What does it mean to hear God's call – and follow it?

Imagine how profoundly different our streets, communities, schools and workplaces would be if each of us said, 'Here I am! Send me!' to God.

Just thinking about this blows my mind. We'd see places flipped on their heads; thousands upon thousands of lives transformed and the least, the lost and the last across our world being reached and knowing how precious and loved they are by our saviour.

Andy Hawthorne has written Here I Am.

This one small statement that we find in Isaiah 6 is perhaps one of the most famous lines in the Bible and has the potential to shake up our lives in ways we can't even imagine.

The prophet has just encountered the Most High God, and within the span of only a few minutes he had been transformed from cowering before the holiness of God because he was 'a man of unclean lips' into a volunteer jumping up and down with his arm raised high, begging for the honour of being sent out to do his Lord's will.

Like Isaiah, so many of God's children – like you and I – long to serve in his epic work, we just don't know how to begin or what this might look like.

We sense that the Lord is calling us into action and know that there is so much in the world that needs his touch, we just don't know how to take that next step. And if we're honest, it's scary. It's not that we don't want to go, it's just we're quaking in our boots wondering what God's got in store.

I've been where you are and know exactly how you feel. Indeed, every man or woman of God who has ever been used to do good in the world started out where you are – willing and eager, but not sure where to start.

The great thing is God doesn't give us a calling and then leave us to figure it out on our own. He is with us every step of the way. He wants to speak to us, more than that he loves to speak to us and is constantly saying, 'Here I am, seek me.'

In my new book, Here I Am, we are on a journey to explore what our calling to join God's adventurous call to love the world is. Along the way meeting some normal people who have done amazing things as they have responded to their 'here I am' with us here at The Message.

God calls ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

By digging into the famous passage in Isaiah 6: 1- 8 where the prophet hears God's call, we'll discover how as his people we can be fully awakened to his calling for our lives, and how we can make sure our hearts, minds and lives are in the right place to embrace this and run with it in his power.

We'll unpack what this calling may mean for us and how like Isaiah we can purify ourselves for his service seeing people and the places we live in with God's eyes and heart.

From this position of humbling ourselves and saying 'here I am' we will then look into what it means to be called by God and released into the good work he has for us.

Whatever you do, whatever you sense the Lord calling you into, it's my prayer that you'll be helped to find your place in the mission of God. We've all got a part to play. We're all on a mission because God wants to be known to all people – there is so much pain, oppression, fear and suffering in our world – all of which God wants to salve and solve.

Let us be open and expectant to hear him.

Andy Hawthorne is founder and chief executive of The Message Trust, a worldwide movement with a passion to share Jesus Christ with the hardest-to-reach young people, through creative mission, community transformation and Christ-centred enterprise.

A free study guide and small group resources have been produced to accompany 'Here I Am'. Find out more here.

Lifestyle