The following is an adaptation of the sermon ‘Called to Greatness’ preached by Pastor Michael White on Sunday, 3/10/2019, at CityLight Church. To listen to the full podcast please click
Called to Greatness
You are called to greatness. Each and every single believer is called to greatness. If you believe in Jesus Christ, God will do something through you that has never been done before!
Do you believe it? Do you believe that God put you on this Earth to accomplish something that nobody else can do? Do you believe that there is a work He has given you to do, that will impact the world in a way that blows your wildest expectations out of the water?
Witness the intricacy with which God designed you:
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. 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. – Ps 139:13-16
David is talking to God; but he is also reminding himself of his intricate design. Here is what we learn about ourselves from David’s words:
1) God made you. You did not make yourself. To simply do what you “want” to do is dishonoring of your design. To do what God created you to do is the only logical fulfillment of the creation process.
2) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God thinks you’re wonderful! And then enemy is afraid of you. Jesus has given you, “…authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk 10:19). You have authority over all the power of the enemy! Not just to hold him back, but to trample him! What more confidence do you need that God believes in you, and has equipped you with everything you need to do His work?
3) You are a “marvelous” work (v 14). David knew it through experience; but do you? Have you given God the chance to show you His goodness, by trusting Him that His word is true?
4) You are “skillfully wrought” (v 15). God does not make mistakes. Better still: when you make mistakes, God redeems them!
5) The days are “fashioned for you” (v 16). God created today with you in mind! There is no such thing as “luck” or “random occurrence.” God put you on this earth – here and now, today – to do something that will reverberate for all eternity! Praise be to God!
What did God create you to do, that nobody else can do? And are you ready to step into that design, full of faith, and embrace the calling He has on your life?
Moses had a call to greatness on his life. He just didn’t know it! Maybe you’re in the same boat. Perhaps God has designed you for something amazing and intricately specific, but you’re the last to know about it. So if you don’t think you’re designed for greatness, you’re in good company. Moses was there too:
“Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” – Ex 3:10-14
When God called Moses, Moses wasn’t ready. He was, “…tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law” (Ex 3:1), when all of a sudden, God showed up! “Come now,” God said, “I will send you to Pharaoh that you bring My people…out of Egypt” (v 10). What an amazing call! What an incredible destiny!
But look at Moses’ response: “Who am I” (v 11). Who am I? Moses wasn’t convinced. He was making a mental list of all the reasons the call of God on his life didn’t make sense. He was coming up with excuses as to why God had the wrong guy. Yet watch what God does. He forces Moses to take his eyes off himself, and put them right back on God: “I will certainly be with you” (v 12).
It doesn’t matter who you are. Your qualifications and level of preparedness are absolutely irrelevant to God! All that matters is who He is. Moses asked God, “Who am I?” And God responded, “I am with you.” When God is with you, nothing else matters. When you have His presence, you have all you will ever need to do everything He has called you to do!
Moses was actually the only man alive who could do what God was asking him to do. Moses was born a Hebrew (Ex 2:1), but raised an Egyptian (Ex 2:10). And Moses wasn’t just raised as any Egyptian; he was raised in Pharaoh’s house, as Egyptian royalty!
God needed someone who was Hebrew – one of His people – but who also understood the customs and norms of Egyptian nobility! Moses was His guy! But Moses didn’t want to believe it.
Who has God called you to be? Are you having trouble believing it?
Saul was Israel’s first king. It was never God’s will to give His people a king. He wanted to be their king! But Israel cried out for a king, and God gave them their desire:
Then Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah, and said to the children of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you.’ But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.” – 1 Sam 10:17-19
Saul had a call to greatness on his life, too. But just like Moses, he was the last to know it!
When the people of Israel cried out for a king, Saul was God’s answer to them:
And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was chosen. And Saul the son of Kish was chosen. But when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they inquired of the Lord further, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord answered, “There he is, hidden among the equipment.” – 1 Sam 19:20-22
But Saul didn’t believe the calling on his own life! When God crowned him king in front of all God’s people, Saul didn’t step up and accept his calling with his head held high and a smile on his face; he hid!! Saul was so reluctant to accept the crown that other people had to run and “bring him” to the throne!
So they ran and brought him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?” – 1 Sam 10:23-24
This says something about the people God chooses for greatness. Saul never asked to be king. He never wanted to be promoted. Saul was simply made king. God called him to be great, even though Saul never asked for it; and from that point forward, it was Saul’s responsibility to step up and accept the call!
David was the second king over Israel: Saul’s successor. But just like Moses and Saul before him, David didn’t ask to be king. He didn’t want to be promoted! He was simply minding his business when God interrupted the trajectory of his life and called him to greatness.
One day while David was tending to his flock, the prophet Samuel showed up out of nowhere to anoint David as king:
So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” – 1 Sam 16:8-11a
What was it about David that attracted God’s attention? Why did God pass over all seven of David’s brothers and choose him?
David had a humble heart. He was a shepherd, “…keeping the sheep” (v 11). You see, God does’t need a fancy resume or the perfect credentials to use someone for greatness. He simply needs to see a humble heart.
Before God called Moses to greatness, he was “…tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law” (Ex 3:1). Before God called Saul to be king, he was looking for his father’s donkeys (1 Sam 9:3)! Before David was anointed king, he was watching his father’s flocks in the field. What’s the point? When you simply serve well with a humble heart, you won’t have to look for greatness! Greatness will find you.
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. – 1 Sam 16:11b-13
Nobody expected David to be the next king over Israel. Even Samuel thought it must be one of his older brothers! But God, “…does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).
It doesn’t matter what somebody else has told you. It doesn’t matter what you accept – or refuse to believe – about yourself! God has called you to greatness; and that is all that matters.
Do you know what Moses, Saul, and David all had in common? God had greater plans for them, than they had for themselves. And do you know what? He has “greater” plans for you too.
You’re no Moses. You’re no Saul! You’re no King David. But you are you; and God has called you to greater things:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” – Jn 14:12-14
© Michael D. White, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael D. White with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.