Thanks be to God Almighty, the Caller to His own Ministry for counting me worthy to be chosen to lead His Ministry at this time. None of us is qualified for the position he/she is; we are called by God’s Grace.
The focus of this post is HERE AM I! SEND ME and it is taken from the call and response of Prophet Isaiah.
The Prophet began his ministry in 739 BC after King Uzziah of Judah died of leprosy (2 Chronicle. 26: 16 – 23). This call and his response is recorded in Isaiah 6. From this chapter of the bible, we can identify the following:
The experience of Isaiah was parallel to that of Moses:
- They both saw the displayed Glory of God. The mystery of that of Moses was the burning bush while that of Isaiah was the vision of the Majesty of God
- They both saw their emptiness and unworthiness. This signifies the consistent human nature in the presence of the Divine.
- Both were given difficult and onerous tasks. Moses was asked to go and negotiate for the freedom of the Israelite’s while Isaiah was commissioned to speak out against the evil doers of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel. Each has his own unique task – Moses was a freedom fighter and liberator while Isaiah was a prophet who condemned the leaders and the led.
The Response of Isaiah was different from that of Moses:
- Whereas Moses protested when he was called, Isaiah didn’t only accept to work for God but most importantly he gave God a blank and signed cheque – to be use in any capacity and at any time no matter the difficulties on the way. Both of them saw the majestic highness of God and their human frailties but Isaiah responded positively and loyally to the call of God while Moses was forced and persuaded before accepting to go for God
- Whereas the call was not particularly directed to Isaiah, he nevertheless volunteered to accept the challenge.
- The Response of Isaiah was so unique and something to note – he didn’t only accept to work for God but most importantly he gave God a blank but signed Cheque – “use me anyhow, anytime and anywhere.
What are the lessons that we in the modern age can learn from Isaiah and his call?
- God’s call and election are not based on our qualifications. God calls us by grace and grace alone. Seeing and knowing our weaknesses and frailties must push us to God for strength and power. It must not send us out of His presence. All Christians, including the workers, are works in progress.
- To be used by God for His purpose, we need to go to Him for cleansing. Isaiah didn’t attempt to work for God until he had been forgiven. Working for God when we haven’t had any relationship with Him is working in vain. In the spiritual world, relationship precedes service.
- We need to also be empowered before starting to work for God. Every work in the Church needs empowerment to function maximally. This is one of the reasons for this retreat and the order of the Archdeacon that anybody who fails to attend this retreat shouldn’t be sworn in. working in the church is working in God’s Might and Power and not in the strength of the flesh – Acts 1:8
- The Anglican Communion teaches that every work we do is a vocation. We are God’s stewards everywhere we work, talk and act. For example, a Christian who is in politics must know that he is there as a steward of God to better the lives of ordinary citizens. A Christian accountant should also do his/her job as on the Lord. He /she must also use it for the benefits of the church where he/she worships.
- Isaiah teaches us that God doesn’t have to beg and force us before we volunteer to work for Him. In fact, like the Macedonian Christians, we must be the ones begging Him to use us. At every opportunity to serve God and humanity, we must be happy and appreciative.
- While doing God’s works, we must not forget who we are: frail human beings who need God’s grace to survive the attacks of the devil. We must not rely on our intelligence and experience because they can disappoint us anytime.
- While it is true that we are in a world that is full of stress, it is truer that we must make ourselves available to be used by God for His own Glory and the blessings of His people. The Old and New Testament believers always made themselves available anytime the need arose. Working for God must always be seen as an opportunity to work for the glory of God and the betterment of humanity.
- Isaiah really was ready to do anything for God. No wonder he didn’t ask some salient questions like: What job do you want me to do for you? Where do you want me to work for you? What are the tools (resources) that I will use when doing the job? What are my gains and blessings when I do the job? These and more are the questions many of us ask these days before we finally agree to work for God. Our availability will then depend on the answers God gives or His silence!
We must be alert and listening to God’s Voice and messages. He can call you directly but He can also call you through other means. He called Josiah through Moses; Saul and David through Samuel; Elisha and Jehu through Elijah etc. he also called Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea directly. What is important is our understanding that no work is higher than others in the Kingdom. Every call is important and will be rewarded accordingly.