In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said,
“Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Then I said,
“Here am I. Send me!”
– Is 6.1-8
Have you had this experience? Have you understood God in His glory and majesty, your inferiority and sinfulness, and been forgiven in His presence? When that happens, our pride and selfishness melts away, and we are ready.
For whatever He would ask.
Is the answer, “Yes” already on your lips?
To stay in your community and proclaim His greatness amongst your neighbors and family, like the demoniac at Gadarenes (Mark 5.19)?
To go unto the ends of the Earth, proclaiming the Gospel where it has never been preached before, like Paul (Rom 15.20)?
To sell everything that you own and give it to the poor and follow Jesus (Matt 19.21)?
To visit your brother in prison and feed the hungry (Matt 25)?
To die to yourself, your sin, your passions, and seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt 6.33)?
To put your spouse before yourself and raise up your children to know and love God (Phil 2.3)?
We are so good at churchifying our faith. Giving sacrificially does not mean allotting 10% and giving it off the top without thought. Giving sacrificially means making sacrifices to give. Does it hurt to financially give to God? Does your physical service require that you give up Earthly pleasures? Have you ever missed out on family or group activities for the sake of the Gospel? Have you surrendered creature comforts to reach the lost and love God?
Asceticism is nothing in and of itself. Living without does not, by virtue of living without, earn merit with God. God does not withhold good things from us for the sake of making us suffer. But He does promise:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”
– Matt 19.29
God calls us, and He promises reward. It is terrifying and it is hard to leave your house and family to go live amongst a foreign people who have never heard the Gospel. But Jesus guarantees that all who do it will receive many times as much and eternal life.
It is uncomfortable to do without creature comforts we enjoy. Perhaps giving to your church or to support a missionary, you cannot afford cable TV. Or you might have to live in a smaller house or in a less-than-awesome neighborhood. Perhaps it will cost you that fancy vacation or eating out all the time. Is surrendering your pleasure worth the salvation of the lost?
Do you care that they are going to Hell?
Do you care that Jesus is calling?
Let us set our minds to this: That our answer would be, “Yes!” to whatever He might ask. Let us be ready. Let us be willing. Let us be excited – though perhaps terrified. Let us say, without hesitation,
“Here am I. Send me!”