Given June 2016
Recently at church, many of us were standing at the altar after a convicting message by our pastor Wayne Hager in which he encouraged us to be like the prophet Isaiah when he said, “Here am I. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8). As I stood there in prayer, I felt like Isaiah who previously had cried, “Woe to me!” (V. 5), because he felt unworthy to be sent by God on the mission. I saw myself as a damaged vessel that leaked and was of little use to the Lord. Then suddenly, as I prayed, these words came to me: Forgive me, Fix me, Fill me then Forward me. As I stood there asking God to use me, I asked Him to do these four things so that I would be a useful vessel capable of being successful in whatever He wanted me to do. Of course God can do all these things but He won’t force Himself on anyone; He needs our willingness to serve as His signal to work with us. So, I’d like to go a little deeper into these four steps of service.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). The first step in being prepared to serve is to admit that you have sinned and ask God’s forgiveness. We are all vessels made by God but we have done things that have contaminated and damaged our vessel so we must confess and repent of those things in order to be repaired. “Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes,” (2 Timothy 2:21a).
Second, we need to be fixed. We need to ask God to repair the cracks in us so that we can be a vessel useful for His purposes. “made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (V. 21b). Fill the cracks, repair the clay so we can hold whatever God want to pour into us.
Thirdly, now that we are forgiven for our damaging actions and have been fixed and repaired in order to hold the contents God wants us to have, we ask Him to Fill us with Himself. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31). When we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, nothing will be impossible for us, (Matthew 19:26). And personally, I ask God to fill me to overflowing with His Spirit so that, as I meet people each day, that Spirit will slosh over on them.
And fourth, now that we are forgiven, fixed and filled, it’s time to ask God to Forward us on to the assignment He had planned for us to accomplish. “Here I am Lord, send me, I’m ready now.” God created us in His image to begin with but the sin nature that originated with the disobedience of Eve and Adam in the garden made us, as vessels, damageable. But God wants to rework us, rebirth us, back into vessels of honor so we can continue serving and accomplishing the plans He has for our lives.
This four-part prayer might be something you’d want to pray each morning as you begin your day with God. “God, forgive me, fix me, fill me and forward me.” And God says, “Okay, let’s go!”