In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Also 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.” Isaiah 6: 1 & 8
I, like many others, love this Scripture verse because it is the ultimate example of trust and surrendering one’s life and future to God. The Lord issues a general call for a messenger but Isaiah took it personally, offered his life to God and accepted the Divine appointment of leadership. Growing up I have come to know this particular Scripture as one of the mantra’s of The Salvation Army. It was used at Commissioning’s, Youth Council events, TYI and in regular sermons throughout my years attending; we even have one of my favorite prayer choruses based off of this passage.
However, I think we get it slightly wrong most of the time based on the assumed addition to the text. I could be wrong but in most conversations I have had about this it includes the implied ‘somewhere else’. Even pictures associated with this verse typically include a road or a missionary map of the world-implying physical movement. Such as: ‘Here am I my Lord, send me somewhere else’. This implication seems to be supported by the ‘Great Commission’ in Matt. 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” I am not suggesting that the ‘going somewhere else’ is wrong. Some are specifically called to do just that. What I am saying is that going somewhere else is not the only way to fulfill the Great Commission.
I believe that because we are in such a hurry to ‘follow God’s calling’ that we may sometimes miss the fact that God has already sent us. We are where He means for us to be. The objective of going into all the nations was for all people everywhere…even right where you are. Even Paul on his missionary journeys established leaders in the local congregations he started so that they may continue to reach the local population for Christ after he left. Basically, do not get discouraged because you feel like you haven’t ‘gone’ yet. God may have called you to the even more difficult ministry of where you are…’only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.’ – Mark 6:4
Yes this passage from Isaiah serves as a motivating factor to get up and get moving but do not let it serve as a discouragement to you in thinking ‘you’re not doing enough’. Those that are called to the EBC; Go! Do it and do it with all your heart and be ready to go where the Lord sends you. For those of you called to local leadership, Go! Do it and do it with all your heart! We are all important in the shaping of young lives for the Kingdom of God. He still issue the call to every Christian- whom shall I send- make sure you’re willing to listen when you reply -Here am I. Follow God’s call on your life whatever that may be and be confident that He holds you wherever you are or may be going.