"Here Am I"
A fundamental part of every Christian's life is a willingness and desire to apply her skills, energy, talents and time to the work of the Lord. This isn't to say that God *needs* anything from His creation; He is all-sufficient to accomplish His will without any support. And yet the God of all creation wants us to be involved in the effort of expanding the spiritual borders of His kingdom!
God doesn't coerce us into this work. It would be of no benefit to anyone if a labor of love was done begrudgingly or under compulsion. Rather, we must embrace the opportunities to spread the gospel and help our spiritual family members grow in the faith with a dedicated spirit that says, "Here I am!"
Consider a few of those who labored for the Lord that responded to His call in this way:
Abraham said "Here am I" when God tested his faith by requesting Isaac as an offering (Genesis 22:1-2). We read of no questioning, hedging or bargaining on his part. Abraham instead follows God's command, trusting the immutable nature and character of the Lord who had promised him so much (Hebrews 11:17-19; James 2:20-24).
Moses said "Here am I" when the Lord commissioned him from the burning bush (Exodus 3:4). While initially not as submissive as Abraham, he is persuaded and comes to trust in God. We too must allow the proof that God provides and the promises He gives establish our hearts and motivate us to the work at hand.
Samuel said "Here am I," though he thought he was harkening to Eli's voice at first (1 Samuel 3:1-10). Though the prophet-to-be's vigor was there, he had need of knowledge to understand the call of God Almighty. Do you know God's voice when you hear it? (See John 10.) God has revealed Himself to us through the Bible, His word, and by vigilant study we can become intimately accustomed to the voice that spoke all creation into existence. Only by applying that word rightly will our toil not be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Isaiah said "Here am I" during his vision in the temple of the Lord (Isaiah 6:8). These are the first words he speaks after the seraphim purges the sin from his unclean lips and sanctifies him to be in God's presence. The prophet's work wouldn't be pretty, but Isaiah knew it was the only rational response standing before the great I AM (Romans 12:1-2). Devotion coupled with humility will give us this same servant attitude.
Ananias said "Here am I" as Christ called on him to extend grace and service to the foremost enemy of "the Way" in his day (Acts 9:10-12). Even though he couldn't see how Saul of Tarsus would want anything to do with obedience to God through Christ, even if he had concern for his own life, this disciple acted on God's orders and played an integral role in ushering the final apostle into the fold of God.
We cannot lose sight of the forest for the trees here: while these souls and countless other men and women accomplished amazing things in the service of the King of kings, the story is never really about them. And it's not about you or me, either. Life is all about God, and He invites each of us to play a part in the everlasting kingdom and His church. We just have to be willing to respond to His call and say, "Here am I."