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Will You Volunteer for God's Service?

by Stephen Davey

Near the end of World War II, a plane carrying 24 members of the U.S. military crashed into the dense New Guinea jungle. Only three survived and they were badly hurt— soon suffering from gangrene and starvation. Here they were stranded deep in a jungle valley known for the cannibal tribes who lived there. 

A daring rescue attempt would need to be made, which did indeed succeed. 

The army tapped a special battalion of 66 men, trained as a parachute unit. Their battalion leader was told to recruit 10 volunteers from his unit, including two medics, to parachute into that dense jungle and guide the survivors out. 

It was dangerous assignment. When their lieutenant colonel stood before his men and told them what had happened, he informed them that he needed 10 volunteers to form a rescue squad. But then he gave them an honest portrayal of what they were going to encounter. 

First, he said, the area they’d be jumping into was marked “unknown” on the map; it was unchartered territory. Secondly, he told them the jungle valley was so thick that it would be the worst possible drop zone; they might not get past the trees. Third, if they survived the jump, the tribes who lived in that valley could prove hostile and life-threatening. 

When he finished, he paused and then asked for volunteers—and all 66 men stepped forward. 

How’s that for a recruiting strategy? 

Life will be difficult, there won’t be much rest along the way, the natives will be hostile to your message, but people in that valley need rescuing! 

According to Luke’s Gospel account, this happens to be the recruiting plan for 72 men who have just been appointed to risk their lives and their fortunes for the sake of the gospel. 

But before they take off on their rescue mission, Jesus gives them an honest portrayal of the mission. 

Volunteering for God means accepting His personal assignment. 

Jesus begins His teaching by encouraging them both in their purpose and destination. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him” (Luke 10:1a). 

This word appointed can describe someone being chosen to hold an office. We speak today of someone being “appointed” by the president of the United States for a cabinet position or to the Supreme Court. 

Jesus didn’t hand these men a blank map and tell them, “Go out somewhere and talk to someone and try your best and see what happens.” He specifically appointed these men to each of their offices— their harvest fields—and He chose them intentionally. 

My friend, your life is equally appointed. A conversation you have with a neighbor as you step out to check your mailbox, or a coworker you share the elevator with, or the classmate you sit next to in the library is your harvest field. 

Jesus is challenging us to think of every personal interaction we have not as accidents, but divine appointments. 

You have been divinely appointed for every divine appointment in your life. 

There are no “chance encounters.” Behind the scenes, God is providentially scheduling our schedule, and bringing us, every day, into the harvest field He specifically chose for us. 

Volunteering for God means leaving our personal comfort zones. 

Jesus draws on an analogy that is often used in the Bible, comparing believers to sheep living in a secular world filled with wolves. He tells the 72 men: “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3). 

Sheep are naturally fearful, skittish, and paranoid. It is difficult for sheep to be comfortable or relax. The bark of a dog nearby, or the howl of a wolf in the distance will keep the sheep on their feet and ready to run. 

Jesus promises that these volunteers will be sent out as “lambs” in the midst of wolves. A lamb is even less likely to survive the dangers around them. 

I love how transparent Jesus is with these men. He doesn’t want to trick them into signing up for something they didn’t understand. He wanted them fully aware of the dangers they faced and the risks they took by representing Him in a world of antagonists and unbelievers. 

At its center, however, the Lord’s warning is equally encouraging. The words Jesus wanted these men to focus on weren’t the words about wolves, but the promise: “I am sending you.” In other words, “You will not be alone.” 

Beloved, the more we accept our defenselessness, the more dependent we become on our Good Shepherd, who guides His little lambs through the valleys of life while surrounded by vicious wolves. 

These disciples will know that whether they live or die, whether they minister in safety or danger, it will be the divine appointment of Christ. Nothing can touch them without the permission of their sending Agent! In fact, these men don’t realize it yet, but Jesus will demonstrate what it looks like to be a persecuted lamb, as He dies on the cross to defeat death forever. 

Striving in the harvest field Jesus appointed for you won’t be easy. It won’t necessarily make you comfortable; if anything, it will make you more reliant on the Lord for your safety. 

And who could be better than Him in determining your steps and guiding your path in life today—and every day? 

