Called According to Purpose (continued)
The God of Glory appeared unto our Father Abraham, The God of Glory. The initial step to get a people, that step was taken with Abraham. But look at the seed of Abraham in Gideon's day: not at all in line with the great purpose revealed to and intended through Abraham. Look at this sad state. He called Abraham with the whole purpose in view. Now He must call Gideon because of some "thing" that has interrupted the realization of the full purpose, some "thing" that has arisen, some contingency, some digression, some declension on that part of the called. And so the Bible is just full of these, shall we call them, "intermediate" callings, these "occasional" callings, these specific callings within "The Calling," this purpose which has become a necessity in the light of the whole final purpose. You see the position? I say the Bible is full of these particular callings. Moses is one, Joshua another, and so you go on with all these callings within "the calling."
I think that we see the situation. Not one of you here this morning would say that the Lord's people as a whole are right in the main line and thoroughfare and direction and way of the eternal calling, of the glory. You would rather say "Oh no, oh no, there is a very, very great deal that is not only short of the glory of God, but contrary to the glory of God. We were trying to stress that yesterday. When a people are as the people were in Gideon's day, weak, and defeated before their enemies, starved and poor, without food and wealth ... when there is no cohesion and authority under which the people of God are moving like an army with banners that is something contrary to and other than the purpose of God. And God's movement in sovereignty is to call to deal with that. "Have not I sent thee? Thou shalt save Israel" - that is a specific calling made necessary because of a general declension. Well, I think probably you will agree to that mostly, at any rate.
But I want to follow that with this, that Divine Presence and Divine Support and Divine Resources are always bound up with Divine callings. If you are not in the specific thing that God wants done at any given time you cannot count upon God's support. You cannot just generalize about this thing, generalize about it and just heap it all together, this work of God, without discrimination. At different times, in different realms, God has to act specifically and distinctively so that within the all of the compass of His inclusive purpose there are essential purposes because of situations which have arisen. And He calls in relation to those specific purposes which are the present time purposes of God. And God supports, sponsors, commits Himself to that.
Dear friends, let us be very, very honest about this thing. There is a great deal of activity which is ostensibly for the Lord which does not have the Lord's support. And the result is that anything and everything has to be done to get support for that which is called "the work of God," and that compasses the whole range of what is called "organized" Christianity. It is one great system of launching schemes and enterprises and doing everything that art and whit and cunning can do to get support for it. If God wants a thing done and has sovereignly decided that thing, that thing, shall be done according to purpose, and He can get hold of a people and bring that people right into line with that thing. God will commit Himself to it and support it and lift the onerous of resource from the people and take it on His own shoulders.
(continued with # 11)