Here am I. Send me!

“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!’” – Isaiah 6:8

As a young believer, I remember packing into a convention center with thousands of other teens and being told the story of Isaiah – a prophet and a beacon of what it means to be bold and active in faith. “Here am I. Send me!” became a rallying cry and an inspiration to the young people in that room to boldly commit to the mission of a life spent in radical faithfulness. It made for an emotional and heavy room as hundreds shuffled forward to the charismatic speaker on the stage to sign on the proverbial dotted line for a new life spent on mission. Unfortunately, on that night no one ever bothered to ask the question, “What exactly was Isaiah called to do?”

So what did Isaiah sign up for? I’ll paraphrase for brevity, but Isaiah’s “triumphant calling” is to preach to a people who would not receive his message – not one of them. Isaiah understandably replies, “For how long, Lord?” and is met with “Until they’re all gone.” This is total, abject failure from an earthly perspective.

Oftentimes we romanticize the calling of a life of faithfulness as an acceptance into the lineage of divine heroes and triumphant successes. We’re quick to sign on with the God who turns a lowly shepherd into a king, or who redeems the souls of the world through a child born in a manger, forgetting that He is also the God of martyrs, prisoners, and broken hearts.

So today I ask you the question- is your faithfulness predicated on the earthly success of your local church, your bank account, or your personal ambitions? If faithfulness today looks like sacrifice, or even feels in the moment like failure, does the boldness of Isaiah leave you or do the words of Isaiah ring true?

“Here am I. Send me!”

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