We are each designed for a unique and divine purpose. Live yours!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I've decided to join An Open Book and {dancing} in the margins in their Monday Manna meme.

Twice a month participants meet together to contemplate, ruminate, and share on a specific scripture. It can be brief thoughts, a picture, a poem, a short story, a devotional--whatever. The idea is to chew on the same scripture and learn from each other.

This Monday's scripture focus is Isaiah 6:8: the calling of the prophet Isaiah.

At the sound of their voices [the seraphs] the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty. Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." 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 6:5-8 NIV)

What would it take for God to get your attention? How do you hear God? How obedient are you when you hear God's call upon your life?

Sometimes I do hear His "still small voice" but often it takes nothing less than doorposts and thresholds shaking to get my full attention. The accuracy with which I hear and the readiness to respond in obedience, "Here am I," depends in large part upon what God is calling me to do! I'm ashamed to say it, but it is true. If the call is to do something I enjoy, something that won't be too "inconvenient" then I jump right to it! If what I perceive He wants me to do will be challenging, out of my comfort zone, or "inconvenient" I may not be as ready to respond right away.

Also, my obedience, however well-intentioned is misguided or misplaced sometimes. That happens because I sometimes rush ahead, believing God has revealed the full picture to me--or at least that I see the full picture clearly. I'm not one of those who automatically sits and waits and meditates upon God's messages unless I am very intentional about it. I am learning to be more patient, but it is an on-going challenge for me.

How have I learned to wait, reflect, pray and then wait a little more? By NOT doing so in the past! If the old saying, "we learn from our mistakes" is true, then I should be quite wise by now!

That is the glory and wonder of our God! He understands our human limitations and failings. He knows the good intentions of our hearts don't always translate into appropriate action. Fortunately, God can use even our mistakes and missteps to accomplish His will in the world. When we declare to Him, as did Isaiah, that we have unclean lips (and lives!), we have fuflilled the first requirement for worthiness to be used by God.

How do we know we are acting and living in obedience? We know through the in-dwelling of the Spirit. When we live in obedience, God's desire flows out of us and into His world. For example: I have the spiritual gift of encouragement. God has been using that gift mightily in the last few months. I am associated with many Christian writers and God has presented me with countless opportunities to encourage and uplift them in their walk.

The tricky thing about call is that we may not be called to the same role, task, etc., in every circumstance! While I am certainly called to encourage fellow Christian writers (and Christians in general!), I am sometimes called to rely upon my spiritual gift of 'forthtelling' to give a message that may not be so encouraging or uplifting.

That is where the test comes: in the call to do those things that may cause pain or suffering to another. I can speak the truth in love and still inflict pain. That's why I resist it sometimes, because I have such a heart for others, that I hurt for them when they suffer. Hmmm. This may be an area I need to take to God. It seems as if I need to be sure my heart is pure and that my hesitation is truly because of the potential distress to another, versus my discomfiture.

Wow! God reveals Himself to us in the most surprising and amazing ways! I have never carried this train of thought to this point before. Clearly, God wanted me to join the meme:-)

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!"


Betsy Markman said...

Isn't it wonderful how God uses writing to help the writers themselves! I love it when He does that. He's so awesome!

Thanks for this post.

LauraLee Shaw said...

"How do we know we are acting and living in obedience? We know through the in-dwelling of the Spirit. When we live in obedience, God's desire flows out of us and into His world."

Amen. You hit the nail on the head here. 1 Corinthians 12 shows that clearly. I also like that you hit on the fact that even if we make a mistake and jump too soon or not at all that the Lord will fulfill HIs great purpose anyway. (or something like that).

Great insight!

Joanne Sher said...

I loved the very same line Lauralee highlighted. SO true! Excellent word. You definitely fed me :) Thanks for participating!

Anonymous said...

What a great post filled with so much truth!
Jennifer Miller

Patty Wysong said...

Living in obedience--that's the key! Such great thoughts, Mary! I'm so glad you'r joining us!