All Posts /

God Can Use a Person Whose Heart Is Like This

God Can Use a Person Whose Heart Is Like This

I heard the voice of the LORD saying,“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Years ago, I heard a pastor tell a story that I’ll never forget. This seasoned preacher described how each week, after the Sunday service, he’d stand by the door of the church to greet people as they left for their cars. He described the joy of hugging the grandmas and high-fiving the younger kids week after week. The pastor admitted openly that he loved when his parishioners would praise his message, complimenting him on how God used him to speak to them.

But then the pastor described an encounter he had with a guy, Matt, that he’d seen regularly at church but had never gotten to know well. Matt was probably in his mid-40s, graying slightly around the temples. Lines around his eyes indicated he might have had some challenging years in his life, but his warm smile and confident handshake led the preacher to believe that Matt was probably in a better season in life at the moment.

Then one Sunday after the service, Matt grasped both of the pastor’s hands firmly and said, “Pastor, I want you to know that my answer is yes. Now what’s the question?”

The pastor looked at Matt curiously. Poor guy, what’s he talking about? The answer is yes? What does that mean? Not wanting to make it awkward, the pastor grinned at the man, nodded, and said, “Thank you, Matt. God bless you.”

The next Sunday after church, Matt approached the pastor at the door and said the exact same thing. With heartfelt sincerity, he looked the pastor directly in the eyes and said, “Pastor, I want you to know that my answer to you will always be yes. Now what’s the question?”

The pastor assumed he wasn’t hearing Matt correctly. It just didn’t make sense. Once again, he nodded and shook Matt’s hand and kept the line moving.

The following Sunday, it happened again. This time the pastor knew that he’d heard Matt correctly. But the pastor was still confused. What does he mean by that? The answer is yes — the answer to what?

Not wanting to stop the greeting line for a longer conversation, he asked Matt if they could visit later over coffee. Matt smiled broadly and handed the pastor his business card for his contact information. “Of course we can have coffee! I told you my answer is yes.”

On Tuesday that week, the two men met at the coffee shop. After finishing the obligatory small talk, the pastor leaned in slightly and said, “I’ve been wondering about what you said to me. What do you mean the answer is yes?”

Matt leaned back with a look of deep satisfaction, as if he’d been waiting his whole life for the pastor to ask him that question.

He started talking slowly, carefully choosing his words. “I was not always the man that I am today. I did a lot of bad things in my life, hurt a lot of people. I was addicted to alcohol, pornography, and gambling. Those addictions ruled my life. I betrayed my wife, crushed my children, caused so much pain.” Matt choked up, and the pastor could see tears forming in the man’s eyes.

Assuming they were tears of pain and regret, the pastor was startled to hear Matt say, “But I’m thankful now for those low times. Because that’s what helped me to be open to Christ. You see, when I hit bottom, a friend invited me to church. And that’s when I heard you preach about the grace of Christ.”

When the man said the word Christ, the tears started to flow. Matt continued telling his story without even trying to hide his obvious emotion. “At first, I just listened, not sure if I could believe it was true for me. But after a few months, I invited Christ into my life, and He changed me.”

At that point, the pastor couldn’t keep his own tears back. The two men sat there silently for a moment. Both changed by the same Savior. Both grateful for the brief, holy moment they shared together over a cup of coffee.

Then the man said, “Pastor, that’s why I want you to know my answer to you is always yes. Because of how Jesus changed my life through our church, I will always be available to Him — and to you. If you ask me to mow the church yard, I will be honored to do it. If you need money to help a single mom, I will give without hesitation. If you need someone to drive a widow to church, I’m your driver. Pastor, I want you to know that my answer is yes. So just let me know the question.”

Now that’s the heart of a person that God can use.

Such openness is the essence of this dangerous prayer. When Isaiah experienced the presence of God, he became aware of his own sinful brokenness. Then the seraph touched his lips with the flaming coal and God forgave his sin. Because of God’s goodness, God’s grace, and God’s love, Isaiah’s response was bold.

  • Send me. Anywhere. Anytime. I will sign my name to a blank contract of availability. God, you just fill in the details.

Use me. My life is completely yours. May your will become my will. Your plan, my plan.

Notice Isaiah didn’t ask for any details. He didn’t ask God where. Or when. Or what would happen. This is why this prayer can feel so dangerous. “God, send me. Use me. I’m not asking for details. I don’t need to know the benefits. Or if it will be easy. Or if I will enjoy it. Because of who You are — my God, my King, my Savior — I trust You. Because You are sovereign over the universe, I surrender my will to You, every part of me. Take my mind, my eyes, my mouth, my ears, my heart, my hands, and my feet and guide me toward Your will. I trust You. God, my answer is yes. Now what’s the question?”

Imagine if you prayed this way. Are you sick of safe prayers? Are you tired of living for things that don’t matter? Do you despise halfhearted, lukewarm Christianity? Then pray the dangerous prayer.

Here I am, Lord. Send me. Use me.

Adapted from Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe by Craig Groeschel.

* * *

Your Turn

Are you praying that prayer today? Get dangerous! Pray big! Pray openly. Pray, buckle up, and God will answer you! ~ Devotionals Daily