Message 2:48 Bringing God Glory Calling
Bringing God Glory through our Calling
Introduction to the Text:
- These are the chapters of Exodus where Bible Reading plans go to die.
- A couple of weeks, I could tell where many of you were in your reading plan because I had several messages regarding Leviticus.
- My interactions with most Christians point to a similar realization.
- You know this is important.
- You know there has to be some kind of “glory” here, but where is it?
- It’s like taking part in someone’s favorite hobby or obsession and wondering “what’s the big deal!”
- What I love about us here is that, even though we may not understand what a Scripture means or if it even applies, we all appreciate that somehow, God has revealed some of Himself in this portion of the story.
- Next week, a friend of mine named Doug Carmel will be reviewing the passages I skipped.
- He is going to be teaching on “Showing Christ in the Tabernacle.”
- His family is from Israel, and he has served as a missionary to Jewish non-believers.
- Today’s passage serves as a summary passage.
- Down the road, perhaps on a Wednesday night, we will go into more detail about the priestly garments.
- Today, I want to show how God reveals His glory through us.
- When all of the task before us looks impossible to complete, when the job too big or the obstacles seem insurmountable, God has a method to accomplish His work through His people for His glory.
Exodus 28:3 (CSB)
3 You are to instruct all the skilled artisans,, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, to make Aaron’s garments for consecrating him to serve me as priest.
Exodus 31:1–11 (CSB)
31 The Lord also spoke to Moses: 2 “Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft 4 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 to cut gemstones for mounting, and to carve wood for work in every craft. 6 I have also selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be with him. I have put wisdom in the heart of every skilled artisan in order to make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on top of it, and all the other furnishings of the tent—8 the table with its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the basin with its stand—10 the specially woven garments, both the holy garments for the priest Aaron and the garments for his sons to serve as priests, 11 the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense for the sanctuary. They must make them according to all that I have commanded you.”
1. Building a place for God.
- Within the previous chapters, we see God’s details for His tabernacle.
- The Tabernacle was a mobile temple, where God would dwell with Israel.
- This was not even a temporary step.
- It isn’t like God was saying “let’s put a mobile home on the property until we can build a house.”
- This was God’s idea.
- But God was very specific.
- I am not a detail person for most things.
- But the things I really care about, the details matter.
- God is always a detailed person and He gave exact details for where He would be worshipped and how he would be worshipped.
- God wasn’t looking for something that was just “good enough”.
- It may be good enough for government work.
- I laughed the other day when I received, in March, some IRS tax documents that were due January 31.
- They violated their own laws by 2 months.
- Good enough for government work.
- Remember the military motto, “Never forget your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.”
- We do not serve as God of “good enough.”
- We serve a Holy God.
- He is perfect in all His ways.
- Where God steps, chaos is dispelled, and order reigns.
- It makes sense that God cared about His dwelling.
- If you do not understand anything else about those passages that seem mind-numbingly dull, just remember that God is greatly concerned with the smallest of details.
- If God, in Leviticus was concerned about bodily fluids, God has vested interest in EVERY part of your life.
- God invests where He has an interest.
- This morning, we will discuss how God uses impossible tasks to bring Him glory through us.
- When the details matter, the Spirit matters.
- Furthermore, because God has an interest in you, He has invested in you.
2. The Calling of God
- Sometimes we over-complicate this:
- Calling is all about what God has asked us to do.
- Some callings or aspects will be public.
- Others behind the scenes.
- Even though some people are called to serve or minister in very prominent ways, those callings are not more valuable but more prominent.
- The value of your calling is not bound up in what you do but who called you.
- When my leadership invites me to a committee or to do a task, the value is not in what I’m doing but that they asked me to do it.
- If the Governor of MO called and called and asked me to clean the toilets at the Mansion, it would be an honor to serve.
- If the President of the United States called and offered me the same thing, I would happily fly to DC and clean up his mess.
- What God has for you is holy and will bring him glory.
- This must involve every aspect of life.
- Please do not separate secular and sacred.
- This is a false dichotomy.
- When believers engage and are called to something, we are called either because it is holy or we are to be agents to make it holy.
- If it isn’t holy, or can’t become holy, then I’m not supposed to do it.
- Holy doesn’t mean glamorous, it means set apart for God.
- Ethan and Brandi dedicated their kids today because what they are doing in raising a family is holy.
- Brother Shawn ministered to me this week by taking the trash out of my office. That blessed me and blessed the Lord.
