Question: What do Moses, Paul, Isaiah and the early disciples all have in common? If you answered, “They’re all Bible characters,” you’d be right! (Good for you.) You would also be right if you recognized the fact that they all had life-changing encounters with God before being sent out.

Moses had his burning bush experience before being called to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Isaiah saw the Lord “high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1) and experienced his grace and forgiveness before declaring, “Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) Paul met the Lord in dramatic fashion on the road to Damascus before being called to preach the gospel to the Gentile nations (Acts 9:3–9). And the disciples saw their Lord killed and raised from the dead before being commissioned to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

It seems that sending is really only the second half.

Before sending, there is seeing.

Before sending, there is saving.

Before sending, there is surrendering.

And after sending, there is staying.

Being sent is not so much a command to go and do as it is an invitation to remain and be. It is a call to stay in his presence and abide in him (John 15:5) as we are sent to the place of his choosing. The specificity of where we are sent, be it Egypt, Asia or North Texas, is overshadowed by the necessity of where we must stay.

In short, the staying makes the sending fruitful. If you have seen God for who he truly is, if he has saved you, and if you have surrendered to him, then you are already being sent, whether you realize it or not. If you can focus on the staying, he will take care of the sending.