In the modern day church we have learned a lot of good things and a lot of bad things about serving and following God’s call. Oh, we read about Jesus being a servant, even as the Son of God. So we don’t think of serving as being a “less than” type of mentality. But one of the things we have learned to do is “walk away from a worship experience without committing.” You are probably thinking of a church service as your worship experience, but that is not only what I am talking about. The Lord came to Isaiah with a word in the temple, and prior to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection that would have been the place. But with the coming of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit, that worship experience can happen just about anywhere God wants. It may be a quiet time when God reveals Himself to you through His Word. It could be a life and death scare that wakes up your soul to really “listen” to God. It could be time of untimely blessing, where God has done something so wonderful for you and you feel so unworthy. It could be a church service where the Word of God speaks to you so specifically that you want to hit your knees in worship. Whatever and wherever it is, God shows up and calls you. We have those experiences from time to time when God challenges our call or commitment, asking for more that we are doing or giving right now. He may even shake up our life like he did in the temple with the volume of the worship being so loud that it shakes and wakes us up. Even with this shaking, many have learned to say something much different than Isaiah when the Lord called him out. We have learned to say, “Here am I, Send Him or Her.” It doesn’t really matter whether it is male or female because it is just the result of the poison of apathy that makes that reply come from modern day church attenders. Send him!! Send Her!!! Whatever you want Lord. I’m not doing it!! It doesn’t matter the excuse, it doesn’t matter the reason, it doesn’t matter the timing. What matters is “the heart!”
The New Testament shows the same question being voiced by Jesus in Matthew 4, where Jesus told some fishermen, “come follow me.” They dropped their nets and left their livelihood and followed the Lord. In Matthew 9 He saw a tax collector named Matthew and said “Come along with me” and Matthew followed Him. There was also one who came to him in Matthew 10. He was a rich young ruler and he was shaken by the presence of the Lord, but his heart was not in following Jesus. Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor to get his treasure in heaven, but the rich young ruler turned away and in so many ways said, “Here am I, send him.” God knows the heart. Paul, in Acts 15 shared that the heart is where these decisions are made and the heart is affected by the Holy Spirit. In other words, it is not the outside influence that makes those decisions, but it is the inside of us that does. So, if a person can have a life changing experience with God, much like Isaiah, and not say “Here am I, Send me”, something is wrong!! If you can come to a worship experience in a church setting and see the hand of God moving and walk away unchanged, something is wrong! The Lord is still alive and moving in His people. The Lord is still showing up among His people. The Lord is still calling for life changing commitment from His people. If our hearts are open to hearing from Him, the Lord is still speaking to His people. Maybe, we don’t want to hear what He may say to us because, like Isaiah, God will ask “will you go?” I wrote a song a few years back called Will You Go and the lyrics go like this “will you go, when He calls out your name? Can you say, where He leads I will go. He is calling you now. open up…. to His love… open up.” Those lyrics say exactly what I am trying to get across. Are you willing? Are you really? Then voice that commitment to God and say, “Here am I, Send me!” When Jesus called his disciples, that’s exactly what they said when He said “follow me.” If there was an awakening in the remnant today, it would be filled with many saying, “I will go!”
With that kind of awakening true servants would gobble up everything needing to be done to reach a lost and dying world and we would be stepping over each other trying to get it done, instead of a paltry, small group of saints having to do the whole thing by themselves because no one else will go. We need an awakening of hearts ready to do whatever He asks.
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in a Romanian prison cell because he would not deny Christ. In his autobiography Tortured for Christ, he tells of the atrocities suffered by Christians and others. For years the book was refused by publishers because they thought it was too condemning of communist governments and too graphic in its descriptions of the suffering of those Christians. May we not practice avoidance in dealing with reality when it comes to the atrocities seen in weak church members and then see God’s Word published in our lives as we live the call of the Master every day of our life. May our loyalty to Christ be seen in our heartfelt commitment to follow Him at all costs and thus say, “Here Am I, Lord Send Me!”
The Pilgrimage continues….