HERE AM I
INTRODUCTION: It’s hard to believe we are on the eve of a brand new year, the year of 2020. And as such, I want to call your attention to the one ABILITY in the Christian life and in the Service of God that ought to CHALLENGE and CAPTIVATE your heart and life in the year 2020.
I believe the greatest ability one must possess as a servant of Jesus Christ is that of AVAILABILITY. Remember this: ABILITY without AVAILABILITY is a LIABILITY!
What does AVAILABILITY mean? Listen to this definition.
"It means to place one's self totally, absolutely, completely at God's disposal for Him to do anything and everything He wants us to do when He chooses, how he chooses, where He chooses and for as long as He chooses. Anything less than that is putting restrictions on God and there can be no restrictions in our commitment to God. It has to be TOTAL, ABSOLUTE and COMPLETE."
There are two elements involved in availability: PREPARATION and READINESS.
- Preparation is having walked with God in prayer and the study of His word, you then place your all on the Altar.
- Readiness is the stage in which you now come and say, "Here am I, Lord, use me.”
Sometimes folks falsely assume that God cannot use them because they do not have special talents. They feel they are just ordinary and do not have anything special at all for God to use.
Listen carefully. When a person is willing to be used, there is no limit to what God can do and accomplish through that person. Someone said,
"God can do a WHOLE LOT WITH LITTLE, providing, He has ALL of the LITTLE THERE IS." We need only to make it available unto God.
Now by way of Illustration, let me point out FIVE Old Testament characters that were willing without hesitation to say, "HERE AM I." THAT'S AVAILABILITY!
FIRST: Abraham was READY to do the WILL OF GOD. Turn with me to Genesis 22 and notice verses 1-2, 11.
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, HERE AM I. (2) And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (11) And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, HERE AM I.”
You notice both times when God spoke to Abraham, Abraham said, "HERE AM I." Abraham was saying "God I am available to do the WILL OF GOD."
God asked Abraham to do an incredible thing; perhaps the hardest thing He has ever asked any man to do – offer his son on an altar. God was testing Abraham’s faith. Abraham's response was "HERE AM I."
It was IMMEDIATE, UNWAVERING, UNQUESTIONABLE.
It was complete compliance with the will of God.
Listen! You and I are blessed TODAY because Abraham was willing to do the WILL OF GOD. Please notice verse 18.
“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou (Abraham) hast obeyed my voice.”
We are blessed today because Abraham obeyed the voice of God for we read in Galatians 3:13-14
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Remember it was through Abraham as the father of the Jews that Jesus came. The blessing of Christ is the “Cross of Christ,” the place of our eternal redemption.
Think of the implications had Abraham not done the will of God. Think of the implications:
For Abraham’s FAMILY,
For Abraham’s NATION,
For ALL the NATIONS of the earth and
For you and me personally.
I say to you, when God deals with your heart about doing His will, the consequences of DISOBEDIENCE are great and grave. I have seen whole families BLINDED and CURSED because the head of that family refused to do the will of God.
May I challenge you during 2020 to be AVAILABLE to do the WILL OF GOD?
It is God's Will that His people be Clean, Holy, Righteous and Upright. .
It is God’s will that His people live in the Word of God, Obey the Truth of the Word of God and live out in practice of the Word of God.
Abraham was AVAILABLE to do the WILL OF GOD.
SECOND: Jacob was READY to WALK WITH GOD.
In Genesis 31:11 Jacob said when the angel of God spoke to him, "Here am I".
In Genesis 46:2-3; we read, “And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, HERE AM I. (3) And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation…”
Jacob had WALKED BEFORE GOD. Now he was AVAILABLE TO WALK WITH GOD. I want you to notice Jacob's response was instantaneous. He rose up and went. God had said GO and He did just that. He did not say, "I'll pray about it." He just got up and went.
Do you hear what I just said, Jacob just went. He did not say wait let me pray about it. When God shows you His will, you do not have to PRAY ABOUT IT; you just need to do it. You do not need to pray about something that is clearly revealed in the WORD of GOD. Jacob did not ARGUE, nor did he pray about it, nor did he meditate on it, he immediately went.
