Summary: Hear God's call for your life.
Here I am! Send me!! Send Me!! Isaiah 6:1-13
One day, some 2500 years ago, a religious man by the name of Isaiah went to church. While he was there he suddenly discovered God’s presence in a most different way. No, This was not the first time he attended the Temple of God. As a matter of fact, he was a frequent visitor there. And in addition to have very good worship habits, Isaiah was a good man, who lived a good life and was known by everyone, both by friends and by enemies as being honest, honorable, and trustworthy. Then why wasn’t the presence felt and experienced before? Well, I’m not sure it wasn’t. Of course he felt and experienced God’s presence in worship before then. The difference was in the manner and purpose for which God revealed Himself at that time. You see, while we come to church to worship God and thank Him for the blessings that He gives us on a daily basis, the specific purpose varies from time to time and occasion to occasion.
Let me illustrate: we were all here on September 8th, 2012 to celebrate the wedding of Lauren and Ryan or you may remember the great service we had for Robert Moeller as we laid him to rest. The specific purpose was different each time, and God’s presence was felt and experienced in a different way each time. The reason for going to church then was different than it was when you attended church last Sunday or this morning. Though God was equally present in all the services, His presence was felt in a different way for rather obvious reasons. Yes, the specific purpose often makes the difference.
And so we ask: What was the specific purpose or occasion that caused Isaiah to sense God’s presence so dramatically on that day long, long ago? God’s invitation, God’s call, God’s summons—that’s what! What did God ask Isaiah to do on that day long ago? The same thing He asks and calls all of His followers to do today and that is “to be His witnesses!” To testify to the truth concerning God to all those around us and to generations that are lost.
And that is what I want to talk about this morning as I talk about “Who will go?” Yes, this invitation is indeed for each of us. It applies to everyone who, through faith, has come to know God’s love in Christ. But, while the invitation, “Who will go?” applies to everyone, us no less than others, on that day in the temple God made it clear to Isaiah that he personally was included. This naturally forced him to consider the question and give it some thought. And the more he thought about it, the more embarrassed he became, and it forced him to look at himself honestly and sincerely. And you know, when we look at ourselves honestly, we don’t always see what we would like to see. Well, such was the case in the Temple that day. God’s question: “Who will go?” forced Isaiah to look at himself. And he didn’t like what he saw. That is why he was embarrassed.
Today God is asking the same question of you and me, personally and individually, here and now. But as I look into your faces and down deep in your heart, I don’t see, sense, or feel the same embarrassment Isaiah felt when he said, “Woe is me!” Why? Why is it that so many of us seem to take God’s presence so casually, so passively, or so indifferently? The reason, I believe it is because the dramatic presence of God is not recognized as clearly by us as it was by Isaiah, that’s why. For him, God wasn’t some indifferent, impersonal, or undisciplined force out there somewhere whom man merely puts up with or tolerates. On the contrary, He recognized and acknowledged as One from Whom no one can hide, escape, or run away from. And because Isaiah realized this, he willingly, gladly, instinctively responded with, “Here am I, Send me! Send me!”
Oh, if only more of us could sense and feel God’s presence in our lives, not only while we are here in church but wherever we are and in whatever we are doing. Do you sense God’s presence this morning? My hope and prayer is that you take God’s presence more seriously and I pray that each of us is tuned into God’s presence. I pray that God will show you His presence in a way that will take hold of you like He did with Isaiah. But even if you don’t, the fact remains that God is just as real today as He was some 2,500 years ago, and His desire to have you as His witness, to testify to those about you concerning Him, is the same as it was when He approached Isaiah directly and asked, “Who will go?”