- Some callings are personal and some are corporate:
- As a people, it was the calling of every Israelite to worship the Lord and to be a Nation of priests.
- As a Church, we all share in a calling to make Jesus known.
- We all share in a calling to serve our community.
- We all share in a calling to see the blind see, lame walk, and the sinners saved.
- Reminder: I need some people who will help with Foster gifts this month!
- We also have callings that are personal and meant just for you.
- By name! God called Bezalel and Oholiab.
- God doesn’t always ask the most talented person in the room.
- God usually doesn’t put spiritual leadership up for a vote.
- In Acts, we see that Peter and Paul and John had the most amazing gifts and fruitful ministries.
- But it was James, the brother of Jesus, who pastored and led the Church in Jerusalem and the Council of Jerusalem.
- Your calling is Not a popularity contest.
- You don’t need a clear calling to pick up trash in the parking lot or to do what anyone can and should do.
- We live in a world that talks much about:
- What are you passionate about.
- Do what gives you bliss.
- Often, God uses the natural giftings and passions we have as launching points for our callings.
- This is not about “following your passion”.
- Calling is about being obedient to what God is asking you to do.
- Where there is God’s Call, there will be God’s supply.
- God’s supply is not limited to money.
- Money is often the easiest part of the equation.
- Let’s see how, when God asks us to step out and obey, He also gives the supply.
3. Where there is a call, God supplies:
- #1 The Spirit is the first supply mentioned.
- First mention means most important.
- Whatever your calling, don’t even try without the Spirit of God.
- Spirit empowerment is distinct from Salvation.
- True: When you are saved the Holy Spirit lives in you.
- But there are a lot of Christians out there that are living underwhelming, un-victorious lives because they haven’t sought to be Spirit-filled and empowered.
- Jesus told His followers to wait for the Promise: and you will receive POWER after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
- The 120 in Acts 2 were already believers, but they needed empowerment,
- Acts 8:15-17, Philip goes to Samaria and tons of people get saved.
- Then Peter and John come to make sure that the reports was true.
- It was true that they accepted Jesus, but they were Spirit-filled.
- In Acts 19, Paul asks some Ephesian believers “did you receive the Spirit when you believed?”
- We didn’t even know there was a Spirit.
- Illustration: Do you even lift?
- Paul didn’t stop and say, “I’m so glad you have the Holy Spirit and now you are going to heaven. That’s good enough.
- Paul wanted them to experience the same empowering he had.
- For you to do what God is calling you to do, you must be filled with the Spirit.
- Unfortunately, we have made optional what God considered essential.
- The Empowering of the Spirit was not optional for the craftsman entrusted with the holy things of God.
- How much more important for us who are also entrusted with the Holy things of God.
- And when you discover that raising your family is a holy opportunity, you won’t want to raise your kids with the Spirit’s help.
- When you discover that text messages, prayer requests, and even conversations are holy moments and holy opportunities, you won’t ever want to give casual or flippant advice you will want Holy Spirit empowered help.
- When we understand that everything we do we are called to do for the Glory of the Lord, then we won’t want to live another minute of our life without God’s enablement and power.
Colossians 3:23 (CSB)
23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people,
- Without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, you will not have sustained victory or success.
- #2. Then God Supplies Wisdom.
- True wisdom is associated with God’s Spirit, and can even be translated “a spirit of wisdom.”
- Wisdom is the application of knowledge.
- Not just knowing what to do, but how to appropriately apply it.
- Immature people know the mechanics of what to do, while wise people know how to apply the information in a way that honors God and blesses others around them.
- You can be right without being wise.
- A lot of Christians have this calling, and they have received the empowerment and enablement, but they haven’t received or applied any wisdom.
- That’s why Paul forbid immature and new Christians from entering leadership:
- they have the passion but not yet the wisdom.
- Passion and calling without wisdom is dangerous.
- The GOOD NEWS, is that Wisdom is available.
- The Book of James says, if anyone lacks wisdom…ask for it.
- God wants to empower the Calling He’s given you, and the Spirit He’s given you with the Wisdom.
- Picture this:
- Picture a divine puzzle.
- On the box is this incredible scene.
- It’s a picture of what God wants to do, fix, heal, accomplish, whatever.
- This is what precedes or necessitates the call.
- God could snap His fingers and make it come to pass, but He chooses to use people to bring this to pass.
- Then imagine God says, “start putting this together.”
- When we start putting it together, we notice that God has many of the pieces still in His hand.
