“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)
Every Christian who longs to serve God is interested in the question: “What sort of person does God use in His work?” Unfortunately, it’s possible to get as many answers to this question as the number of people that you ask.
Some believe that God is looking for a person who is smart, energetic, and an engaging speaker. Their ideal of the Christian worker is of someone who is well-educated, entrepreneurial and clever. The emphasis here is on capabilities, ‘presence’ and strength of personality.
Again, others believe that one’s position and status are what makes him/her useful to God. On this scale, it is kings, presidents and prime ministers who are more likely to be influential in advancing the kingdom of God. The same sort of thinking applies to people who have money or influence of some kind. It is assumed that these are the kind of people that God will choose as His ambassadors.
However, in this account of Isaiah’s call to be a prophet, we discover that God is not like some executive head-hunter who is looking for famous, successful or powerful individuals. Nor does He have His eye out for self-confident celebrities and charismatic personalities. Further, He is not searching for so-called ‘perfect’ individuals to call into His service. Sadly, there are numbers of Christians who believe this to be so and are convinced that less-than-perfect people are of no real use to the Lord.
However we discover through Isaiah’s call that God is not interested in such individuals – indeed, no such people exist. What God is looking for are humble, contrite and cleansed people who trust in His Word. This story of the drafting of Isaiah into the Lord’s service is a reminder that God is primarily concerned with whether our lives are thoroughly God-centred and devoted to glorifying Him like the angels in heaven. God wants us to confess before heaven and the world that, apart from His eternally given grace, we would never have confessed to sin, never have believed in Christ and never have trusted in His redeeming work. It is only when we are prepared to acknowledge with the hymn-writer that God’s glory, holiness and love are “so amazing, so divine,” that we can respond wholeheartedly to God’s call in the words of Isaiah, “Here am I. Send me!”
It is only when we realize that God in His mercy has chosen us to life and glory, though we are not a whit more deserving than others, that we begin to cherish an overwhelming sense of gratitude to our Heavenly Father, and respond gladly with heartfelt obedience to His call.