Do you have a thriving sense of the call of God on your life? We all know that we would not be here today if God had not called us. The foundation and buttress to any sustained ministry is the call of God upon the man of God and there must be an unequivocal resolve in the heart of every preacher that the Lord was the One who placed the burden in his soul for this task. The communication of eternal truth to eternal beings is the greatest charge laid to mankind.
There is an extreme variety to the way that The Call of God may come.
George Truett was a young man who was the Sunday School director of a small church in a tiny town in West Texas. He had such respect for the pulpit that he would not even stand behind it to make the Sunday School announcements but stood on the lower level below it. He wanted to be an attorney, but the church members could see the clear and unmistakable stamp of God on the life of this godly young man. Without his consent or knowledge, they called a special business meeting of the church, and to his absolute astonishment, an old deacon got up and moved that the church ordain George W. Truett to the gospel ministry. He stood up and cried for them to stop, but they did it anyway. He was not looking for that call, but God’s call overtook him!
On the other hand, G. Campbell Morgan, in the remote village of Tetbury, in Glasgow, in all the days of his boyhood wanted to be a preacher. He held funerals for his pets. It was said that he expounded the Word of God to over a dozen children at the funeral of a dead cat. He wanted to preach that bad! The ONLY desire he ever had was to preach God’s Word! In the latter part of his teenage years, he appeared before a Methodist ordaining counsel, and to the everlasting chagrin of Methodism, they turned him down FLAT. He was shattered and tried to go into teaching as his profession until another group recognized his call to the ministry. When he was turned down the first time, he wired his father, totally rejected, and his father wired back to him in a famous exchange of brief telegrams…” rejected on earth, but accepted in heaven!”
Yet, if men speak the English language, they will read the expositions of G. Campbell Morgan. He sought the call of God, and it eluded him.
God calls in your own context.
HIS IDENITY: Jeremiah’s name means, “Jehovah hurls, or Jehovah exalts.” He has the call of God in the very ambiguity of his name.
HIS FAMILY: Jeremiah came from the little country town of Ana-thoth where his dad, Hil-ki-ah, was an anonymous country priest, unknown, undistinguished, unnoted…God called him out of those very humble circumstances.
HIS SETTING: Three of the five kings that he served under are noted. Josiah, who led a superficial religious revival. Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, a political king who played one power against the next and did not need God. Zedekiah, willing, but weak, a king who vassals with every tragedy, never learning to lean on the Lord.
Those were the days of Jeremiah’s life…his identity, family, and setting. And, if that is all there was to Jeremiah, you could say that…he was born, he lived, and he died!
What made the difference? Into that humble identity, inadequate family, and meager setting came the call of God on the man of God! That made all the difference in the world.
Jeremiah moved his generation…it is thought that he preached the oracles of God to every person in Israel during his lifetime!
Henry T. Blackaby once said, “One does not choose the ministry! A pastor is chosen, he is chosen by God for God’s purposes, in God’s time and place, and serves Him in God’s ways.” Do we really understand what that means? It means that the only vocation that can give us significance and a purpose in life worthy to give our only life for is the call of God.
You know as well as I what it feels like to be in the hands of the Almighty God…to open the infallible Word and through the infilling of the Holy Spirit accomplish something that is beyond our capability! To be used by God and complete a task that we could not do otherwise. God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Well, you know the story, Jeremiah was attacked from all sides and finally got to the end of his rope! He said, “I quit! The Lord has deceived me! I am sick of this! I am never going to mention the Name of the Lord again!” Have you ever felt that way! Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you wanted to give up or quit!
Well, you know what happened! He spoke these words, “But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Jeremiah 20:9
I was weary of holding it back any longer. It was the sense that if Jeremiah did not speak, he would explode! Poor old Jeremiah lived and preached that way until they carried him off to Egypt because they could not live with him, and they could not live without him.
Where did his message come from? Jeremiah expressed God’s call by the anointing touch of God. “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touch my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” Jeremiah 1:9
There are some things that did not happen, He did not touch his own mouth, it was not an invented message. He did not invite another prophet to touch his mouth, it was not a borrowed message. He did not ask the congregation to touch his mouth, it was not an imposed message.
Jeremiah said, God touched my mouth, and he became the mouthpiece of the living God! It is those moments that carry you on. Though the…victories, or the disappointments, when you stand at the foot of a tragedy that is beyond words, or the moments of confrontation, or defeat. When it seems like there is no way to heal a situation and despair is everywhere.
In those moments. When no human words are adequate. When loneliness grips you like the darkest night. In those moments when you weep or laugh with your people. It is back there, way in the past, when you stand on the premise that GOD CALLED ME!
Oh, my friend, there is nothing to be compared to the call of God on the man of God! And you better be more certain of that than the people sitting out in front of you…that God called you.