Summary: This is about doing the will of God in any way we can.
Have you ever felt so compelled to do something that you didn’t care about the details of the matter? Have you ever wanted a job so bad that you didn’t care what the pay was? Have you ever been so convinced that God wanted you to do something that you did it without weighing the options?
Almost 2 years ago now, I did something totally crazy. I mean it was the biggest thing I had ever done. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I had a wife and two kids. I had two cars. I had a house. I had a good stable job. I was living the American dream. The only thing I didn’t have was a white picket fence. There are not real comfortable to sit on anyway.
God grabbed me by the shirt and said, “I want you to preach.” It was as unmistakable as the fact that I’m standing here today. It was as close to the audible voice of God as I have ever heard. I have never heard the audible voice of God, but this was as close as I have come. I had sensed the call before, but I had ignored it. It must have been obvious to others.
The father of a former pastor of mine had told me on several occasions that I would preach, and to call him when I got my first church. If I have ever a man of God it was Glenn Robinson. I would always say something like, “No, God has called me to be a good layman.” I used to dread him saying that. I guess because deep down, I knew he was right. I am just sad that I wasn’t able to call him, as he passed away about three years ago.
It’s not to my credit that I answered God’s call. This isn’t something I set out in life to do. I didn’t ever say, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a pastor.” I think that the only job more unappealing to me was that of an undertaker. I would have rather done anything else.
The thing is, I can’t do anything else. It’s not that I’m not qualified to do anything else. Well I’m qualified to do whatever it is that a history degree qualifies one to do. It’s that I can’t not do it and still have a right relationship with God. God has called me to do this and that’s all I can do. J. B. Chapman, a founder of the Church of the Nazarene, once said, “If you can do anything but preach and still make it to Heaven, then do it.” I sincerely believe that I would have turned my back on God, if I hadn’t answered his call to preach. I had to come to a point where I could lay aside my own desires about what I wanted to do with my life, and fully surrender it to God. I had an instinct to care for my family, but I had to put them in God’s hands and allow him to take of them. I had to put all of my trust in God. I had to trust God that he would take care of my family. I had to fully rely on God.
I know a man. His son was one of my best friends during high school. This man attended the Bible College and Seminary. He was preparing for the ministry. I mean why else would you attend those places. He never finished. He never sought to preach. He was one of the most unsettled people I have ever met. You could tell he was always uneasy. He just seemed to be drifting through life without any direction or purpose. He had a good job, and he provided for his family. He just seemed to be off center. It is as though he was fighting the call of God on his life. He was faithful in his attendance at church. He was a very kind and helpful person. He was a great addition to the church softball team. But he wasn’t where he needed to be in relation to where God wanted him to be.
God has placed a call on our lives. Each one of has a call. If we are a follower of Jesus, then we have a call. It may not be a call to preach. It may not be a call to be a missionary to Africa. But God has called us. Some of us make great Sunday school teachers. Some of us sing great. At one church I attended they asked me to sing so low. The wanted me to sing so low that no one else could hear.
Each of us has something that God has called us to do for his Kingdom. Whatever it is, it is win people to the Kingdom. Whatever we do for God is solely and completely to bring people into a relationship with Jesus. We aren’t here to do anything else. We aren’t here to pat each other on the back. We aren’t here to show how well we sing. We aren’t here to impress people with our knowledge of the Bible. We aren’t here to build a gigantic church building. We aren’t here to socialize. We aren’t here to raise money. We aren’t here to stroke our own ego. In the structure of the Church of the Nazarene, I’m the president and CEO of the corporation. But I’m not here so I can run around and say that I’m a CEO. We are here to bring people into the Kingdom of God. Someone once put it this way, “Our job is to depopulate Hell.” Anything short of that is total failure. We have to put aside our desires on what we think is best, and rely on God and what he thinks is best. Our mission is not of human origin. It originated in the throne room of Heaven. Our will must be submitted to God, or it won’t work.