For our reading this morning, I’m going to invite Drew up to read our Scripture for us this morning:
I’ve title this mornings message God’s Calling.
And that can be read several different ways:
Possessive - God’s Calling as in What is God called to do or be.
Transitive - where there is a direct object and thus God’s calling on a person to do or be
Contraction of God is calling.
The first of these - implies that there is something or someone higher than God to do the calling.
If we hold to what is written in Scripture we know this not to be true as the Scriptures often testify to the fact that there is nothing nor anyone higher.
The transitive is interesting - and we will be looking more at this one today as we consider God’s Calling on Samuel’s life.
And then the Contraction - well, we’ll be looking at that one too.
First, let’s look at God’s Calling on Samuel’s life.
God Calls Samuel
If you’ve been around church for a length of time, you’ve no doubt heard about the call of Samuel.
His call and how personal it is - is something that we desire, but don’t feel like we have.
Let’s start at the beginning of chapter 3.
The word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
This demonstrates how different of a time it was to the time when Moses would go up on Mount Sinai and talk directly with God.
The nation of Israel was deep in the decline of turning away from God.
But note what it does not say.
It does not say, “The word of the Lord was nonexistent; there was NO vision.”
So God continued to speak, and continued to give visions.
And we have all these allusions to it getting “darker”.
In verses 4, 6, and 8, we read, the LORD called Samuel:
But he doesn’t know it’s the Lord calling.
He thinks it’s Eli.
In verse 7 we read,
Think about that statement.
Think about what we know of Samuel so far.
Hannah his mother left him there at the Temple of the Lord when had just been weaned.
And he worshiped the Lord there! - He worshiped the Lord there!
He’s worshipping the Lord!
He’s growing in favor with the Lord.
and lastly the opening verse of our passage today.
Take a look at the opening sentence.
Samuel did not know the Lord.
Eli, knows how to listen to the Lord, and tells Samuel:
There is great irony in the fact that Eli knew how to listen to the Lord.
And yet most of what we’ve seen is he is not listening to the Lord.
He definitely has not taught his own sons to listen to the Lord, and has openly participated in their rebellion against the Lord.
And what does God say to Samuel?
He tells him that he is going to fulfill against Eli all that He has spoken.
So apparently God had been speaking, perhaps Eli even knew it, but he wasn’t paying attention to hear it.
Our passage closes with these words:
So we began looking at the three ways this could be taken:
Transitive - and we’ve looked at God’s Calling on Samuel.
But I don’t want to stop there, because I believe that God is calling you.
Not only did God call Samuel, but God is calling you - that’s why (I believe) you’re here in this place, on this day, in this church.
What’s God Calling you to do?
Don’t you just love how everyone jumped in there with an answer?
Think about this seriously.
What is God calling you as a person, an individual who is seeking Jesus, who is responding to Jesus’ call, “Come, follow me.”
What is God calling you to do?
The truth is you have been gifted.
You have talents, you have thoughts, you have ideas, you have time, you have treasure, you have relationship, you have had God’s love and grace lavished upon you with all wisdom and insight!
Have you ever put together a puzzle, or a model.
Ever had a missing piece?
OH! That’s so frustrating!
We as a church are called.
I believe that we as a church are called to something that doesn’t just impact us, but impacts the world for eternity.
We as a church are made up of individuals, each receiving a call.
A call to serve to the Glory of God, to express God’s grace, forgiveness, and mercy.
So again, I ask,
What is God calling you to do?
Larry Walters - Story of wreckless abandon
Larry used to spend his weekend in his backyard sitting in his favorite lawn chair with a six pack and some peanut butter sandwiches.
In 1982, Larry was sitting around looking at all the fences around him in the subdivision where he lived when he got an idea.
He decided he would go buy some weather balloons, fill them with helium and tie them to his lawn chair.
He figured they would allow him to float 100 or so feet up in the air so that he could visit with his neighbors, who lived behind all those fences, while he floated along.
I’m not sure how many six packs he had consumed when he came up with the idea, but he decided to take his BB gun with him so he could shoot out the ballons if he started to go too high and thus be able to maintain his altitude at about 100 feet above the subdivision.
He got 30-40 weather balloons, tied them to his lawn chair which he anchored to his car.
He filled the helium balloons and they lifted the chair nicely off the ground.
He wen tint he house and got another six-pack and a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and his BB gun.
He sad down in his lawn chair, tied himself in (for safety), and cut the rope.
It wasn’t a nice lazy float up to 100 or so feet, it was more like getting shot out of a cannon.
And he didn’t stop at 100, 200, or even 500 feet.
He went to 11,000 feet.
He literally shot straight up in the air.
He couldn’t shoot out the balloons, because he was afraid he would cause the chair to get off balance and he would fall out.
It just happened that he floated straight up into the landing pattern fo the Los Angeles International airport.
A Continental pilot of a DC-10 reported seeing a lawn chair floating by.
Larry was holding on for dear life.
They sent helicopters up, they stopped all takeoffs and landings from LAX while they convinced Larry to shoot out a couple of the balloons.
When he was finally on the ground, he was surrounded by a huge crowd of reporters.
The police were there, the news crews and all the otheer reports.
One of the reporters stuck a microphone in his face and said, “I have three questions to ask you.
Were you scared?”
“What kind of a question is that?
Wouldn’t you be scared if you were floating around in a lawn chair at 11,000 feet?”
Then the reporter asked, “Are you going to do it again?”
To which he got a strong, “NO!”
Finally he asked him, “What in the world made you do it the first time?”
To that Larry said, “Well, you can’t just sit there.”
[Compiled from multiple sources]