# 3 “Discerning God’s Call”

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Acts, New Testament

Discerning God’s particular call is not the first thing in the Christian life.
Responding to His general call is 1st.
Receive Jesus as your Savior, etc.
Then we learn more of God’s general call for us.
1. Make disciples
2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
We need to have Jesus, understand His purpose for us, & be filled and led by His Spirit.
Every Christian begins the same way.
There are no exceptions.
That is the foundation for each of us.
When those conditions are established, then we begin to discern God’s particular will for our lives.
The deeper I go with the foundation, the more clear I will understand God’s particular call for me.

We are prone to skip mover he basics of the Christian life, and desire to move on to the “exciting part”.
The “exciting part” will have difficulties, and unless our foundation is deep, we will

I. Through The Routine Of Life Acts 3:1-12a

A. Peter & John Were Living The Basics Of The Faith

1. Devotional lives
2. Prayerful lives

B. No Record Of Them Seeking To Do A Miracle

1. This man was laid daily at the Gate 3:2
2. Peter & John had probably seen him before
3. On this day, God had a different plan for Peter & John
4. Peter would be used to bring healing to this man
5. A crowd would gather, and Peter would be filled w/the H.S. 4:8
6. He would preach a spontaneous sermon, and 5k would be saved.
7. Peter discovered God’s particular plan by living a life of devotion & faithfulness

C. Jesus’ Comments On Daily Faithfulness-

Matthew 25:29 29‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

II. Through Contentions

A. Acts 6:1-6 Deacons chosen

1. There was a complaint in the church. Grumbling, murmuring.
2. Hurt feelings, anger, suspicion, presumption. People assuming the worst about others.
3. The church was growing, developing.
4. The church is an organism, not a machine. It is always changing and developing.
5. One of the ways that the church grows is through growing pains.
6. The same is true in our marriages, friendships, families, businesses, ministries.
7. NOTE- God wanted to develop the church, so he did it through people’s complaints
8. NOTE- Notice how they solved the situation. How they discerned God’s will.

a. The 12 brought the church together. It is always good to talk things through
b. The 12 did not neglect their calling, but recognized that something needed to change
c. They continued with what was right, and did not “change everything”.
d. They did not respond carnally to the complaints, but found a godly solution.

9. The result? See v. 7.
10. We can discover God’s will through complaints and difficult situations. Romans 8:28!

B. Acts 15:1, 2 Gentile behavior established

1. Judaizers come from Jerusalem to Antioch, insisting Gentiles be circumcised
2. V. 2 No small dissension & dispute. There was a big argument at church.
3. They decided to send Paul, Barnabas, and others to Jerusalem to ask the leaders.
4. More opposition in V. 5
5. The leaders gather together to consider the matter.
6. There is much dispute. V. 7
7. Peter reasons with them. Vs. 7-11
8. The multitude kept silent. V. 12 How important it is to listen. Two ears, one mouth.
9. The issue was settled by the Word of God, not customs, opinions, traditions. Vs. 16, 17
10. How important is it that we know God’s word? Very!
11. What if you can’t immediately find an answer in God’s word?
12. Don’t make a decision until you do.
13. It’s usually not an emergency. Important, but not urgent

III. Through Obedience

A. Philip Faithful And Effective In Samaria Acts 8:4-8
B. Philip Obedient Despite Circumstances Acts 8:26
C. Obedience Brings Progressive Discovery Of God’s Will Acts 8:27-40

1. None would have blamed Philip for staying in Samaria: revival
2. Philip obeyed b/c he was acquainted w/the voice of God.

D. First Be Filled, Then Be Poured Out. Wait, Then Go. Be, Then Do

IV. Through Ministering To The Lord Acts 13:1-4

A. Chosen By God

1. “Separate to Me…”
2. “…for the work to which I have called them.”
3. Paul called by God: Rom., 1 Cor., 2 Cor., Gal., Eph., Col., 1 & 2 Tim., Titus
4. Probably called by prophesy as they prayed, fasted.
5. They may have been praying about Great Commission.
6. H. S. called & directed. See also 13:4
7. Discerned God’s will through prayer and worship

B. Not Chosen By Man

  1. Human training cannot substitute for the call of God
  2. Good intentions, sincerity, etc., no substitute for God’s call
  3. NOTE– They weren’t seeking the calling, they were ministering to the Lord

V. Through Open & Closed Doors Acts 16:1-10

A. Follow God’s General Plan

  1. Paul understood why he existed.
  2. Phil. 1:20b, 21 “…as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
  3. Whatever specifics may develop, that was Paul’s unchanging foundation.
  4. Every detailed plan would fit on to that general, unchanging foundation.
  5. God’s will is first intentional, and then directional.
  6. Wrong to ask for directions, when you disregard God’s intentions.

B. Follow God’s Specific Plan

  1. Holy Spirit leads by the reading of God’s word. God’s unchanging foundation.
  2. Circumstances. “Open & closed doors”. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
    a. Verse 6- Noble desire, closed door.
    b. Verse 7- Noble desire, closed door.
    c. Vs. 8-10- Keep moving, clear direction. “Concluding…”
    d. Vs. 11-13 Keep moving. V. 13- where prayer was customarily made…
    e. Ps. 37:23 “The steps (and stops) of a good man are ordered by the LORD…”
  3. Visions & dreams.
  4. Words of prophecy, wisdom, or knowledge.
  5. Turn to John 10:1-5 Inner witness, “voice” of Jesus Christ.

C. The Danger Of Following Your Plan

  1. Prov. 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  2. We sometimes feel that we have more wisdom than God. Make our own plans.
  3. We forfeit so much when we do not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Isaiah 11:1, 2 The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus.
    Is. 11:1, 2 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
    And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
    2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
    The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    The Spirit of counsel and might,
    The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
  5. We cannot afford to miss that seven fold work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.