It’s hard to believe that 2015 has come and gone and what a year it has been! I know during this time of the year, I spend much time in reflection on what has transpired over the past 12 months: the good and bad, ups and downs, and in it all I marvel at God’s grace and love! As I reflect on the past year, I can’t help but get excited for what the new year will hold for us.
Like many of you, I spend much time dreaming, setting goals, and anticipating the events that 2016 will hold! As I was looking to the year ahead, I get excited, nervous, and to be honest I feel old. The latter of these feelings come from the fact that next Fall, Madison, my oldest, will start school and in June, I will turn 30 (yikes!!!).
Out of the many things that get me excited, one of them is what I am anticipating God to do in my life, your life, and at The Compass Church! As I thought through the new year in December, I spent some time asking and praying for God to give us a mandate for 2016 – a theme for myself and The Compass Church to live out through the year ahead. The Compass Church exists to point people to Jesus. But how is God calling us to live this out in the year ahead?
As I was asking God about this, God placed this phrase on my heart: “Here I am! Send me!”
These two words come from the well known story out of the book of Isaiah. In Isaiah 6:1-8, we are given an amazing picture of what encountering the living God is like. Isaiah is given a vision of the Lord in the throne room.
There is so much gold in these eight verses that we could talk about, but I want to keep us focused. Here is what happens: Isaiah is having a vision of God in his temple. And in this vision, he comes before the holy God. As he is before the holy God, Isaiah is overwhelmed by God’s holiness and Isaiah's own sinfulness is brought to light – not just his own sinfulness, but also the sinfulness of the people around him (v. 5).
Yet God did not leave Isaiah in his sinful state. God cleansed Isaiah of his sins (vs. 6-7) and this changed Isaiah. God’s grace forever changes Isaiah and we see the effect of this change in verse 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.”
God hasn’t given Isaiah any details; He hasn’t given him a location; He hasn’t even told him what he was going to say. Yet none of that mattered to Isaiah. All that mattered was that his life was changed by God and he wanted to be used by God no matter the situation or cost. His response to God was, “Here I am! Send me!” Isaiah’s life was never the same because of his encounter with God.
Isaiah's response was birthed out of his encounter with God and His grace. Just like Isaiah, this response is birthed in our lives as we encounter God and experience His grace.
As the Gospel grows in our lives, It produces a response that says, “God, no matter what, here I am! Send me wherever you need!” We literally are coming before God and telling Him our life is a blank cheque; use it as any way you can! “Here I am! Send me!” People need to hear about your grace; they need to meet you! “Here I am! Send me!”
Will you let 2016 be the year of “Here I am! Send me!” in your life? Will you allow the Gospel to quench your fears, your insecurities, and open yourself up to the adventure that the Christian faith is meant to be? Day in and day out, God asks, “Whom shall we send?” Will you shout out like Isaiah, “Here I am! Send me!”? Will you ask God to use you to see your neighbourhood saved, your workplace transformed, your friends and family worship with you on Sundays? Will you allow God to use you in amazing ways – in ways that you never thought He would?
As we exist to make Jesus known, this year, will you invite God to use you in that process? Each day, will you wake up and tell God, “Here I am! Send me!”? Will you join me in making this rallying cry as we look to see our friends, our neighbourhoods, and our city come to know Jesus?
I am praying that you would and that in 2016 we would experience a work of God in Regina that is unbelievable. But may this work of God start in our hearts through the Gospel growing larger and creating a hunger that leads us to cry out, “Here I am! Send me!”