The father of a college-age daughter asks her boyfriend a question: "What are your intentions concerning my daughter?" The father wants to know if the young man is serious or just playing games. Games lead to hurt emotions, damaged relationships and an inability to trust. Seriousness builds trust, builds vulnerability, and builds emotional health.
God also wants to know from us if we are serious or just playing games in our interactions with His Son. He says to us, "What are your intentions regarding my Son?"
The spoke to Isaiah the prophet and posed a general question. The question God asked was not specifically to Isaiah, but rather like a shouted-out call over the land looking for willingness to go on God's behalf, be God's voice, give up all and take up the Word of the LORD.
Isaiah 6:8 NKJV Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
There's a big difference between saying "Here I am" and saying, "Here am I." The first is about location and the second is about intention. God doesn't want to know where you're located. He already knows that. He wants to know if you're willing, by your own choosing, to shift all your intentions away from the world and onto His Son; to love and serve Him, to give up all for Him, to obey and honor Him. Sounds like marriage vows, doesn't it? We could go on... in sickness and in health ... for richer, for poorer ... til death. Yes, that is the kind of intention God is looking for. God wants His name on the title(s) of your property, wants to share your life with you, wants His Name added on your bank accounts, wants to be the named beneficiary of your assets, wants to share every aspect of life with you. But, what are your intentions where Jesus is concerned?
In a day of casual relationships, we've become just as casual with God. We want to live together with Jesus first to test drive the relationship with no solid commitment before we decide. It's like Jesus has to pass our test! Seriously? The truth is you and I already failed the God-test and Jesus is the way we can pass... all because of grace! God doesn't do casual get-togethers. God doesn't work that way. God says, commit first, then live into the commitment. Sell out first, then there's no way to tear up the contract. Die to yourself first, and the rest takes care of itself.
The problem for many long-time Christians is, we've not wandered out into the deep. We've "believed" but never "sold out."
Friend ... Acquaintance ... Co-Worker ... Parent ... Cousin ... Bride ... Boss ... Ruler ... Slave ... etc.
The word God chooses for the church is BRIDE.
The reason? Intentional, full, whole-hearted, sold-out, all-in, unending commitment.
What are your intentions regarding His Son?
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.