A thought flashed in my mind – “maybe God doesn’t send anymore! Is that where the problem lies?”
Paul and I had been chatting about an increasing generational gap in people going into missions. Where are the ones God is sending particularly to the indigenous communities in Australia. And more specifically for the long haul? As I sat there thinking this through I was reminded of the verse in Isaiah where the Lord says “Whom shall I send?” And I wondered – in which order did the sending, by God take place?
#1 – The Lord expressed his desire to send! The LORD wasn’t talking to himself, rubbing his hand on his chin like someone deciding their next move in a game of chess! He was asking a question to stir the heart. He was sending out a war cry, a challenge. “Who will I send? Who will take up my cause? Who will trust me and obey, though they have no idea what I have in store for them?”
#2- Isaiah heard! What did Isaiah hear? He heard the desire of the Lord to send someone. He heard the challenge. His ears and his heart were inclined and prepared to hear. Are you actively prepared and postured to hear the call of God? Or are you postured to the priorities of the world around you? Are you prepared for God to call you to something that could require you to lay down all of your own plans, dreams and desires?
#3 – Isaiah responded. With not alot of details about the call, Isaiah responded – Here I am. That’s faith. The compelling nature of the call of God to respond to minimal detail but having a full assurance of the sufficiency and provision of God, in His time. Send me! I trust you to take care of what I leave behind. Being sent somewhere requires active physical presence and work in the desired location. It requires a physical response.
#4 – God gave direction. Isaiah was now engaged and poised to receive further instruction. I wonder whether it was the kind of directions Isaiah was expecting, or whether it was left field?
So in answer to my question, Yes! God does still send, absolutely! But are we prepared and positioned to hear? Do we prepare others to hear and to respond?
Do we assume that missions is only about going overseas? That we have to have a skill or a career that’s useful to a certain people group? That God only uses super spiritual people? That we had better fit in a year of missions while we are single so we can return, settle and get married?
Sometimes our preconceived assumptions and personal aspirations drown out the whispers of the Lord that will resound in our hearts – “whom shall I send? And who shall go for Us?”