Summary: Being open to God’s calling
Sermon Body Outline
Opening Illustration: [use natural gestures]
Last night I took a journey to a land far ’cross the seas; I didn’t go by boat or plane, I trusted on my knees. I saw so many people there in deepest depths of sin, and Jesus told me I should go that there were souls to win. But I said, "Jesus, I can’t go and work with such as these."
He answered quickly, "Yes, you can by traveling on your knees."
He said, "You pray; I’ll meet the need, you call and I will hear; be concerned about lost souls, of those both far and near."
And so I tried it, knelt in prayer, gave up some hours of ease; I felt the Lord right by my side while traveling on my knees.
As I prayed on and saw souls saved and twisted bodies healed, and saw God’s workers’ strength renewed while laboring on the field.
I said, "Yes, Lord, I have a job my desire Thy will to please; I can go and heed Thy call by traveling on my knees." (story by Sandra Goodwin)
Did you know that God has a mission for each one of us? Yes, He does. [pause]
In order for our mission to succeed, we must be open and willing to do what God is calling us to do. How do we know when God is calling? There are three important factors that come into play in this passage.
The first factor to consider is this: when God is calling us for a certain mission; God will get our attention. When He does, we must listen to what He says…as in Moses’ case.
I) God Gets Our Attention…We Must Listen
When we look at his life, it is evident in vs. 1 of our text that he had a mundane lifestyle. Day in and day out, he would go to work, walk his father-in-law’s goats and sheep and then come home to his family for some rest and relaxation. Next day, he would start all over. Sound familiar? He did this for 40 years.
However, God changed Moses’ routine when He diverted Moses’ attention from his daily sheep-herding tasks to a weak, flimsy bush, burning on the far side of Mt. Horeb. Moses decided to take a look and discovered something amazing: this bush was not consumed by the heat (vs. 2).
God saw this and called Moses by name in vs. 4, “Moses, Moses.” Moses reply was, “Here I am.” [use frightened response]
God told Moses not to come any closer and instructed Moses to take off his sandals (vs. 5), which was a sign of respect and humility.
When God identified Himself (vs. 6), Moses hid his face with his hands because he was afraid to look at God. Moses had just entered into God’s holy presence!
In vs. 7-10, God tells Moses:
“I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
So I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and (I will) bring them out of that land and into a land flowing with milk and honey.” At that point, God commissioned Moses for this mission was by telling him, “I am sending you.”
In order for Moses to accomplish such a mission, it would utterly be impossible without God on his side. However, this mission requires Moses to not only take a step of faith, but to trust in God to help him through it.
Illustration for point 1
One day, Marty was knocking on some doors to hand out some flyers for their churches upcoming Bible camp. Marty noticed a young lady watching TV in her apartment. There were some old toys outside of her door, so it was obvious to him she might have some children that could come to camp. Marty walked down to her door and knocked, but she didn’t come and answer. Marty knocked again - but she just sat there. Marty could see her sitting there, and she could see him standing there, but she just kept watching TV. So Marty left a flyer in her door and walked away, thinking to himself, “I guess she didn’t want to talk to me.” To tell you the truth, Marty was a little put off by it.
As Marty thought about it, that little slice of his life is representative of how our society has become. Instead of having open doors and welcome mats, we have closed gate communities with “no soliciting” signs posted everywhere. We have caller ID on our telephones so we can see WHO is calling, and then determine whether or not they are worth our time.
Application for point 1