In Genesis 31 God said go to Bethel, so Jacob went to Bethel.
In Genesis 46 God said go to Egypt, so Jacob went to Egypt.
Now remember, the cause for going down into Egypt was a FAMINE in progress. However, because Jacob had walked WITH God and FOR God his whole family was spared.
Let me lay this challenge upon the men of our church. Do you want your Family to be blessed during 2020? Really, do you? Well, if you are walking with the Lord, they will be blessed. If you are not, they will not. Instead, your family will be spiritually famine-stricken.
THIRD: Moses was READY to WORSHIP GOD. In Exodus 3:4-5 we read
“And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, HERE AM I. (5) And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”
Again in verse 4 Moses said, "Here am I." There is no verse that says, "Moses worshiped God." You have to read that into the context. Out of this bush that was on fire, yet not consumed, God spoke. And when God spoke, Moses FELL BEFORE A HOLY GOD, THAT IS THE POSITION OF WORSHIP.
Most of us are good at WORKING for God. But how many of us are good at WORSHIPING God? Now listen carefully.
WORSHIP is MEETING GOD on HIS GROUND. Once you have meet GOD, you will NEVER BE INACTIVE. Why? Because WORSHIP always TRANSLATES into WORK for GOD.
This is important, far more important than you realize. Before you come here to serve as a Sunday school teacher or a Junior church worker, or a Choir member, or a C-Club worker or as a Deacon or Trustee, I challenge you to meet with God in a time of worship.
If you worship correctly, God will get hold of your heart, and you will do God’s work in God’s way, that is in the power of the Spirit of God and not in the energy of the human flesh.
Moses' LIFE WORK came out of HIS WORSHIP. It was while he was on his face worshipping Him that God said, "I want you to go down to Egypt and get My people out." WORK THAT SPRINGS OUT OF WORSHIP IS WORK THAT GOD BLESSES!
FOURTH: Samuel was READY to WAIT on GOD. What do we have so far?
Abraham said, "Here am I, ready to do the will of God."
Jacob said, "Here am I ready to walk with God."
Moses said, "Here am I ready to worship God.”
Now in I Samuel 3:4-8, 16 we read about Samuel.
“That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, HERE AM I (5) And he ran unto Eli, and said, HERE AM I; for thou called me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. (6) And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, HERE AM I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. (7) Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. (8) And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, HERE AM I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. (16) Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, HERE AM I.”
Notice FIVE times Samuel responded to the call, "Here am I." Here was this little Jewish boy sleeping in the Temple. God called and Samuel responded, "Here am I."
I want to talk to you about something that I believe we need individually and congregationally during 2020.
You are aware that we have FOUR public services each week. Add to that youth activities, planning meetings and at times other things going on monthly at our church. That is a lot of activity!
However, if we are going to make an impact upon this area for the kingdom of God, and for the cause of Jesus Christ, the one thing we are lacking is a GENUINE REVIVAL at the Green Street Baptist Chapel.
Now REVIVAL does not come because we sponsor a set of REVIVAL MEETINGS, or call a dynamic speaker and hope something happens.
NO, REVIVAL comes when we WAIT and WAIT, and WAIT, and WAIT on GOD…
In a position of RECEPTIVITY,
In a position of AVAILIBILTY,
In a position of ANTICIPATION, and
In a position of EXPECTANCY!
Revival calls for waiting. Getting with God and having Him extract everything that is wrong in our lives and waiting before Him as He deals with our heart.
You may think that when God called, "Samuel, Samuel," He must have had something very special for Samuel to do RIGHT THEN and THERE.
However, you will read this passage in vain seeking for some instruction from God telling Samuel to do something. You see, God wants us first to be something! IF WE ARE WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE, WE WILL DO WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE DOING.
Samuel was in God's school of WAITING. God was TRAINING a prophet by having Him wait. We are never ready to
WORK with God, or
WALK with God, or do the
WILL of God, or
WORSHIP God, until we
WAIT on God.
