Summary: When one is called by God into the ministry, that calling is sacred and cannot be entered into in a flippant or nonchalant manner. We must challenge and charge both the ordination candidate AND the witnesses (church body) to hold themselves accountable an
Date Written: April 4, 2013
Date Preached: April 7, 2013
Church: OPBC (PM) - Ordination Service for Ben Browning
Title: The Calling of God!
Text: Joshua 1:1-18
ETS: God called Joshua to a special role in His kingdom, Joshua obeyed.
ESS: God has called Ben Browning to a special role in His Kingdom, and Ben is in the process of obeying…
Objective: God calls all of us to work for Him, but there are some that He sets aside for special things…we must be willing to answer the call by being strong and courageous in our actions.
He was a young man working a good job, but his life was not full. At 32 he had worked his way into a supervisory position at his company. He was the manager of one of the largest fruit packinghouses in Southern California.
For some time he had been uneasy and restless about his service to God. He was convinced that God wanted him to resign this position and go study at the local seminary.
God laid upon his heart that there was a world of lost people out there and that God could use him to reach those people. He was afraid because he did not believe he could speak in front of people and did not believe that people would listen to him.
He was also scared to resign his position and give up the good salary that came with it. He had recently purchased 20 acres of orange grove for himself and was trying to raise a family. How could they survive if he gave up this good paying job?
The more he began to pray about his situation, the more he began to see his work at the fruit packing plant as something that was ‘fruitless’. This job he had held in high esteem NOT too long ago was becoming more & more meaningless to him.
One morning he felt the urge to pray, so he found a storeroom & began to pray. His prayers seemed to bounce of the walls, but when he got up to leave, God led him to continue in his prayer.
In that prayer Charles Fuller, the founder of the Fuller Theological Seminary in California, submitted to God and God’s call on his life.
Peace came to his soul and joy flowed from his heart on that day. There were many who told him that he was too good at his job…that he would starve in the ministry. He was told that God couldn’t use a fruit packer like him…he did not have the knowledge to preach.
But God reassured him of the call on his life and Charles Fuller surrendered to the ministry on that day in 1919. Charles Fuller served in the ‘ministry’ from that day until his death in 1968. In his “Old Fashioned Revival Hour” that was broadcast on the radio Fuller used to reach close to 20 million people each week.
In God’s call there are some that God makes the wrong choice, but when the one called is obedient to God’s calling…then it is a perfect situation.
In the Bible we find many examples of God calling people to serve Him in special ways. Noah was called for a specific purpose; Gideon was called for a specific purpose, and John the Baptist was called for a specific purpose.
All of these answered God’s call willingly and obediently. However, there is a particular person in the Bible that followed God’s call that I want to look at this evening.
Turn with me if you would to Joshua chapter 1 and we are going to look at the entire chapter. I believe that Joshua was one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world, but I also believe that it was God’s call on his life and his obedience to that call that made him such a great leader.
The circumstance for Ben’s calling (v. 1-2) [read verses]
1After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, 2“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.
You see before Joshua there had been many great leaders to lead the nation of Israel. Beginning with Abraham, God had chosen men to lead and guide this nation to the Promised Land that God would deliver.
From Abraham and Isaac to Jacob and Joseph the Israelite nation had flourished. God had called Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.
Moses had died and now God was choosing another leader for the nation. But God did not wait to the last minute to haphazardly choose a replacement for Moses…God began grooming Joshua from an early age.