Present and accounted for, Sir

It was after twenty years of service and never having disappointed my employer when I heard the telephone ring. "I need you right now, there is a problem, and you are closest to the scene." It was a no-win situation. I was up to my knees in wet cement; I was not dressed for work, neither was I supposed to be for another few hours, and it would take me no less than thirty minutes to arrive. "I need you there right away," were the words that remained on my mind. When I tried to explain, all I heard was a click on the other end. I was not ready for service, and that is all that mattered.

The reality of life for a soldier in the military, especially during wartime, is that his life is not his own.

God appeared to Isaiah, a prophet in Israel. He had been prophesying for some time when God revealed Himself in such a way that the sight broke Isaiah. It is in that text that Isaiah's familiar words appear.

Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined!

Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I live among a people of unclean lips;

For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

(Isaiah 6:5)

Oddly enough, it is at this time of Isaiah's life that he spoke these pleasant words into God's ear. "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" And He said, "Go and tell this people: ... 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' (Isaiah 6:8, 9)

It shouldn't be hard to understand with the prospect of speaking to a people who will not listen or even understand why anyone would ask, "Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered, "Until cities are devastated, and without inhabitant, Houses are without people, and the land is utterly desolate..." (Isaiah 6:11)

Isaiah served God all his days, knowing that his ministry would come to nothing. That is, so far as conversions were concerned. Isaiah lived an obedient and holy life, what about you? Romans 6 gives us all that we need to overcome sin by first "KNOWING" what we need to believe.

"Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin." (Romans 6:6, 7) Slavery is not an option for those who know their position in Christ.

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:11) Holy living is the paradigm set for those who consider or reckon themselves dead to sin and alive to God because of their position in Christ. This reckoning is an ACT of faith.

Now to return to the prophet Isaiah who said to God, "Here I am. Send me!" Let us consider a final word. " Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14)

When we present ourselves to God, we come along aside and make ourselves available. We make ourselves ready for service when we live by faith so that our labor is not self-effort. Self-effort is to live under the law. Grace allows us to live in the love of God. God's finished work in Christ is enough. Knowing God's labor of love on our behalf, we present ourselves as a living sacrifice.

Are your words to God every morning, after spending time humbling yourself and appropriating your position in Christ, "Here I am. Send me!" That is the only way to be an overcomer in Christ's kingdom.

Lord bless your faith!