Verse of the Day: “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!” ~ Isaiah 6:8 (NASB)
When my children were toddlers, I discovered (like many parents out there) that the best way to get them to help around the house was to make it fun. Almost anything could and would be made into a game or song. And they loved it! They loved helping. They would beg me to let them help do anything and everything. They would actually fight over whose turn it was to help mommy.
Fast forward twelve years. No amount of singing the infamous Baby Bop’s “Clean-Up” can coax them into doing anything that isn’t their responsibility to do. The plea for help usually goes a little something like this:
Me: Will one of you put the clothes in the dryer, please?
Teen 1: I did it last time.
Teen 2: No, you didn’t! I did it last time.
Teen 1: No, I did! You put them in the washer last time!
Teen 2: Well if I put them in the washer last time, why should I have to put them in the dryer now?
Teen 1: Because I put them in the dryer after you washed them. So if mom put them in the washer this time, it’s your turn to put them in the dryer!
Teen 2: But that’s not fair because it’s my turn to wash dishes today. I shouldn’t have to put the clothes in the dryer AND do the dishes!
Teen 1: That makes absolutely no sense!
Me: For crying out loud! Somebody just put them in the dryer!
Teen 1: Ugghhh! I guess I’ll have to do it just like I have to do everything else around here!
Does any of this sound familiar?
Maybe it’s in your home with your own families. Or perhaps there are a few adults who come to mind. What about in your workplace? Your church?
We are always quick to shoot our hand up to volunteer for something fun or if it benefits us in some way. But if we ever feel that it’s someone else’s turn or it’s out of our comfort zone, we tuck our arms down tight, refusing to budge… Until no one else raises their hand or speaks up either.
“Fine, since no one is going to do it, I guess I will. I have to do everything else around here, I might as well do that, too!” And we ever so reluctantly raise our hand or sign the volunteer sheet.
There is a key phrase in our thinking and daily conversations that we often overuse. Have to.
We don’t have to do anything.
Someone’s saying, “Except pay taxes and die,” right about now. But that isn’t true either. You can decide to not pay your taxes and deal with the consequences of being audited or penalized or prosecuted. And some of us may not ever die before we witness Jesus return. And if we do die a physical death, we don’t have to die a spiritual death.
That’s the wonderful thing about volunteering. You don’t have to. You want to.
And our decision to follow Jesus and to obey God’s commands are the same way. It’s a want to.
God didn’t command Isaiah to go and preach to the tribes in the north. He didn’t force him to go. He asked him to go.
The only thing that mattered was that Isaiah was willing.
It didn’t matter that he was a man who had sinned. Or that he was living among a sinful nation. God forgave him (Isaiah 6:5-7). It didn’t matter that he had no idea how he was going to accomplish it or how the message would be received or if he would die in the process.
The only thing that mattered was that he was willing to do what God had asked.
Search Your Heart
Is there something that God has asked you to do? What’s holding you back? Are you afraid that you aren’t qualified for the job? Do you feel like someone else should do it instead of you? Do you feel unworthy to be used by God? What would happen if you said, “I’ll go. Send me.” ?
Dear Heavenly Father, there are times that I feel so busy that I just can’t say “yes” to any more jobs. And I admit there are times that I just don’t want to. Please give me a servant’s heart. I want to be available to be used in when You need me, Lord. Help me to remember that I don’t have to be a perfect person or have all the answers. I just have to be willing. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.