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 I am. Send me!”
This verse is a common scripture that is often heard in sermons concerning missions. It was Isaiah’s missionary call. God was looking for someone to bring a message to a group of people and Isaiah said, “Here I am. Send me!” If you continue reading in Isaiah 6 you will find something that is often overlooked in sermons. Essentially Isaiah was called to bring a message to people and the people would only reject the message and be hardened for judgment. In other words, Isaiah was called to go and preach and no one was going to listen to him!
How would you like that for a ministry call? By today’s standards, Isaiah might have been considered a failure because no one paid any attention to his preaching. The fact is sometimes God calls folks to go to difficult ministries in which people might totally reject the message. Yet still we are called to follow God’s orders no matter what the response of the people. We are to be God pleasers; not people pleasers. We are to be people who obey God no matter what happens. Such is what a group of us did this past week.
This past Thursday and Friday, a group of 21 from our ministry was called to go and preach the Word of God to a people who would primarily reject the message. For 13 straight hours, overnight, from 5:00 pm on Thursday until 6:00 am on Friday, our group of 21 proclaimed God’s standards to over one million people in downtown Antipolo, Rizal. Throughout the night, these people were walking to visit an idol in downtown Antipolo. It was definitely a challenging time of ministry.
Our group was stationed on the narrow, main road leading to the idol. We had scripture signs, tracts and megaphones for preaching. The numbers of people going to the idol were absolutely incredible. Hour after hour, wave after wave of people passed down the road. At times, some of those in our group were literally pressed against the walls on the street by the mass of people. More people would pass by me every 15 minutes than live in all of Dodge County!
As I mentioned, we proclaimed the Word of God for 13 straight hours. It was an exhausting time. Several of us never sat down the whole time. Some in our group totally lost their voices from preaching so much. We didn’t sleep or take a break. It was “marathon ministry.”
What was the response of the people? It was kind of a mixed response. Some mocked us. Some got mad. Some totally ignored us. Others listened and then continued on. There were those that stopped and asked more questions. Others gave us the “thumbs up” sign signifying that they liked what we were doing. The vast majority, though, of the 1 million plus people seemed to reject the Word of God.
When we finally finished the time of outreach, our group was full of joy. Our joy was found in the fact that we obeyed God; no matter the response of the people. Our responsibility was to “follow God’s orders.” God will take care of the hearts of the people we shared with.
Friends, I challenge you to follow God’s orders to you, whatever they may be. Obey God above everything else. Obey God no matter how people respond and react. Amen!