Summary: Sermon describes author’s spiritual journey to demonstrate that although God leads us in His ways, most often we do His work by simply saying "Yes," to ministry opportunities.
IF YOU WANT SPECIAL ORDERS YOU MUST FIRST OBEY STANDING ORDERS
GOD is preparing to use each of us to reach the this unit. Chaplains can only do so much. However, you are here 24 hours a day–seven days a week. The Almighty has called you to minister right here–right now!
We know that revival and spiritual victories come through prayer and worship. However, God’s miracles also come from sweat-from-the-brow work. Will we be ready to serve? Will I be ready to serve? Will you be ready to serve?
“How will I know what to do?” you ask. How will I know God’s will for me in kingdom work? Begin by doing what you know to do. My life verse is Proverbs 16:9: IN HIS HEART A MAN PLANS HIS COURSE, BUT THE LORD DETERMINES HIS STEPS.
The principle can be seen in the way ships change directions. If a ship is moving it is relatively easy to steer the the massive structure towards a new course. However, if she is stationary, it takes tremendous energy to get the shipping moving so that she can be maneuvered.
How one finds a call to missionary work offers another illustration. Christian sociologist, Tony Compalo, suggests that Christians should make disciples overseas unless they are called to stay in America. Why? Americans have heard the gospel so many times, and there are many places where people have not heard even once. An agency I once served with, Mission to Unreached People’s, has a beautiful slogan for assessing whether one should serve in missions: Unsure? Just Go!
In my own life. I faced such decisions several times. When I was about 16 my church had a small and dwindling youth group. At one point the volunteer adult leader suggested that we disband, and that the young men help with the boy’s program--Royal Rangers. The purpose for the suggestion, I now believe, was to stir us to say, “No–we can make this youth group alive!” However, I said, “I’ll do whatever God wants?” Two weeks later the Royal Ranger leader asked me to come and help with the boys. From this ministry, I volunteered to teach Sunday school and also to help with counseling at the children’s summer Bible camps.
When I went to college I did not know what I wanted to do when I grew up. Little did I know I never would! In any case, I first declared myself a business major, thinking I could make lots of money. One day I was thinking, and God brought to my mind the reality that I really enjoyed teaching. So, why don’t I become a teacher! So, I did! I ended up as an elementary school teacher for a missions school in Korea. A leader of an English Bible study ministry asked me if I would lead an English Bible study. I agreed, and over the course of six years it turned in to a full-fledged campus ministry. We saw over 100 students a week–the majority of whom were not Christians. I also oversaw three other foreign volunteers. And–it was while doing this mission work that God gave me the “call” to full-time ministry.
You say, I want to serve God–I’m willing. But, I need God’s assurance that what I am doing is right. What if I make a mistake--am I out of the will of God? Some people get so crazy with this notion of finding God’s perfect will that I imagine them sitting down to eat and praying, “What do I eat first?” What does it matter! It all goes in the same place, and comes out the same way!
Matthew 6:33 gives a wonderful principle that will guide you as you boldly do his work. BUT SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AS WELL.
After high school I wanted to go to college, but did not have money. So, I attempted to join the Army. After several months of trying–taking several tests, the military determined that my eye-hand coordination was not sufficient. Since I had left my parents while I tried to join the service, my status became independent. Of course, I did not have any money, so now the government said I could qualify for help to pay for college.
You might think I had failed to find God’s direction by attempting to join the Army. However, God used my efforts to put me in the place to both minister to some people, and to qualify financially for college. God can shut doors and change our direction quite easily when we are moving for him.
In college my majors were History/ Politics, and Education. Only later did I study theology. Had I missed God’s will by my earlier majors? No! I am now teaching God’s word in a multi-cultural setting, while under the supervision of Caesar (government). My study of history, education and government perfectly prepared me for my eventual ministry here!