May 8, 2017 • Life for Leaders
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 begins with the prophet’s vision of a thrice-holy God: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty” (6:3). Isaiah’s first response to this revelation is to lament his own sinfulness: “Woe to me! …I am ruined!” (6:5). Yet, through an angel, God removes Isaiah’s sin. Then the Lord poses a question: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (6:8). Isaiah’s response is one of simple trust: “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah will take God’s message of judgment and hope to the people of Israel.
In many ways, our story parallels that of Isaiah. We have seen a revelation of God’s holiness in Jesus Christ. Like Isaiah, we might at first recoil from the Lord because of our sin. Yet, our sinfulness has been cleansed by the mercy of God through the death of Christ. Moreover, like Isaiah, we have been saved from our sin not only to be in relationship with the Lord, no matter how wonderful this might be. Rather, like the prophet, we have been cleansed in order to be sent with God’s message to the people around us.
When God considers your co-workers, your neighbors, your family, your fellow students, your friends at the gym, your brothers and sisters at church, the homeless who hang out downtown, and the other people in your life, he asks: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” How will you respond to this question?
In fact, God has already “sent” you to your place in the world so that you might bear witness to him in deed and in word. You have the opportunity and calling to live for God right where you are, at work and at home, among your friends and colleagues, in all that you do. Will you accept the mission to which God has sent you? Will you live for his purposes in all that you do?
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
So, how do you respond to the Lord’s question? Are you able to say, truly, “Here I am. Send me”?
What keeps you from offering yourself as God’s representative and messenger?
What helps you to be fully available to God?
How might you live for God in the context of your work today?
Gracious God, you are indeed holy, holy, holy. The more we experience your holiness, the less we feel worthy to serve you. Like Isaiah, we know that we are sinful people of unclean lips. Yet, in your mercy, you have called us to yourself and set us apart for your work in this world. You have cleansed us through Christ so that we might serve you with all that we are.
So, our answer is like that of Isaiah, though sometimes it’s inconsistent and hesitant. Yes, Lord, send us! Send me! To my neighbors and friends, send me. To the folks at church, send me. To my colleagues at work, send me. To any who needs to experience your love and grace, send me. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: When It Feels Risky to Talk About God
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.