“And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people.'” Isaiah 6:8-9
My heart is moved by the call of God saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” God has done so much in my life. I wouldn’t even be alive if it weren’t for His mercy and grace toward me. When I hear the One I love crying out for someone to go for Him, I simply can’t resist. It is easy to talk yourself out of going. It takes time to go. Doesn’t it take a certain amount of knowledge or preparation to go to people in Christ’s behalf?
The book of Isaiah, chapter six tells of Isaiah’s response when he heard God’s call for someone to go with the message of God. Isaiah’s response isn’t much different than most of ours: He said, “Woe!” No, I didn’t misspell that word. Your right, he could just as easily have said, “Whoa!” But, when Isaiah saw the God that was calling him – and then looked at himself, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! (unfit for this duty) Because I am a man of unclean lips (a man prone to sin), and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; (I can’t do this, I’m not able to accurately represent the One who calls) for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Verse 5
Most people stop with, “Woe!” They simply can’t get past the fact that they are unqualified. We exalt our perspectives above the calling of God and end up telling God what should be done instead of being obedient to His calling.
But, Isaiah’s response to the purging of his sin and the taking away of his iniquity (weakness) was a response of love and gratefulness. He no longer looked at himself to determine what he was going to do with his life – instead he looked to the God to whom he owed everything to lead him in the way he should live.
It’s easy to remember the “normal” spiritual progression this way:
“Woe!” I am nothing and can do nothing without God!
“Lo!” Your iniquity is taken away – your sin is purged!
“Go!” Here am I! Send me!
That is the normal salvation response and the normal progression of the Christian walk. My sin is taken away by the blood of the Lamb of God! I go to others out of gratefulness and love with the same message that saved me!
I’ll leave you with two stories to consider as a “normal” response to God’s call. One is old and one is recent.
First, the old.
David Brainard was a frail young man, tubercular, sickly, and easily depressed. After being born again, he longed to reach out to the Indians of Colonial America. His first evangelistic trip to the Indians of Massachusetts was not very fruitful. His work of 1744 was not any better. He found himself struggling with depression. In early 1745, Brainard decided to fast and pray for an outpouring of spiritual power. After this time of prayer and fasting, Brainard took his alcoholic interpreter, Tattamy and set out again. Suddenly, his interpreter was born again. After this, the ministry began to flourish with many Indians being saved. Brainard’s ministry didn’t last long. He died at the age of twenty-nine in the home of Jonathan Edwards. But, through his life, men such as Edwards, Henry Martyn, William Carey, and Adoniram Judson were moved into missions.
The recent story is this.
Our church believed through prayer that God was calling us to a disadvantaged area of our city. After prayer, we were connected with a source which provided food for us to go and feed children. There were many reasons not to go, but we packed up food and went. We go door to door offering food and prayer to the people and children of the area God called us to. The majority of the door to door outreach is done by teenagers. I am always humbled and inspired by their lack of personal regard as they go into the most dangerous areas to share the caring of Jesus Christ with others. When you ask them why, they say, “What other response is there to what God has done for us?”
David Brainard wrote this in his diary before he passed away:
“Here am I, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort on earth; send me even to death itself, if it be but in Thy service and to promote Thy kingdom.”
What about you?
What is your response to what God has done for you?
There is only one response that adequately reflects our gratitude and love.
“Here am I! Send me!”