In Isaiah 6:8, the Lord asked the prophet two questions. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” He was looking for someone who was willing to surrender his own will and desire to do the work that God had for him to do. Isaiah’s answer? “Here I am. Send me.” That response has become a prayer of sorts for many of God’s people over the years who also feel that deep desire to be used by God. This week, God answered that prayer for me. The weird thing is that I had no idea that’s what was happening until it was over. In hindsight, there are three telltale signs that we are being sent by God.
A Trip to the Grocery Store
It all started when I stopped for milk at my favorite grocery store. As soon as I got close to the building, I spotted a man sitting next to the garbage can just outside the doors. He had a red backpack with him, and I could tell that he had been there a while. I thought he was probably homeless, so as I usually do, I stopped to ask him if he needed a cold drink or something to eat. He said he had a drink and didn’t need any food. I asked him if he was sure, and he said that he was. “Well, if you think of anything you need while I’m shopping, let me know when I come out.” I started to walk inside, but then another question popped into the front of my mind.
“Do you know Jesus?” Yes, he said he knew Jesus. A cynical voice commented sarcastically in my head, “Yeah, everybody knows Jesus.” I smiled and started to walk away again, but this time, he said that he DID need something. He needed a ride to the next town over. Now, as a woman by myself, I knew that there was no way I was going to drive him, so I told him I would see what I could do.
Thinking Through Options
When I got inside, I immediately called my friend, the pastor’s wife. She has an adult son who still lives with them for the moment until he gets married this fall. I thought if he were available, he might be able to drive him. He was at work, though, so that was off the table. “Could you maybe call him an Uber or something?” she asked.
I had already thought of using a driving service, but I am super uncomfortable with those apps and all the choices. I had looked into it when I needed a ride to the airport once, but it felt confusing and hard to navigate.
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
As I shopped, though, a voice in my head started coaching me. “Weren’t you paying attention to that devotional on your You Version app this morning?” It was the story of the Good Samaritan and the idea that of all the people who passed the injured man by, only one was willing to be personally interrupted and inconvenienced. Only one was willing to give his time and resources to treat the man the way he would want to be treated in his situation. “Are you not also willing to be personally inconvenienced?” Okay, so the voice had me there. How selfish was it for me to ignore this poor man’s need just because technology makes me feel icky? If I were the one sitting by the trash can, I would for sure want someone else to help me.
I decided to do it. Right there in front of the milk, I did a little research about the best service in my area. I then downloaded the Lyft app and searched for instructions on how to work it. It took me a few minutes to figure out all the buttons and choices, but I managed to get it going. I paid for my groceries and headed out the door to see if he was still there.
This Was NOT What I Thought
He was there in the same place I left him. I told him that I was helping him because I wanted to treat him the same way I would want to be treated in his situation. I got his name – which is Jim — and his home address and made the note for the driver so he would know who he was picking up. When the Lyft order was done, I handed the man a tract from my purse. I said, “Here, you can read this while you wait.”
Then he did something that I did NOT see coming. He opened his bag and pulled out a Bible and another book by Tony Evans he said he had just picked up about finding one’s purpose. He said he did know the Lord and prayed all the time. Then it hit me. He didn’t ask me about the ride until I asked him about Jesus.Wait. This wasn’t about God testing me to see if I would be willing to put my morning “amen” about loving my neighbor into action. This was about the Lord sending me to answer Jim’s prayer to get home. Click To Tweet
3 Signs You Are Being Sent by God
1. God Prepares You
That morning Bible study was right on time. I can honestly say that without it, I probably would have just shrugged sympathetically and prayed for someone else to come along who could help the man. I believe that when God is getting ready to send us, He prepares us. Sometimes it is with a cleansing like God did for the prophet in Isaiah 6:7, and sometimes it is with the lessons we need to act in the way He desires for us to act.
2. God Calls You
The voice in my mind would not allow me to forget the lesson I had just been taught. It was insistent and left no room for anything other than obedience or disobedience to the principle at hand. There was a clear call to action and a need for a decision on my part. It felt like standing on the edge of something. Do I step out in faith or turn and run the other way? Just like God asked the prophet for buy-in in Isaiah 6:8 before He sent him, I believe God does the same for us.
3. God Equips You
The Lord is good to me financially, so the extra $30 or so it cost me to pay for the man’s Lyft was not a hardship. He also gave me favor to navigate the app without too much mental anguish. In Isaiah 6:9-10, God told Isaiah what to say to the people of Israel and prepared him for the people’s negative response so he would not be discouraged. I realized that the Lord will not ask us to do things that He hasn’t made us able to do. It makes me think of the old saying that “God doesn’t call the equipped but equips the called.”
When We Are Sent by God
This week during a routine trip to the grocery store, I had no idea that God was sending me to do anything until it was already done. On hindsight, though, I see that the Lord prepared me, called me, and equipped me to do the job He wanted me to do. Are you also praying that prayer? “Here I am. Send me!”” The days are short until the Lord’s return. May we all be about our Father’s business.
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