God didn’t call Isaiah by name; he called for anyone willing to go. Isaiah simply heard and answered.

The call of God isn’t reserved for a special few; it’s for everyone. Whether or not we hear it depends on us. Are our ears open? Is our temperament in line with Christ’s? “For many are invited, but few are chosen,” Jesus said (Matthew 22:14). He meant that few prove themselves chosen. Chosen ones are those who, through Jesus Christ, have come into a relationship with God that has changed their temperament and opened their ears. All the time, they hear God asking, “Whom shall I send?”

God’s call leaves us free to answer or not to answer. When Isaiah answered the call, it wasn’t because God commanded him to. Isaiah was in God’s presence and, when the call came, realized that there was nothing for him to do but to answer, consciously and freely, “Send me.”

We have to get rid of the idea that if God really wants us to do something, he will come at us with force or pleading. When Jesus called the disciples, there was no irresistible compulsion from the outside. Instead, Jesus came with a quiet, passionate insistence, speaking to men who were wide awake, with all their powers and faculties intact. If we let the Spirit bring us face-to-face with God, we too will hear what Isaiah heard—“Whom shall I send?”—and we will say, in perfect freedom, “Here am I. Send me.”

Wisdom from Oswald

The message of the prophets is that although they have forsaken God, it has not altered God. The Apostle Paul emphasizes the same truth, that God remains God even when we are unfaithful (see 2 Timothy 2:13). Never interpret God as changing with our changes. He never does; there is no variableness in Him.  Notes on Ezekiel, 1477 L