We’ve written a series of posts about how people respond to Jesus. Many leaders in the faith respond with, “Here I am.” Another version of that statement could also be, “What shall I do?”
For example, Paul asked “What shall I do, Lord?” on the road to Damascus. We hear the story 3 times (Acts 9, 22, and 26). In Paul’s first-hand account from Acts 22, after he learns who is speaking to him, he explains “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’” (Acts 22:10a NASB) Some translations translate it as, “What should I do, Lord?”
Another man once asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” This is a different question. That is to say, this person was asking about the minimum entrance requirements to get in to heaven. And when you boil it down, Jesus gave him one requirement, follow Jesus to the exclusion of everything else. Again, this is not the question Paul asked. Paul was asking a superior, but also The Superior, what do you want me to do. Paul just learned his name. Certainly, he knew who he was speaking to. His question parallels something we might ask someone who has the power to take our life.
The “Here I am” statements in our previous posts and Paul’s “What shall I do?” all presuppose the person speaking with us has a job for us. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah and Ananias all did what God gave them to do. Paul stated in Acts 20:24-27 that he did, as well.
Is Jesus calling you?
Does Jesus Call for You? Respond to Jesus.
In Revelation 3:20, the risen Jesus tells the church at Laodicea, and by association every one of us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Certainly, the invitation to each of us has been given. Moreover, Jesus doesn’t just come for dinner. He has a job for everyone who follows him (Ephesians 2:10).
When we get out of bed, or when we start on our way to work every day, we can make our first prayer, “Here I am,” like starting a shift or punching into a time clock. “God, I’m here, ready and available. What do you want me to do today?” But like a football player, we can’t go onto the field without our uniform, our pads and our helmet. Ultimately, we must be prepared. Each morning, when we say “Here I am,” if we’re ready, God will put us in. He will call on us to make a difference in the lives of everyone we meet.
 For a wonderful discussion on the minimum entrance requirements for heaven, check out Chapter 3 of John Ortberg’s book, “Eternity is Now in Session.”