Summary: This is #4 in our Series God Is Calling You- Sometimes people think they know God, but they really don't. We are all recreating God in our own image. This message deals with Saul's call into the ministry and his false views of Jesus.
God Is Calling You: I Don’t Know Who You Are
We are in the final week of our series God is Calling You. We have looked at people who have been called, Who flat out did not want to accept the call. That was Moses. We’ve looked at people who thought they lacked the experience to be called. That was Jeremiah. We’ve looked at people who did not understand why they were being called. That was Mary. Today we look at people, who think they’ve been called but don’t know the One who is doing the calling. That is going to be Saul.
Have you ever gone to a fast food restaurant window and put in your order. You told them, “I do not want any onions or ketchup on my sandwich.” They said “okay.” You’re so hungry. You can barely wait to eat your sandwich. You pay for your order and drive off. You get to your sandwich, and you get a big bite of it, and the first sensation to hit your month is onions and ketchup.
How many of you are going to say, “well it’s not what I ordered but that’s fine with me”, and keep on eating the sandwich ? How many of you are going to put down or throw away the sandwich? How many of you are going to go back to the store and either get your money or get another sandwich made the right way?
Let me ask you this. Have you ever been in a situation, in which somebody was intentionally trying to rip you off and you discovered what they were doing? And then you said something like , “you don’t know who you are messing with here.” Now when you make that kind of a statement, you are ready to take some kind of action if the other person doesn’t make a change.
Let me ask you one more question, have you ever tried to fool your parents, your spouse, your pastors or teachers, by looking like you were doing what you were supposed to do, but you knew you were not actually doing what you were supposed to do. How do you think the other person felt when they found out what you had done and was still doing?
One of the great tragedies in the church, is that we do not understand how great and awesome the God of the bible truly is. God is up front about what He wants, what He expects, and what He requires of us. Yet each of us is tempted to try to cut God down to a size that we can control when serving God is inconvenient to our plans for living. We don’t want an all powerful and an all knowing God.
In our Old Testament Reading in the book of Malachi, God put in His special order for what kind of animals would be acceptable for a sacrifice. Just like we said, “hold the onions and the ketchup”. Everyone knew, God said “hold off on the sick animals, and don’t put any diseased ones, on the altar.” But many of the people figured, “hey it’s the thought that counts, and as long as I’m offering something, then God ought to be happy with it.” They got credit for a full sacrifice just like everybody who actually did what they were suppose to do got credit. They didn’t care that they were demanding that God eat the burger with the onions and the ketchup even though God did not want it that way.
God’s response is, “look if you don’t want to give me your best, don’t give me anything at all, because I’m sick of your religious ceremonies. I’m sick of you treating me as though I don’t know what you are doing.” Can I ask you a question, what kind of an offering do you give to the Lord with your service? Are you dependable, reliable, and faithful? Or do you simply offer to God whatever you happen to have on hand. What ever you feel like doing?
Let me make it even more personal. At our leadership retreat we talked about our covenant relationship we have with the church. Do you treat your ministry in the church seriously, or is it like a diseased animal being slipped on the altar thinking God should be happy because you did something.
If you served on a job with the same level of commitment as you serve in the church, would you Be entitled to a raise, to a cut in pay or to be fired. I wonder how often does God look at us and think “You don’t know who you are messing with do You.”
Sometimes we can keep reshaping God into our own image, that we see the world and the church not through God’s eyes but through our own. God has called us at New Life Calvary, to build a great church that loves people, teaches the word, and provides opportunities for people to know Jesus Christ.