By Ryan Shaw
Ryan is the international lead facilitator for Global Mission Mobilization Inititative (GMMI) and currently lives among the unreached.
Isaiah’s response has much to teach us. Let us remember what the prophet was called to do. God was asking him to bring a depressing message of harsh judgment to a people who were rebellious and hard-hearted (the Israelites). Undoubtedly others had been sought by God for such a task and had rejected God’s call. To the natural mind it was a horrible and difficult assignment in every way possible.
Believers quickly sign up for ministry tasks where it seems probable they will have success or gain some popularity or recognition from it. Yet we are called to no easy task in reaching the unreached around the world for Christ. To some it is a horrible and difficult assignment and apart from Christ’s power working in us, a disastrous failure. We were never meant to merely look for the opportunities where we think we will have the greatest success. In essence Isaiah says “I will Go and leave the results to God.” This is to be our posture as well.
Isaiah commits voluntarily. He is not pressed into service. God requires a willing participant and even a cheerful one. Psalm 110:3 says “Your people shall be volunteers in the day of your power, in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth!” Isaiah’s statement “here am I” reveals a readiness to encounter difficulties, hardships and adversity. Too many people of God called to the nations shy away because of the perceived difficulty or adversity of the task before them. God is seeking those today who will embrace what appears impossible and goes after it in partnership with the “God of the impossible.” Proverbs 24:10 warns us, “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.” The prophet then declares to God “Send Me!” I will go wherever You send me, wherever it pleases You and say whatever you put in my mouth to say.” In essence he is saying, “Lord, give me your full commission and full instruction as I know you will stand by me and work in me and through me in whatever you require me to do.”
It is a great comfort to a weary heart to know that we go for God and are accompanied by His very presence, power and authority. The famous passage from Jesus in Matthew 28 about the great commission brings great encouragement to a heart. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (my power and authority is now all-encompassing). Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (every people group), baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” These are Jesus’ last words before He ascended to heaven in plain view of His disciples. We know full well the importance of a person’s last words and the need to listen intently.
How about you? Have you deliberately invited God to reveal His glory to you? Have you allowed your schedule to be changed to enable a greater seeking of His face in His Word and in prayer? Have you allowed the awe of His holiness to come over you and move you toward a broken heart over sin? Message Bearers who prove effective over the long haul in the nations have gone through this process to varying degrees. We are meant to ask the Lord to do this in us just as it was for Isaiah.