Wednesday 13 February 2013

Here I am - Send me by Rich Novek


Woe is me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 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!” He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Isaiah 6:5-10

At some point someone is going to have to go through the fire in order to blaze the trail for those who are still stuck in the lie of performance based Christianity.

Isaiah had already been prepared for this amazing call. He was broken before the Lord, open and laid bare, letting God know his weaknesses. And did that deter God at all, even for one second? It was before his call that the angel introduced the pain of the hot coal to Isaiah’s lips. Then take a look at his ministry once he accepted the call. It sure wasn’t what we call ministry today; he wasn’t flying around the world, delivering a watered down version of the Good News, while at the same time lining his pockets and saving his own life…was he?

No! His call was to go out and speak to a people who would not listen, and to cause their hearts to become hardened toward God, so there might also be a chance of brokenness and real repentance.

When God looked around and asked the above question, he wasn’t looking for the strongest, smartest, or the richest, He was looking for someone who would answer the call, and from that point He would take care of the rest. Isaiah answered the call by faith, not knowing what was ahead. God chose the lowly one, the man of unclean lips to change the face of history.

When Jesus stood up in the synagogue for the first time, it was this same “unclean and undone” Isaiah who he quoted.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. Isaiah 61:1-2

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are IN Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast IN the Lord. I Corinthians 1:26-31

Jesus Christ never took one thought for Himself, yet today most believers live everyday consumed with their own life, while immersed in a self-consumed culture where self-preservation is the norm…

And it is no different for the body of Christ.

Our only purpose for us as the ones who are the called according to His purpose, is to walk above our High Places by the power of the One who is NOW willing and working His perfect plan IN and through us, for His Glory.

As we walk yielded to Him he does His own good work IN us. And how does that happen? How does a so called Christian culture that is focused on saving itself make the transition to losing itself for the sake of the Gospel of Grace?

Only One WAY!

Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

The only “WAY” that God will ever direct us is to THE WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE, whose is name is Jesus Christ. And any other way, religion, philosophy, tradition, rule, or law is the wrong way. The only Way is in embracing the “losing to gain” message of the Cross, and allowing God to complete the good work He has begun IN us. It is allowing death to roll in on anything and everything we are still trusting in as our life, and believing only God can work IN us so that His Life can work IN us...for others.

For it is God which worketh IN you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

It is His work IN us just as it is His plan for us!

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives. John 12:24 NLT

The “momentary light afflictions” that we endure in this life are what also prepare us to be the channel of His Love for others. This is why a life centered on "take not a thought for your life" is not only possible but also expected. This is where we move beyond the vain attempts of preserving our own life, and especially for those who have made the decision to forsake EVERYTHING for Christ alone!

These are the ones like Isaiah, who know before the call even comes the testing will. And unless God has a mature body of believers who are tested to the point they KNOW the One truth, there won’t be anyone who is fit to send.

Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of His praise be heard; He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:8-12

This place of Abundance is Christ Himself, the One who is the ALL IN ALL who fills everything in every way.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth IN love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up IN Love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16

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