An Individual Response

Text: Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’ (NRSV)

This verse falls within what I refer to as my “call scripture”.  I’m sure I am not alone with those who have been called and who have responded to full-time ministry and have sited this text as an example of their own call.  However, I’m not so sure this text is actually about an individual call as much as it is about an individual response.

If you read the text carefully, it seems clear that God is not specifically calling Isaiah into service. God is making a general call to whomever will hear; “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” This is not like the call story of Samuel in 1 Samuel chapter 3 where Samuel hears God specifically call his name three times.  The call to which Isaiah responded was a call to any and all who will hear God.

Have you heard God call but thought that it wasn’t a personal calling?  Have you not followed a call because you thought it had to be more specific to you?  God is looking for those who are listening and attentive.  God is looking for those who love him and are willing to risk themselves on God’s behalf.  God is not looking for the perfect but the redeemed.

If you read this entire episode in Isaiah’s life from chapter 6, you will notice that Isaiah thinks that because he is a sinful man living among a people who are sinful, that he is disqualified—lost.  But God has an angle take a burning coal from the altar of the temple and with it, purifies Isaiah.  None of us are disqualified from responding to God’s call.  Jesus purifies us through his life, death, and resurrection.  The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus as we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

God is calling, are you listening?  God is calling, are you responding?  God calls saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  What is your response?

Pray with me:

God, I hear your voice as your Holy Spirit speaks to my spirit.  Help me to listen more attentively, help me to be courageous enough to respond with the words, “Here am I, send me.”  AMEN.

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