Age Is No Bar To God’s Call (4/16/13)

Read: Joshua 13:1-14:15, Luke 18:1-17, Psalm 85:1-13, Proverbs 13:7-8

Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. (Joshua 14:10-11)

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Relate: Imagine working a recruitment office for the army sometime in the late 30’s. Everybody knows we’re going to war against Hitler, but we aren’t sure just when. Elite volunteers have already been sent off to join the British army but we’re mobilizing our own as well. We’ll take just about anybody, but this guy before you is pushing those limits. He looks to be mid sixties maybe but his birth certificate says he’s even older. No way he’s getting in a uniform. He pleads his case saying he can see just as fine as ever and runs every day. He says what he might lack in “vim and vigor” he makes up in experience since he fought in Cuba, the Philippines, and France. As a wisecrack you ask if he was a drummer boy in the Civil War. He answers deadpan, “No, but my older brother was.” You know you’re going to get in trouble for this one but you do it anyways, you have a quota to make. Someone in some office is going to have a heart attack over it. On the bottom of his application the stamp reads, “approved”.

Ever use a thesaurus? Odds are it said, “Rogets” on the front of it. The only reason he began working on the first one was because he was forced to retire from the Royal Society at 70. The first thesaurus was published when he was 73 and he kept improving and updating them until he died 17 years later. One of America’s greatest painters, Grandma Moses, didn’t pick up a paintbrush until she was 76 and told she was too old to continue her career in embroidery. A traveling salesman sold 10 multimixers to Maurice and Richard McDonald who owned a couple burger joints in California and Arizona. To sell more mixers he tried convincing them they should go national. They said they would if he helped them manage the new stores. At 52 Ray Kroc became the manager and at 59 the sole owner of this little burger joint you might have heard of called McDonalds.

Relate: Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in children’s, youth, and college ministries for so long that I always push the young ones to expect, dream and do greater things for God. Paul tells Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because he is young. As much as we have far too low expectations for children and teens today, we do the same on the other end of the spectrum. Nelson Mandela becoming president at 76 is a rarity in our day. For the most part we expect our senior saints to leave the workforce sometime between 55 and 65, possibly move south, and enjoy the fruits of their labor living off their pensions and social security. No. No! A thousand times no. Somewhere out there is a man like Moses who at 80 confronted the greatest power in the world and said, “Let my people go!” 27 million are desperately waiting for him. Somewhere there is another Caleb who at 85 said, “There is more land to take. There is another battle to fight. There is another victory for God ahead and I’m ready to take it!” Until my last breath exits my body, let me never stop working for God with everything I have in me.

Respond: 

God, let me not look back at what I could have done but instead look forward at what I still can do. Rather than dreaming of what might have been help me to have visions of what might become. Give me greater dreams and goals for my present and future. Show me the battles You would have me fight and give me the strength of will, mind, and body to continue fighting them for all the days You have for me

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17 thoughts on “Age Is No Bar To God’s Call (4/16/13)

  1. Awesome post. God’s timing is perfect. I am at a turning point in my life as far as not being able to continue the career I have had, so this is exciting, inspirational and perfectly in God’s timing!

  2. Too many times I have witnessed our seniors telling the middle aged persons that it is their turn to carry the torch at church. They then go sit in the pews and “retire”. To me this is not the way the LORD would want us to be. We, the seniors, have a God given responsibility to mentor those younger than us. Our “ministry” within the church, community or workplace doesn’t end just because we reach the age of retirement. If we still have our gifts, (and I have no clue why we wouldn’t) we aren’t to hoard them, they were given to us to use. Thank you for this post.

  3. At 66 I started blogging (last fall) and this message inspires me. I want to change lives and build bridges between generations and develop character in young people so they can reach their goals and dreams using lessons and stories from “The Greatest Generation.” I’m using seven and a half years of letters written by my Grandfather to his 5 sons who were scattered around the world during World War II.
    I’ve never heard All of My Days but it is a beautiful and inspiring message. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the confirmation. I was just thinking about how God is really opening doors for me at 60 +. Thought He just had great sense of humor, but I can appreciate your timely post!

  5. Timely post. Thanks! I am a septuagenarian. In the last two years I went tandem skydiving. I play with my grand kids on the jungle-jim. I climbed a tree a picnic last year. My profession will not allow me to work anymore because to the corporate world I am perceived as too old and not relevant. I have learned that is just as well. God has given me a new career as a pastor. I have the mind set that Caleb had; who at the age of eighty-five he was ready to strap on his armor and go fight the enemies of God. Retirement? Never! God keeps giving me stuff to do, people to mentor, and places to minister. Thanks for a quality post.

  6. Ah, that lone voice in the wilderness can now yell loudly and people will hear him/her all over the world. We are needed. The timeliness of this post reached me right to the heart and made me think God heard my prayer and sent me to you. Thank you. Best ~ HuntMode

  7. Love this! It feels silly saying this but being involved in the worship ministry I always think about how at about 40 I’m going to be “too old” one day. Thanks for reminding me that if its gods will then it will happen no matter what age you are!

  8. Yup. Nothing can limit us unless we limit ourselves. Especially when we walk with an ageless and infinite God. Our age is basically just the number of years we’ve walked the earth. Our true age is eternity. Thanks for the post!!

  9. This is so timely. I’m on a worship team that has quite a few members who are right around 50. It’s easy to believe the lie that it’s time we were “put out to pasture,” and causes no small amount of distress. I recently used Caleb as an example of old age not being an issue to God.

    If, for Caleb, 85 was the new 40, then 50 must be the new 20 – right? I’m not ready to quit just yet. In fact, at 53, I’m just getting warmed up! (Psalm 92:12-15)

    Thanks!

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