Reading: Isaiah 49: 1-4
We are each chosen by God to be God’s servant. We are each identified before birth: “before I was born the Lord called me”. The Lord has followed that call with preparation. God has planted His Word within us as we have grown and matured in our faith. God has prepared us for service by making us a ‘polished arrow’. God has equipped us with the Word so that our mouth is like a ‘sharpened sword’. All of this so that we may live into verse four: “You are my servant… in whom I will display my splendor”.
Chosen by God, created for a purpose, equipped to fulfill that purpose. Yes, this is what it says in Isaiah and throughout the Bible. Yes, it can be hard to live into our call to serve God. But it is what God desires for us, what God has planned for us. So what is it that keeps us from living into what God created us to be? I believe there are two culprits: us and Satan.
We doubt. We worry. We think ourselves not up to the task. We think our faith or knowledge too limited to serve God. We think our time has not yet come. We remember past failures. We fear rejection or criticism. Then Satan partners with us and whispers lies into our minds. Man, that is too much for you. Woman, you could never do that. Son, what if they ask you this question? Daughter, remember the last time you tried to share your faith? Satan, the great deceiver, fears that we will believe and cling to the truths and promises we find in the Word. The devil fears that we will trust in God and will call upon God for all we need. Satan knows the truth: nothing is impossible with God.
To our doubt and worry, God promises: I will be with you. To our poor self-confidence, God promises: I will never leave or foresake you. To our lack of felt knowledge, God promises: I will send the Holy Spirit to remind you of all things. To our past failures, God promises: I have plans to prosper you.
Today’s passage ends with, “my reward is with God”. This day may we trust fully into the promises of God, looking forward to the promise of life eternal. This day may we may we embrace our role as servant of the most high God, knowing that God is with us, living our lives to bring glory to God.