The Bare Soul -
March 8, 2009
Psalm 110:3a - Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;
Lots of folks volunteer for any number of things. There are a myriad of opportunities to give of your time to a charity, a cause, a needy organization -- the list goes on and on. Some will volunteer with an organization or for an upcoming event on a short term basis, while others such as Mother Teresa make it their life vocation. There are all types of people that help out for one reason or the other. But what does it really mean to volunteer for God? What does it mean to become so passionate about what God is doing that the first instinct is to run toward the opportunity that He offers? I will venture to say that when God gets a hold of someone, by His power, then they will never be the same. What had once been a "nice idea" to help someone or something has now become the driving force of their life.
The lead scripture tells us that the "people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power". This can be interpreted to mean that when God pours out His Spirit on all flesh in the end time move of God, that surely many will respond with a volunteer attitude. They will witness first hand the power of God with signs and wonders and the manifestation of His Spirit with mighty works of grace. Truly, there will be a great ingathering at that time merely because of the demonstration of His power. I believe wholeheartedly that this verse has a collective interpretation for the Body of Christ, but it also has an individual implication for the life of every believer. We only must understand "the call" that the Lord has placed on us as the saints of God and then comprehend how to walk in its revelation. The power to volunteer freely is available to every believer once they understand some basic fundamentals regarding who they are in Christ. More importantly, the grace that embodies that power is the fuel which will keep us passionate about our respective missions.
Isaiah is the classic example of a man who saw, understood, and was then launched into his life as a "volunteer" for God. In Isaiah chapter 6 we see the prophet's acceptance of what God desires for him to do as a prophet to the nation of Judah. Many call this chapter "Isaiah's calling", however I prefer to call it "Isaiah's Enlistment". Isaiah was not drafted into service as many of the Old Testament prophets. In Isaiah 6:8, God very clearly asks, "Whom shall I send?" and Isaiah spoke up with deliberateness saying, "Here I am, send me!" There are three clear reasons from this scripture why someone would so readily volunteer for the thankless, dangerous job that Isaiah signed on to do. They are as follows:
Visualization -- In Isaiah 6:1, the prophet-elect sees "... the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple." The glory of God is all about Isaiah as he sees the heavenly scene play out before his eyes as the powerful angels minister to the Most High. In the midst of this heavenly, holy revelation he sees his own filthiness in comparison with God's utter holiness. He cries out in Isaiah 6:5 that he is ruined because he is a man of unclean lips living amongst an unclean people. At this juxtaposition, between understanding God's holiness and his own unworthiness, he took the first step toward his candidacy as God's volunteer to the rebellious house of Judah.
Realization -- Once Isaiah understood the nature of God and his own nature as a fallen man in need of God's mercy and grace, then he could look beyond the "who" and start to understand the "what" that the Holy One desired. God Almighty was looking for someone to send to the rebellious house of Judah to reprimand them for their apostasies toward His holy name. Once Isaiah understood the need, he was then able to respond to God's query: "Whom shall we send" with an emphatic "Send Me!". This type of commitment can only come first out of an awareness of who He is, who we are, and then the realization that we are a prime candidate for His bidding.
Mobilization -- Once Isaiah knew God's heart and His will, it was time to partner with the Almighty. This is when Isaiah's enlistment or volunteering is actually confirmed by God with marching orders. The Lord tells Isaiah in verses 9 and 10 to go and to keep speaking to this stubborn people regardless whether they listen or not. Isaiah confirms his commission by asking in verse 11, "How long should I do this?". God answers him to continue his preaching until there is no longer any need to preach -- until the house of Israel and Judah have been taken into captivity. In other words, Isaiah was being told beforehand that he would not be successful in the eyes of man but that he would be a failure. (Beware of judging success in any way other than through God's eyes!) Isaiah was given a broad, generic plan from God yet the prophet accepted the mantle that Lord had given him and waited on Him to fill in the details.
Isaiah has laid out for us the road map to be a successful, passionate, unwavering volunteer for the Lord Jesus Christ. First, we must understand who He is and what He has done for us on the cross of Calvary. We must then accept his holiness in exchange for our wretchedness. This is a true understanding of both our character and His. Next, we need to realize that he has called us all to both LIVE and PREACH the gospel with our day to day living. That may be verbally, but often it will be by our witness and how we live in the midst of those who don't know the Lord. And finally, we must know that this is our life's vocation -- that it is not simply something we will do occasionally or when the mood strikes us, but it is a life to be lived with passion and desire to share the life of Christ no matter if ANY respond. If there is a clear vision of the Lord, a concise realization of what we are here on earth to do, and a stalwart mobilization of our affections and passions to that end, then there will truly be grace and power in our lives as we give our lives as one of God's volunteers. Then, we will be joyous as we cry out with Isaiah, "Send me, Lord," for it will not matter the height, or the depth, or the width or the breadth of service -- we will be His life-long volunteers through His grace and mighty power!
Lord God Almighty, reveal Yourself to us. Show us our own inability to affect anything that is lasting outside of Your strength. Through these revelations, grant us your own grace and power that we might enlist into your service with a lifetime of love and passion. In Jesus name, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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