Summary: Isaiah experienced the presence of God, which led to an awareness of his sin, so he cried for mercy and received amazing grace. There was only only logical response - Here am I. Send me. [Based on Craig Groeschel's book, "Dangerous Prayers"]
Dangerous Prayers: Send me!
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
In My Mind I’m Going to Carolina
In the winter of 1990, I became involved in a college outreach at the University of Memphis. I was tired of the party life and was searching for a purpose for living. At a new year’s retreat, almost 30 years ago, I surrendered my heart completely to Jesus and started the great adventure of faith.
I was going to graduate school at night and waiting tables during the day. For the first time in my life, I was experiencing the joy of Christian fellowship. I had a serious girlfriend who was already picking out Tupperware. My life seemed full and complete.
But the Holy Spirit began to tug at my heart and soon I began to reevaluate my dreams and goals. Is this where God wanted me? Is this what He wanted me to do? Soon I began to pray a very dangerous prayer - Send me! I was available to do whatever He wanted me to do wherever He wanted me to do it.
God answered that prayer. It wan’t like a Morgan Freeman voice that boomed from heaven. He impressed upon my heart the answer to my prayer send me. And that meant I was headed to North Carolina.
I put a map of North Carolina on my wall. Most guys had pictures of Michael Jordan or Christie Brinkley. Not me. I had a full size map of the Tar Heel State.
When people walked in the room, it was the first thing they noticed.
“What’s the deal with the map?” they would ask.
When I told them that I had prayed a dangerous prayer - send me and God was leading me to North Carolina.
More follow up questions. “No, I’ve never been there. No, I don’t have any family there. No I’m not going to school there. I don’t know where or when, but I know I’m going.”
That was a concern for several of my friends and even my family. They feared that I had misinterpreted heartburn for a message from God. It didn’t make sense. It was irrational.
But the prayer “send me” stayed on my lips for several months and I became more convinced. I had settled it in my mind.
My mother who though I may be losing my marbles, called and told me to look in that day’ paper in the job ads. She thought there might be something that I would find interesting.
Sure enough, there was an ad for a job opening at Crossnore School. You want to guess where that is?
I called that day. I drove 400 miles the next month, interviewed and accepted the job on the spot.
I quit school. I quit my job. My friends had a huge going away party for me. The girl cried.
My best friend asked me to reconsider. I responded that he taught me that when God calls we go.
I packed my entire life into my 1983 Mustang and drove east on I-40 for eight hours and 13 minutes, right into the mountains of North Carolina. Steven Curtis Chapman was blasting out of my speakers:
We will abandon it all
For the sake of the call
No other reason at all
But the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call
It was a bold move. After my car broke down on the way there, I even questioned if I had heard God correctly. God reminded me, “You don’t have to know how this works, just trust Me!”
Looking back, it was exactly the next step I needed to take. It was in North Carolina that I preached my first sermon, wrote my first worship song. It was also at Crossnore that I met a little red-headed girl that stole my heart and became my partner for this adventure.
All because I prayed a dangerous prayer - Send me!
The outline for this message is from Craig Groeschel’s book, “Dangerous Prayers.”
Most of the time when we pray, it’s about what God can do for us. But when’s the last time you said to God, “What can I do for you God?”
Throughout the Bible, we see God calling people and I want to look at three different responses to that call.
Jonah Said Here I am, I’m not Going!
This summer, we walked verse by verse through the Old Testament book of Jonah. Here’s how it begins:
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3)