"Genuine REVIVAL takes WAITING, WAITING on God." Waiting is not WASTING TIME. When you wait on God, no time is WASTED.
Remember the instructions given to the disciples by the Lord in Acts 1:4, "but wait for the promise of the Father…" Then it happened in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came upon them with POWER.
We do not TARRY (wait) we HURRY.
We hurry in an out of church,
We hurry in and out of worship,
We hurry in and out of devotions and wonder why nothing HAPPENS.
Like something is supposed to inspire our hearts, or to fire us up like instant potatoes. No, the PROBLEM isn't with the church or worship or the devotions. The PROBLEM is we haven't WAITED long enough. The Psalmist said, "Be still and know that I am God."
FIFTH: Isaiah was READY to WITNESS for GOD. Now we come to our fifth example found in that great passage of scripture Isaiah 6:1-8 where we read,
“(1) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, HERE AM I; send me.”
Here we find Isaiah, as a result of the vision, saying in verse 8, HERE AM I; send me.”
Isaiah's response to the VISION that was above Him, and
Isaiah's response to the VOICE that was about Him, and
Isaiah's response to the VOCATION that was ahead of Him was 3 fold.
It was one of HUMILITY; "Woe is me! because I am a man of unclean lips…" and
It was one of AVAILIBILTY; "Here am I" and
It was one of MOBILITY; "Send ME."
That is the divine order, HUMILITY, AVAILABILITY, and MOBILITY.
God never leaves a person who is available, immobile.
God did not save us to sit and do nothing.
God did not save us just to sit and enjoy the blessing.
Listen. Throughout 2020, Sunday after Sunday, Morning and Evening, and Wednesday after Wednesday you can come into this room and have your heart
STIRRED and CHALLENGED and TAUGHT and INSPIRED.
That's all well and good. But we need to make this intensely personal. We need to say, "LORD you have spoken, and we need to answer, "Here am I."
DARE YOU DO THAT WEEK AFTER WEEK? GOD is waiting for such people. do you remember the result to Isaiah’s response? In verse 9, God said, "Go and tell this people." God never REJECTS SANCTIFIED AVAILAILITY. Nobody out of the depths of his soul has ever come to God and said, "God, I am available to you" and been rejected.
Now as I bring this message to a close, challenging you on availability, please turn to one more passage found in Isaiah 58. As I read this verse, I trust it will be a challenge:
To your SOUL,
To your INTELLECT, and
To your FAITH.
Just think about what is being said in verse 9. God speaks and says, “Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am…”
This verse is saying GOD IS AVAILABLE to us, MARVELOUS and beyond our IMAGINATION.
Who am I that I should deserve the HOLY GOD of Heaven to be available to me? But praise God, He speaks and says He is available, "Here am I." You may say, “Well He is God, and He ought to be available.”
Listen. God is being what He wants us to be. His posture towards us is the posture He wants us to have toward Him. He is saying:
I am available Children,
I am available Family,
I am available Church,
I am available to Men and Women on the job, and
I am available to Fathers and Mothers.
What is it that you need? What is it that you want? Simply CALL, ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, PRAY, SAY – “Here am I, I AM AVAILABLE.”
Oh, aren't you glad God never SLUMBERS nor SLEEPS?
He continually says, "Here I am," MORNING, NOON, and NIGHT!
In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest for your souls."
Maybe He is coming to someone here on this last Sunday of this old year, and that someone is still under the burden of sin and still unsure of Heaven. He comes, my friend, and says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
But to the rest of us on this last Sunday of 2019, He is asking how available we will be in 2020. Will we be like:
Abraham, ready to do the WILL of GOD, or
Jacob, ready to do the WALK FOR GOD, or
Moses, ready to WORSHIP God, or
Daniel, ready to WAIT on God, or like
Isaiah, ready to WITNESS for God?
While you think on these men of God, shall we PRAY?
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon "HERE AM I,” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
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