- Maybe grow frustrated because we don’t have everything we need, right now.
- So we start blaming God.
- We start accusing Him of withholding what we need to do what HE told us to do (sounds like the Exodus story, right).
- But God is not some sibling who is throwing away the pieces to frustrate us.
- God is holding on to the pieces not because He’s a jerk, but because He’s waiting for you to ask for what you need.
- God, I need a corner piece.
- God, I need this edge piece.
- God I need wisdom.
- I need understanding.
- I need ability.
- You know what His response is: Yes son, Yes Daughter.
- Could it be that you are not operating with the wisdom, understanding, or ability that you need because you haven’t asked!
- #3. God has promised Understanding and Ability.
- In our culture, we distinguish wisdom, understanding, and ability more than the Hebrews did.
- That’s why different translations all phrase this a little different.
- ESV translates this “and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,”
- this refer to what the artist is thinking in his mind and feeling in his heart as well as to what he is making with his hands.
- Has God called you to something that you don’t understand?
- Ask for understanding and discernment.
- Has God called you to a task but your gifts are presently lacking?
- Then develop those skills through spiritual and practical disciplines.
- No one wants this to work more than God.
- All the ingredients are here.
4. God had supplied everything Israel needed to do what God had called them to do.
- The project needed a tremendous amount of goods.
- Lots of God.
- Lots of dyed yarn and thread.
- The incredible truth is that, before God told them to build this, He had already “plundered the Egyptians” and all of the material needed was with the people.
- Later, we will see, that when they called for the people to give they gave so much they had more than enough.
- But God had planned ahead for what He was asking them to do.
- God planned the materials ahead and along with the needed people.
Exodus 31:6 (CSB)
6 I have also selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be with him. I have put wisdom in the heart of every skilled artisan in order to make all that I have commanded you:
- Here is what I noticed:
- God didn’t have to wait for some craftsman from somewhere else.
- God didn’t have someone else do this (although Solomon used foreign labor to build the Temple).
- God used PEOPLE who were already there to do what God was calling them to do there.
- Many times as Pastor, I’ve said “I would love to do something, but I don’t have the right people.”
- Here’s what I realized:
- When the timing is right, the people will be there.
- When the timing to fulfill that part of the journey is right, the right people will be there.
- And they, too, need to be filled with the Spirit.
- It isn’t enough for the Pastor to be Spirit filled.
- Here’s what I’ve seen:
- Churches who have a pastor who is Spirit filled, but refuse to be filled themselves will lose that pastor.
- Pastors who are not spirit filled or led, but their Church is, will lose that Church.
- But when a group of people who are all seeking the Spirit and Wisdom of God will prove to be unstoppable.
- Not perfect, (nothing is ever perfect when people is involved).
- But a called, empowered, and committed people will accomplish what God has called them to.
5. Stir up the Gift.
- I can’t help but see that Calling and Empowerment are two parts that both must be mixed.
- Like a cake mix: the ingredients are there but some assembly is required.
- If the pictures on the box are the calling, the potential, the future, the end goal,
- and if the individual ingredients is the Spirit, Wisdom, and Understanding, and the Ability,
- then what is next?
- It’s the “stirring up the gifts that God has given you 2 Timothy 1:6–7
2 Timothy 1:6–7 (ESV)
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:6–7 (NKJV)
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- In other words, God has given the ingredients to fulfill the call.
- Stir it up and Fire it up and DO WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO.
- You can have all the ingredients and still miss out on your calling.
- Tonight we have dessert.
- I’m going to be TICKED if you bring the box, and the eggs, and the milk, and set them on the table and expect us to eat them.
- The ingredients do not automatically become the result.
- We stir up and we fan into flame the gifts and calling through:
- Fasting, Solitude, Silence, and
- DRAWING CLOSE TO GOD.
- I look around this room and see calling.
- I see God bringing the ingredients from all over the US.
- I see God preparing to bake a cake like we’ve never imagined.
- There’s a divine puzzle God is putting together and it’s beautiful.
- The Calling is here.
- Now seek the empowerment.
- The God who empowered the artisans of Exodus is the same God who is empowering us.
- We must seek Spirit empowerment.
- If you lack wisdom, ask for it.
- If you lack knowledge, learn and receive it.
- Whatever it is God is calling us to do as individuals and as a Church, it will require ALL of us to be Spirit empowered.
 Ryken, Philip Graham, and R. Kent Hughes. 2005. Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.