Add a Comment


Michael Varner says:
Dear Mr. Davey, Eleven years ago this month I lost my 52 year old wife to cancer. We were together for 30 years. During the time of her sickness and after her death, I listened to your broadcast on the radio. I was amazed at the many messages were exactly what I needed on that particular day. I will always be grateful for your ministry and the good deeds you do. I still listen to your sermons via podcast. I hope to visit your church in the near future. God Bless Michael Varner Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia Michael Varen
John Martin says:
I walk the mall every monday wednesday and fridays here in north charleston south carolina between 9 to 11 am people are sitting waiting for stories to open I approached them and asked them. Have they heard the good news? They say what good news? I say I know you heard the bad news just turn the t v and radio on And then i tell them about jesus christ the good news, I have had many opportunities to go through the plan of salvation with them. 2 weeks ago I met a young freshman from a local college from Honduras He was very open, We talked a long time before we got done. I was lead by the spirit to ask him if he wanted to be saved and he said he did and I led him in prayer, have been texting him and sent him and great booklet Things Are Different Now John Van Gilden said he was going to read it. His name is Tyrese
james perry says:
I am a distributor of gospel John 3:16 coins along with a cross cut penny. At a fast food, i asked a couple if they were Christian. Immediately he replied, "Yes I am. I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ - and you are too." Yes, I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ!" I went home singing "I am so happy, so very happy, I have the love of Jesus in my heart".
charles black says:
Pastor, thank you for this item you are sending me.
S. Walter says:
I'll be walking a new path without my husband of almost 53 years soon. We're selling our house and going our separate ways. For my health's sake, I can no longer deal with the mental abuse. I need prayers.
Barbara Ann Barrett says:
I was widowed a year and half ago and you and BBN have held me up in the LORD. I listen 2 times a day when I can. We were married 54 years and today I told 2 young men they can make it that long or longer if they trust in the LORD and love as he loves us Thanks for sharing how we should volunteer joyfully for our LORD
Gizelle S Greene says:
Dear Pastor Stephen Davey, P.S. How can I pray for you in the difficulties of your assignment? Please pray for my daughter Anna, who suffers severely with Lyme disease. How are you out of your comfort zone? Watching my daughter suffer. It’s has become debilitating for me, especially when she is crying, and has lost a lot weight, she is only 98 pounds. I fear for my granddaughter Charlie Beth being in the middle of all that is taking place right before her. Anna never sleeps, this is due to her Lyme disease. She only cat naps. I know two people who have died of Lyme disease because of lack of sleep. I have already had one child to die, and Anna’s situation is taking my own health away. Where have you seen God’s grace when you need Him?? I see God’s grace in His creation, and to know the knowledge of Him. Also the gift of eternal life and His salvation. I see His grace in the future He has prepared for me, for all eternity, by His love, mercy and forgiveness. God’s mercy to me is the beloved husband He has given me. I am keenly aware of God’s presence. I am grateful and so thankful for the teachings by Stephen Davey, that has become my lifeline till I go home to be with the Lord. Thank you, Gizelle.
Natalia Corella says:
During this past month I have found myself having to make a difficult decision much like the message stated above. If I decide to say yes to the opportunity in front of me I would be definitely stepping out of my comfort zone and many frightening thoughts go through my head, but I also would have a greater opportunity to minister to young people. For days I have been asking the Lord to guide me and to show me if this is what I have to do. And as I was reading your meditation today I could only see the LORD using you to encourage me to take a step forward on the decision I have in front of me. Thank you for your ministry and for your service to the LORD!
Patricia Morales says:
Hi Pastor Davey, I am very blessed and look forward every morning to turning the radio on my small car on my way to work. Listening to your messages has helped me on my walk with our Lord and Savior. I had helped in many areas to represent Jesus as a volunteer but lately, when I pray for my neighbors and co-workers, my community, our country, and my family I feel I need to show and be an active volunteer for Jesus by sharing the good news. He sends us and one thing we sometimes underestimate is that the one who sends us is with us, walking side by side with us. I am going to welcome my New Neighbor with a small welcome gift a plant and a card, she moved about three months ago and I don't think the other ( 3 neighbors) have formally welcomed her in your lane. Pray for me to have the right words to share the good news with her. Once again eternally grateful for sharing the word of God with us day by day.
Gizelle says:
Please Please Continue playing for my daughter Anna, & Granddaughter Charlie Beth. Please pray for my husband Mike. Gizelle.