“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.” (Isaiah 6:8)
If you desire the limelight, accolades and recognition, if you have a need to be noticed, then following the Lord Jesus Christ is not for you. But there is a problem, so to speak, if you repeat the verse above, then you will be noticed, it is unavoidable, and since you would be noticed, our adversary now has ample opportunities to weaken the message you have been sent to give.
No one, whether it is the writer of these short letters, or those who have penned entire volumes, spoken a thousand words or given ten thousand sermons want any recognition for themselves, all the glory, always, goes to God. But people have a tendency to follow, and that can be the greatest problem.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
If you have been blessed with gifts and talents, they are for others, you will receive a blessing from them, but those you are sent to are to be the main recipient of those gifts. Once they are offered and received, you will be followed, there is little you can do about it but point to Christ.
Think of it this way, a large number of sheep follow the Shepherd, some are at the front, some further back, those in the back cannot see Him clearly and His voice may not be perfectly audible to them, and so, they will follow the sheep in front of them. Perhaps that will help you to understand James 3:1 a little better. “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”
The responsibility is fraught with pitfalls, if they cannot hear Him when they are listening to you, something is amiss.
Men who desire pride form cults this way my friends, every works-based religious organization is a testament to this truth.
If you study to show yourself approved, if you seek His face daily, if you die to self, if you, with your entire heart understand Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” then He may move you up a little closer to the front of the pack.
But you must be made aware of another truth, if you start to go astray, if you wander off the path, there will be some that will follow you, and because of that, you must keep your eyes on the Lord.
When Isaiah said, “Here am I,” he did not do so in pride, there was no desire in him for anyone to follow him, but consider now Matthew. 3:9, “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
Not God, not Moses, though they revered him along with David. They had no desire to follow Christ because they refused to believe who He is.
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1st Cor. 2:16)
It cannot be helped, some will follow you, and you must be loving, but firm, this cannot be allowed to happen.
It is statistically proven that when a longtime pastor leaves or dies, nearly half of the church members will leave as well. The man of God called by God for His glory never says “Here am I” to anyone but God. “He is risen, follow Him,” are the words they use.
Messengers offer the message of the One who sent them, ambassadors do not represent themselves.
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” (Matt. 10:24)
If you have been called to lead, you are a follower as well, make sure those that hear you are aware of that. Most of them rarely open their Bibles and sit down to seek the face of the Living God, so every word you speak must be able to be confirmed fully to the Scriptures.
If you desire to say, “Here am I,” prepare to be held accountable for those words.