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!”
The main dictionary definition of “pray” is “ask or request.” However, I prefer to think of it in terms of “speak to God.” This certainly fits into that category. Isaiah’s only request here is that God use him. That’s a prayer God is generally delighted to answer! When Isaiah had a vision of God, his response was entirely appropriate, in full humility and repentance, but he believed it when he was told that his sins were atoned for, (verse 7) and therefore believed that God could use him if He so chose. What a magnificent example! So often we fail to be fully available to God either because of unrepented sin, or because we can’t believe we really have been cleansed. Those two might seem to be opposites, but they have the same effect of keeping us out of the lineup. We need to be humble, certainly, but we also need to believe that God’s forgiveness really eliminates our sin and His power is greater than our weakness. Actually, He told Paul that His power is made perfect in our weakness! (2 Corinthians 12:9) So like Paul, we need to rejoice when we are reminded of our weakness, because that means another opportunity for God to demonstrate His power! It is something of a mystery why God chooses to work through obviously fallible human beings, but He does, and being used by Him is one of the highest privileges in the universe. When we realize that, we will do everything we can to keep ourselves as available as possible to Him for that purpose.
Isaiah is probably my favorite character in the Old Testament, even though tradition tells us that he was martyred by being sawed apart. Even such a physical fate can’t dim the glory of being so intimately connected to God as His spokesman. To date I haven’t been given messages of doom and gloom such as the last few verses of this chapter, but I can’t say that God’s Word through me has always been welcomed. No one involved in evangelism in Japan can say that! However, just as Isaiah didn’t give up, I must not do so either. Another factor of Isaiah is that his life, his family, were part of his message. I feel that our having been in Omura for 35 years now, through thick and (mostly) thin, has been a major part of our testimony to the people around us. Our lives are a demonstration of God’s love, and that is a high honor to me. I continue to pray for an abundant harvest from all the seed we’ve planted, but that’s God’s business. My business is to be faithful, just as Isaiah was.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I need this sort of thing from time to time! Thank You for the people we could touch during the photo show, and that the show is over. I pray that the things You said through us would continue to work in the hearts and minds of those to whom we spoke, drawing them to repentance and faith. May all that we do each day be exactly what You desire and intend, so that Your purposes may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!