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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6.8

The climax of the opening chapters of Isaiah is the prophet's personal testimony. If that sounds egotistic, delving into the actual event will dispel that impression. Because with the call comes God's own warning that the road ahead will be hard to the point of unforgiving. Not that God will withhold his mercy from Isaiah but that Isaiah need not expect a positive reception from those to whom he preaches. Quite the reverse; they will ignore his message and, if tradition is to be believed, destroy his body by sawing him in half.

Yet Isaiah is so overwhelmed by what God shows him of the glory of his deity and the danger in which his people are, on account of their sinful disobedience, that he is transported out of his own personal consideration into a compelling awareness of his duty and his destiny. It sounds dramatic. It was dramatic. But it applies to all of us who would be faithful, who are ready and willing to live for a cause beyond ourselves. We may experience that calling in theatrical circumstances, like Isaiah, or ours might be a more modest summons: a quiet conviction.

Whichever, the force behind both is just as powerful because it comes from the same source: Almighty God; and it is motivated by the same purpose: the salvation of people; and it looks for the same end: the coming of God's kingdom and of the King who is Jesus. Have you ever shared your own testimony? If not, consider how you would describe God's call on your life, so you may be ready when the opportunity comes. And if you have yet to discover your purpose, ask God now. He might answer immediately or, in his wisdom, he might prefer to reveal it over time - in which case the process becomes part of your formation...



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