Bible Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8)

A lot of us have heard the word missions and ministry thrown around within our Christian communities. We know we have to evangelise and serve God, and sure enough, we are already actively partaking in these activities. We’ve joined church ministry groups. We pray alongside our church for international missions. We even take opportunities to speak up about our faith amongst our friend groups. But what does it mean to be called? Do we understand what we are doing, or are we serving God because everyone else around us is? 

Isaiah was not called, nor did he fully understand what God was sending him to do until he encountered a vision of God in His holy temple. When God calls, He reveals to us His holiness. “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” the angels call to one another. Do we know our Holy God? Has He existentially revealed Himself to you so that you know that He is the Holy God who created you? 

When God reveals who He is in His holiness, He also shows us who we are in our sinfulness. When God calls, we will see a vast disparity between God’s Holiness and our sinful self. We will realise as Isaiah did, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). No sinful man can stand before the face of the Holy God. How vile, disgusting, and purely evil is our sin? Only those who have been faced with God’s Holiness can know. When God calls, He shows us the true reality of who He is and who we are. He is totally perfect; we are totally depraved in sin. 

Only when we have been broken to bow down and know that we are worthy for eternal doom in hell will God gently call us to repentance and forgiveness. A seraphim came and put a lump of burning coal to Isaiah’s mouth, saying, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). This is only imagery that points to Christ. In Him, our vile sins are atoned for because He took eternal condemnation on Himself. “Jesus died on the cross” has been a cliche statement we grew up with in Sunday School. But, we will never understand its significance until we have seen God’s Holiness, our sinfulness, and the infinite gap that separates us from God. 

However, those who are forgiven and led to repentance will come to comprehend that they have received the greatest gift in the world. They will know that it is the most precious thing in the whole world. They will know that they owe God everything. The direction of their life will be changed and directed heavenward. Only to those people will God’s voice say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”. It is also only those people who will surrender their whole heart and whole lives to God, saying, “Here I am! Send me.” 

To be sent by God for His purpose is the most glorious life one could ever live. God has a plan for each of His children, and He will use each one — in His love and abundant mercy — according to the talents He has given them. Have you heard God’s call? It starts by asking God to get to know His holiness.

Lord, please reveal Your holiness to us. Show us Your glory that we may see You as who You are. Reveal to us the depths of our sin and depravity. Teach us to see what the cross really means for us personally. Lord, please deal with each of us personally. Work in each of our hearts as You have worked in the hearts of Your prophets and apostles. Call us and send us, Lord, unto the good works You have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.