In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers draws on the prophet Isaiah’s encounter before the throne to illustrate God’s manner of calling believers to service. As Chambers points out, the Creator of all things does not come to us “with compulsions and pleadings.” Isaiah was seeking the Lord and, in His presence, heard a general call: “Who will go for us?” In conscious freedom, Isaiah answered.
If we are serious about searching out God and knowing Him more, we should expect to find something. And we should not be surprised to hear that “still small voice” asking, “Who will go for us?” Our ears must be listening for this question; our eyes open to the awesome majesty of the One issuing the call; our lips ready to respond to it with delight.
Isaiah had chosen to pursue God. In making that choice, the prophet understood what had to follow once he came within earshot of the call: his answer. The paradoxical nature of the choice we make to surrender our lives to Jesus lies in the realization that our very choice—if genuine—leads to consequences we can do nothing to reject, sidestep, or ignore. Of course, while they limit our freedom (for we know we must obey), these consequences enable us to experience unspeakable joy—unspeakable not only in the sense that words can’t describe its wonder but also because we can’t specifically know beforehand the blessings God intends to bestow.
It is sweet irony that we desire—and willingly choose—to become slaves to the most gracious of Masters.