Isaiah 6:8 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!”
As Christians we may often picture God with a list of special tasks and then a corresponding list of his people to accomplish the tasks. Within this view we picture him approaching each saying: “I need you to do this for me, please do it.” This would seem to be what we see in the Bible in the stories of Abraham, Moses, David, John the Baptist, Paul etc. However, God works in other ways as well. In the scripture above, it is interesting to note that Isaiah overheard the Lord saying: “whom shall I send and who will go for us?”
Oswald Chambers in his devotional My Utmost for His Highest (a compilation of his writings from over 100 years ago), said that “the call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.” This is an interesting perspective and would seem to be supported by this scripture in Isaiah.
Isaiah was one who stepped up and said: “Here am I. Send me!” It is important to note that Isaiah wasn’t volunteering for some posh assignment or some heroic endeavor. Isaiah was volunteering for the unenviable job of a prophet, the task of verbally rebuking and challenging God’s people. Not surprisingly, it is rare for a prophet to get a warm welcome.
One of the wonderful things about competitive athletes is that they tend to be people who stick out from the crowd, a group of people who don’t shy away from difficult situations. They tend to be able to focus their attention on a singular purpose and are not easily distracted by those around them who may oppose or try to distract them. For this reason, a Christian Athlete can be a powerful instrument in God’s kingdom. Christian Athletes may be wired more than most to focus on the Lord and be prepared to stand up and say “Here am I. Send me!” Their competitive nature finds it difficult to watch God pass by them and instead choose someone else for a task that they can do.
I attended a Christian conference many years ago and the speaker used the analogy of a stadium filled with thousands of fans in the stands and the field with a small number of athletes. He said that this is much like the Christian community, most are stuck in the stands watching and only a small few are on the field playing. He asked which you wanted to be? I perked up immediately because there was no way in this world that I wanted to be one watching, I wanted to be in the game. In this case it was unconfessed sin that was leaving me, and all these other Christians, in the stands rather than on the field. I removed the skeletons in my closet so Satan would no longer have something to point at, the reason why I could not be on the field, and from that day on I heard God like never before and I screamed out: “Here am I. Send me!”. Decades later I am still in the game and there is no place I’d rather be.
How about you? What is the condition of your ears, or the condition of your heart? What is your spiritual attitude? Are you attuned to the voice of the Lord? Have you dealt with sin in your life? If not, fall down on your knees before the Lord, repent where there is unresolved sin, and ask him to open your ears and heart. Commit yourself to him as a sold-out disciple, one ready to go to battle for your Lord and Saviour. It will be in this place that you will be cognisant of the voice of the Lord, and in a place to say: “Here am I. Send me!”