Summary: A sermon on the preparation of God’s servants for ministry.
THE PREPARING OF GOD’S SERVANTS
Isaiah 49:1-6 “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.” And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be glorified.’ Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; yet surely my just reward is with the LORD, and my work with my God.’ ”“And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, So that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, And My God shall be My strength),indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
EVERY CHILD OF GOD HAS A PURPOSE
Isaiah 49:1 The LORD has called Me from the womb … From the matrix (belly) of My mother He has made mention of My name
Psalm 139:15,16 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
God knows us by name His purpose has been predetermined for us…… Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We have a destiny in Jesus Christ that is brought forth through salvation, Spirit Filling and submission to the will of God
PURPOSE CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT PREPARATION
God calls us, mentions us by name, but in order to use us he has to tame our fleshly or carnal nature – this is the learning of submission to the Holy Spirit found in Isaiah 49:1-6, and realized in Jeremiah 1:11-12 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”
The Picture of Preparation - 5 things we need - the Word, Faith, Character, Timing and Grace
• WORD - He has made My mouth like a sharp sword – Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
God prepares us through the study, meditation and application of His word learned through life experiences…so we can speak a word in season…to him who is weary … Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
• FAITH - In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me – this is the place of being hidden – most people of God experience this for Moses 40yrs in the desert, for Joseph the Pit and the Prison before the Palace, for Jesus 30yrs before His ministry -
Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty … read rest of Psalm
• CHARACTER - And made Me a polished shaft – the shaft of the arrow is one of its most important components – a crooked shaft misses its target so it needs to be straight to fly truly to its target – the arrow head speaks of ministry – “polish” means to clarify, examine, to purge so as to brighten – during Isaiah’s time preparing an arrow was a detailed process – they would use Acacia wood which though strong was crooked and knotted – to straighten the wood they would: