. He feels utterly and completely unable to speak the holy words of a holy God with his unclean lips in the midst of people with unclean lips. The next event is fascinating. One of the heavenly beings brings a fiery coal and presses it on Isaiah’s lips, purging his sin and sanctifying him for service.
The truth of the matter is Isaiah is not alone. No one among us is able to compare with the holiness of God. Our own feelings of inadequacy may cause us to feel unworthy of serving Him and ultimately, we are. Paul proclaims emphatically that there is none righteous (Romans 3:10). Who am I to serve in God’s kingdom?
The good news of the gospel is that God can cleanse me. Just as Isaiah’s sin was taken away, God has provided the means for our sanctification and justification as well. It is the “gift of God,” eternal life (Romans 6:23). When Christ died for our sins He made reconciliation with God possible (Ephesians 2:16). I need to appeal to His grace by calling on the name of the Lord for salvation (Acts 2:21; Acts 22:16).
When Isaiah was cleansed He hears a call. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” was a call that came from God Himself (Isaiah 6:8). Isaiah understood that the call was for him. His response was simple, great, and therefore simply great, “Here am I; send me.”
I’m afraid some Christians don’t realize they were saved to serve. Isaiah’s sins were taken away so he could serve God. They became a New Testament Christian, in essence saying, “Here am I,” among the saved of God. But they may not have yet examined the areas in which they can serve. Notice some areas where we might cry, “Here am I, but don’t send me!”
In worship. Some are very good at showing up for worship, but not so good at participating. Don’t forget that we must be involved with worship, giving Him our hearts (Ephesians 5:19; John 4:24). You may not sing well, but sing the best you can. You might find yourself distracted during the sermon or a prayer, but intently refocus right away.
In evangelism. If the gospel was enticing enough for you to obey, why shouldn’t you share it with others? An invitation can be very powerful, as we see with Andrew, Peter’s brother (John 1:41). Make sure you are doing your part, because you have been sent into all the world (Mark 16:15).
In service. Sometimes we forget that it takes sacrifice to serve. We will help others as long as it’s not inconvenient for us. Jesus embodied a perfect attitude of service (Philippians 2:5-8). The servant of the Lord will have difficulties; just ask Paul (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).
Make sure that you finish the sentence when you tell God you are here, a part of His church. To be a part of the church means looking for a place to labor. Unfortunately, most don’t want to be sent to work in the fields. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few” (Luke 10:2).