An ordinary peasant was invited into the throne room of an all-powerful king. This poor guy was absolutely overwhelmed with awe of the king’s riches and splendor, knowing he clearly didn’t belong. He hid his shabby self, daring not open his mouth for fear the king might overhear his uncouth, rough language.
And yet the king had this air of compassion mixed with justice that compelled the man to stay. He heard the king mention a job opening as a messenger. The peasant saw his opportunity to join this magnificent king’s court, serving him in an incredibly significant role. So, when the king pondered, “I wonder who will go and speak for me,” the peasant piped up, “I’ll go. Send me!”
The king smiled, “Alright then, here’s the job description. Go to this group of rebels and tell them things they don’t want to hear.”
The newly commissioned messenger gulped, “Um, how long will this job last?”
The answer: basically until everything is a total disaster.
You can read this story for yourself in Isaiah 6. For most of us who serve cross culturally, this chapter links to an indelible imprint on our hearts.
When YOU said, “Here am I. Send me” you probably had no idea what you were really signing up for. Isaiah could have told us…
- You’re going to come undone. You just are. You can’t hang out with an irresistibly holy God and not just come apart at the seams.
- You will incur a significant loss you didn’t anticipate or desire. A stripping away of a ministry, a job, a relationship, a dream, or a season. For Isaiah, it was the death of Uzziah. Get yourself into God’s throne room. You are going to hear a fresh beat of His heart and you won’t be able to say anything but “Here am I. Send me.”
- You are going to see who you really are. Yes, you’re ruined and unclean. But your guilt has been taken away. Your sin atoned for. You are deeply, fully, and completely loved. You are the beloved child, the pearl of great price, the treasure Jesus gave everything up to rescue. And you are chosen.
- Your call will cause some to question your sanity or misunderstand your motives. You’re going to WHAT? Move your kids to an undeveloped country? Throw away your chances of marriage? Squander your education? Give up on all your potential? You are in good company. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and “a great crowd of witnesses” are all shaking their heads in empathy, “Yep, me too.”
- You get to partner with God – and His ways can be a bit unorthodox. Let’s be honest. Isaiah’s marching orders weren’t all that inspiring. “Harden their hearts with truth and don’t stop until the whole country is a wasteland” is rarely on the Urbana booth banners. What God is asking you to do is not easy, but here’s the sweet part of the deal. After Isaiah says yes to God, we read again and again, “The Lord spoke to Isaiah…” Want God to confide in you? Share His heart with you? Yeah, me too. So
- Embrace all God has for you. No pre-nup agreement. No limit on the cost. Wholehearted, with abandon, embrace the good, the hard, the wonder of being invited into knowing God’s heart. You’ll long for mercy and justice and sometimes wish you weren’t experiencing what Paul called the privilege and the fellowship of suffering with Christ. But you’ve seen Him. You can’t escape that moment when you heard Him ask you “Who will go for us?” And so you walk boldly with His love and grace into the slums, the villages, the financial centers, the red light districts, the campuses, the clinics, the cities, the orphanages, the place He has chosen for you to bring hope and truth.
God will be with you. He will tell His secrets to you. He will reveal His heart to you. And you will come undone all over again.
We’d love to hear what “being sent” has meant to you.
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