Used by God for Great Things (3 Nephi 23)
In 3 Nephi 23, Jesus encourages the Nephites to pay special attention to the writings of Isaiah, such as the verses he related to them in the previous chapter. He goes as far as to say, "Great are the words of Isaiah" (verse 1), stating that these writings apply not only to the House of Israel but to the Gentiles as well.
It may seem unusual for Jesus to specifically recognize an individual prophet, but He's not saying that the man is great; He's saying that the words (which actually come from God) are great.
Isaiah was actually a humble man who referred to himself as "a man of unclean lips." God sent an angel with a live coal with which to touch the lips of Isaiah, cleansing him from his sins and preparing him to be used to speak the words of the Lord (see Isaiah 6:5-8). After that, Isaiah was used by God for great things, including bringing forth many prophecies of the coming of Christ and also prophecies of the coming of Zion.
Do we have a desire to be used by God for great things? If we have the desire, then God will use us in some way. And, when you think about the God of the universe using any of us to accomplish His purposes, that is indeed a great thing.
If you've been baptized and received the Holy Ghost, you've already taken the first step. Just as when the live coal touched the lips of Isaiah, you've been cleansed of your sins and placed in the position of being ready to hear the voice of the Lord, directing you in whatever path He desires you to go. Hopefully, you're in the mode of saying, "Speak my Lord, and I'll be quick to answer thee."
The more open we are to being used by God for any purpose, the more we will have opportunities presented to us to, in fact, be used by God. Let's not limit how God can use us. On the one hand, let's not pridefully say, "I only want to do great things." On the other hand, we shouldn't automatically assume that we're "too small for great things." Let's leave it up to God to determine how best to use us.
If you want to be used by God — more than you already are — pray for opportunities to be used by Him. The only caution is — if you pray this way, be ready for the opportunities to come!
Even if the opportunity appears small, do your best with it. You're doing it for God and — who knows? — He may turn it into something great.
Worried about undertaking something that seems beyond your normal capabilities? If the opportunity has truly been provided by God, you can be assured that "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7).
So, the question isn't whether the opportunity appears to be too great or too small. The question is what will your response be when the Lord wants to use you. Hopefully, your response is "Here I am — send me!" Then, get ready to be used by God for great things.
Second Verse and Chorus of "Speak, My Lord"
When the coal of fire touched the prophet,
Making him as pure, as pure can be,
When the voice of God said, "Who'll go for us?"
Then he answered, "Here I am, send me."
Speak, my Lord; Speak, my Lord,
Speak, and I'll be quick to answer Thee;
Speak, my Lord; Speak, my Lord,
Speak, and I will answer, "Lord, send me."
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.