One of the hardest jobs in any church is what’s called the Committee on Committees. I have to admit, when I first heard that term, I had a good laugh. I had no idea what that group would do, it just sounded funny. So, if you’ve never heard the term before, the job of that committee is to find people in the church to serve on the other committees. The reason this job is so hard is the time lag between asking people to serve and their eventual “no” answer. In religious circles, if you know you don’t want to do something, you can’t just say “no,” you have to “pray about it.” Then, after a reasonable period of time you can say “no” and do it in a way that makes you seem truly spiritual.
When Isaiah had an encounter with the Lord, though, he forgot about this rule. He was in the Temple when he saw God. His reaction was immediate. He recognized his own sinfulness and realized that he was no marked for death. God, instead, cleansed him. “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!’ (Isaiah 6:8) Isaiah didn’t understand that he was supposed to tell God something like, “I might go, Lord, let me pray about it first.” When people encounter God, they are ready to serve.
Saul, who became Paul, encountered God on the road to Damascus and his life changed from one of persecuting Christians to sharing the gospel. Simon, later known as Peter, after hearing Jesus teach, threw his nets on the other side of the boats and reacted to the great catch by following Jesus. True service grows out of an encounter with God. Perhaps the reason the job of Committee on Committees is so hard is that God’s people have forgotten what it’s like to meet with God.
The issue isn’t that God doesn’t reveal Himself to us; the problem is that we don’t recognize God’s presence when He does. Any nagging suspicion that God is involved in our lives is written off as “coincidence” or even the goodness of others. Perhaps, just for today, we will realize that God is at work if we expect Him to work. Perhaps, just for today, we will experience God’s presence if we expect Him to be present. Once you experience God’s presence, you can’t go back to the way you were.
Lord God, show me Your presence today. Change my life so much that I am willing to serve however You call. Let my new life be the reason that others experience Your presence also.