Summary: Where has God placed you? Has he equipped you for service? Sometimes the hardest place to work is in God's chosen place.
God’s Chosen Place
Sunday, February 14, 2010 am
By Pastor James May
I’ve often felt a little disturbed that I’ve never felt a call to go to a foreign mission field. When I hear of those who have gone to preach the gospel in other places around the world, and they tell of the tremendous response to their preaching, I’ve often thought, “I surely don’t see that here. Maybe I need to go on a missions trip.” I have talked to my cousin over at Community Bible Fellowship and heard him tell of the great Bible Schools and churches that he has built and how the people walk for miles to hear the gospel, and I wonder; “God, shouldn’t I have a burden for those people too.”
When I talk to our missionaries down in Peru and hear of the wonderful work that they are doing and how that God is moving in the churches, I wonder why I’ve never felt the desire to go there and be a part of it in person.
Some time ago I was talking to one of District Ministers who had taken a missions trip down to the Philippines and had held a two week revival where people were miraculously healed, demons were cast out and one was even raised from the dead; and I think to myself, “Lord, we live in what I believe to be the greatest nation on earth. We are blessed beyond measure, and yet I never see the kinds of miracles like this preacher described to me. Is it me. Am I missing something? Why don’t I have a desire to go and preach in a far away land like that?”
It’s not that I don’t care for missions. We support missions and I love to hear the good reports of what God is doing over there; but what about right here at home? I sometimes feel like our nation is a greater mission field than anywhere on the planet. America has been bathed in the gospel message from the moment it became a nation and yet I see fewer people truly sold out to God than ever before. We are a nation that is backslidden; steeped in sin; and completely unrepentant of the sin which we have committed against God.
You can go anywhere on earth and preach a salvation message and people will fill the altars looking for hope in Christ; anywhere but America. If we preach a gospel message here, either one of two things will happen; Either most of those who hear it in the church will be half asleep and bored; or you will be ostracized for being close-minded and intolerant.
On top of that, it seems that God has called us to build a church at home; and everyone who knows anything about the Bible knows what Jesus said in Mark 6:4, "… A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." Now God is blessing Victory Temple and we are growing slowly, and we are seeing a few people get saved and committed; and those few are what makes all the effort really worthwhile.
I’ve also read the accounts of a few missionaries who preached for years on the mission field and never saw the first convert to Christ. I just don’t know how they could do it. I have to admire their obedience to the call of God.
But as I thought about why God just doesn’t seem to put upon me a great desire for being involved in foreign missions, I came across the Book of Ezekiel and then I began to understand a little of why my calling seems different from many others.
In Ezekiel chapters 2 and 3, we read about God’s call to him to become a prophet of God. As read about Ezekiel’s call, I began to realize just what my calling was and why I have never had a desire to go anywhere else. I’ve never been invited to preach anywhere except for a few churches around our area and I’ve never preached anywhere in a revival or camp meeting. It’s always been to a local church, right here in our community. And now I am beginning to understand why.
Ezekiel’s call was very definite. There was no doubt that he was God’s man for the hour.
Ezekiel 2:1-2, "And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me."
How did you receive your call from God? I’m sure it was the same way that I did. One day I just felt the Holy Ghost moving on me and forcing me to stand up for Jesus and hear what the Lord wanted me to do. Did you argue a little with God? A lot of people do because they realize to do a great work for the Lord will require more than just being a bench warmer in the congregation; you’re going to have to really commit yourself to the task at hand and there is no excuse for failure or quitting. I wrestled with the Lord for a while, like Jacob at Bethel; until God finally answered every objection. There was only one answer that He gave me for every objection. It was simply this: “Is your objection worth missing God’s best, and is it worth risking losing your place in Heaven.”