This sermon is about God’s will for children. You should try to know from early childhood what you’re going to do, what your calling is. And then direct all of your effort and attention toward this. Dave Walker, MD, a South African anesthesiologist, knew by the time he was 7 that he wanted to be a doctor. And he dedicated his life to that pursuit from then on. When he became a committed Christian, he was able to minister to both the medical and spiritual needs of his patients.
Parents should prayerfully consider God’s will for their children and prepare them.
In Lk 1:13-17, Zacharias and Elisabeth knew what their son, John, was supposed to do before he was born. In Lk 1:64-67, when John was born, Zacharias prophesied. Among other things, he said that their child shall be called the prophet of the Highest in Lk 1:76-79. As John grew under their care, he waxed strong in spirit, Lk 1:80. That was not accidental.
From Timothy’s childhood, he began to know the scriptures, 2 Tim 3:15. His mother and grandmother exercised him in their faith, 2 Tim 1:5. By the time Paul met him in Derbe and Lystra, he was already a disciple well reported of by the brethren, Acts 16:1-2.
Joash, 2 Ki 11:1-4, was hidden by his aunt for the first 7 years of his life when Athaliah reigned. In his 7th year, Jehoiada, the priest, brought him out to be anointed as king of Judah, 2 Ki 11:12. In 2 Ki:12 1-2, throughout his 40 year reign, he did right under the instruction of Jehoiada.
You see this spiritual influence in children’s lives can be lasting.
Children should seek God and God’s will for their lives very early in life.
Josiah was only 8 years old when he began to reign in Judah, 2 Chr 34:1. By the time he was 16, “while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of his father David”, 2 Chr 34:3. And by the time he was 20, he was purging Judah and Jerusalem of their idolatry.
Even Paul testifies that God had designs on his life from his birth, Gal 1:13-17. He said God “separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace”, Gal 1:15. Look at his upbringing in Acts 22:3. Gamaliel was a doctor of the law and had in reputation among all the people, Acts 5:34. He was prepared for his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
In Jer 1:5-6 God formed Jeremiah in the womb to be a prophet. When God called him, he professed that he was still just a child.
Jesus knew by the time he was twelve what his Father’s business was, Lk 2:49. He had spent time with the Lord God in personal devotions, Is 50:4-6.
Conclusion: the call of God is not happenstance. His call is planned, and he knows when they are born what he wants them to do. They should be seeking God and we, as parents and preachers, should be preparing them for their future calling. They may learn what that is very early in life.
When I look back on my life, I wasted so many years living my life off course. I can see, looking back, instances in my childhood, in junior high and high school, and in college, where God was gently leading me to the ministry. But I wasn’t seeking God and certainly wasn’t preparing for what I’m doing now. I wish I had listened and prepared. That’s why I’m encouraging you to do this today.