Here I Am!

In thinking about the appropriate response to God’s messages, I am reminded of those stories in the Bible in which God calls on someone whom God has chosen for a purpose, and that chosen believer answers God’s call with a simple, “Here I Am!” This moment, a moment of complete openness to God and a willingness to present oneself to be used by the Holy Spirit in any way God desires, is an exemplary response that has inspired Christians for centuries.

In a story of faithful response, Abraham, who has been told by God Himself that his offspring will become God’s own chosen people, is prepared to make the most gut-wrenching sacrifice imaginable as God commands him to make a burnt offering of his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1–12). When God calls, “Abraham!” Abraham answers simply “Here I am!” And when he receives God’s instruction to slaughter hisown beloved son as an offering, that “Here I am” guides his obedience as he prepares the sacrifice. His radical faithfulness is rewarded when at the last possible moment, God intervenes to spare Isaac.

In another example in Genesis 46, the Bible tells us that God visited Jacob in a dream. When God calls, “Jacob! Jacob!” Jacob, like his grandfather, responds with a simple “Here I am.” In this case, God brings Jacob a word of comfort to allay any fears he might have about going down into Egypt where his son Joseph had been a slave. God tells Jacob not to be afraid and reassures him, “I will make of you a great nation there.”  With God’s promise in his ear, Jacob goes down into Egypt with all his family where they are reunited with his long-lost son Joseph, welcomed by Pharaoh himself, and given the best land in all of the kingdom to settle.

A third biblical example of God’s call and the faithful “Here I Am” happens in 1 Samuel 3, after we are told that “the word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.” Because of that, the boy Samuel is called several times before he realizes that it is God who is calling. Nevertheless, each time he awakens and hears his name, Samuel responds with “Here I am!” Young Samuel’s response is a sign of his readiness to be used by God, and in return, God chooses Samuel as His prophet, entrusting him with the gift of prophecy and the anointing of Israel’s first kings.

In recognizing God’s omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent love, you can take comfort in knowing that He is with you always, all-knowing and all-powerful in expressing His love. This has been true in your past, it is true now, and I am confident it will be even more evident to you in the future.

By your faithfulness, your prayerfulness, and your watchfulness, you will be well prepared to encounter God in many ways, and your future will be enriched as a result. As you encounter God, express yourgratitude by giving thanks for His blessings and His role in your life. But most importantly, let God know that you are on this earth to serve Him and to utilize your unique spiritual gifts in whatever way He leads you. Be prayerful in discerning His will for your life, and be receptive to His calling and His divine guidance. And then give yourself over to Him completely by declaring to Him—as so many biblical characters have in the past and as I do daily—”Here I am.”