“Here am I Lord, send me.” Isaiah 6:8
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16
The first statement was Isaiah’s response to seeing a holy GOD in His majesty and realizing how sinful he was. He worshiped…and offered himself unreservedly to GOD.
The second statement is part of Jesus’ commissioning of the disciples as He sent them out by twos to preach in surrounding cities and towns.
As we give ourselves to GOD as an act of worship, we need to understand that we don’t just go off to minister willy nilly without thinking what we are doing.
Wisdom also involves taking wise advice from those who have blazed the trail ahead of us
We need to be wise…which includes taking advantage of the wisdom of others who have gone ahead of us.
Sadly, I have watched too many start out in ministry with great enthusiasm. However, they consider themselves to be too cool to listen to advice from people who have been doing what they are doing, for much longer. (stop)
They only see people who are older, don’t have the technology or vocabulary they do and therefore can’t possibly know what they do! They can’t humble themselves to listen to warnings and cautions. They consider themselves to be wiser, smarter, cooler. Sadly, they often run into serious trouble. Sometimes they are able to survive their problems, but often, they can’t.
We need community for support as we minister
There is a reason the disciples went by twos, not alone. They need the support of one another. We are not meant to be lone rangers. We need community…prayer for each other, encouragement and accountability of another person…all are necessary! And they are not just needed from a spouse. It is too much of a burden for a spouse to carry!
So, in response to a holy GOD and an honest view of our sin and mess? We need to move out in mission to the world around us. It seems counter-intuitive for sure. It seems that we should crawl in a hole and get gloomy over our sin! But that’s not the way it works.
Then, as we live and work in the world around us, we need to be wise, but innocent too. It is an interesting combination isn’t it?
May GOD give us wisdom as we live wisely and minister in the world around us.
Do you struggle with being willing to be sent?
Are you wise in the way described here in Matthew?