Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Here O My Lord"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 6:8 – 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!" (NIV)
When I was walking my dog the other morning, some friends of mine were heading out towards their car. Immediately, Sparky began to pull on his lead, digging his feet into the soft ground in his eagerness to reach them and greet them in his typical doggie way. As he dragged me along behind him, I laughed and said, "He leads. I follow."
After he had given them his wiggly warm greeting and was satisfied with the welcoming scratches on his neck and ears, we headed back onto the street to continue our morning adventure.
Suddenly, the words that I had said in jest seemed to jump back into my mind: "He leads. I follow."
It was as if a voice spoke to me so clearly that I actually looked around to see who had said the words. Of course, no one was there, at least visibly.
Then came the question, Do you?
It seemed like a strange question. Do I what?
Do you follow where He leads?
Suddenly, I realized that this was the voice of the Holy Spirit. He was posing a very simple, but incisive question: Do I follow where the Lord leads?
And I honestly didn't know how to answer. My knee-jerk reply was, As far as I know, Lord.
But it was not an honest reply either, because I hadn't given any thought to my glib answer.
Actually, I found it a bit ridiculous to be challenged about my spiritual walk as result of a joking comment I had made regarding the relationship I had with my dog.
But I find that God frequently uses the little everyday events of our lives to speak to us, and as I made my way home, I had to face up to the uncomfortable truth that I didn't always follow His leading, and the Holy Spirit was not about to let me off the hook.
I knew that the Lord had been challenging me for some time with respect to something He wanted me to do. I had dismissed this very strong conviction with several very good excuses, which I called reasons, in order to justify my adamant refusal.
It was quite obvious that I had an important decision to make. Whose way was I going to follow in this matter: my own or the Lord's?
I knew that this was not a unique experience insofar as God makes Himself very clear when He wants His children to do something specific. What if Abraham had refused to leave for the country God would show him, or if Moses had refused to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt? Whether it be Abraham, Moses or whoever, who knows how history would have been altered with that one tiny word from one person: "No."
And that one person who refuses could be you or me. We need to start by saying, "Yes."
Prayer: Father, so often, life seems to become like a treadmill, and we are so busy that we can barely keep up. That is when we usually decide we cannot take on one more responsibility. Thus, when Your still small voice brings a request to us, it is all too easy to say, "I am just too busy." Help us in such times to get our priorities straight and to say "Yes" to what we believe to be Your will. Help us to remember that if You call us to a task, You will provide the means and the strength. We pray in Jesus' powerful name. Amen.