Is God calling you to missions?
I felt it on my heart that someone out there needed to read this tonight. :)
God’s calling to missions is analogous to the gift of prophecy. The calling is not authoritative the way the Scriptures are. Your calling is never beyond question. You can’t claim it to others the way you quote scripture to them.
Nevertheless our calling can be profoundly and durably sure in our own heart. It is the work of God to bring our heart to a point of conviction that, all things considered—including Scripture—this path is the path of obedience. The conviction is not infallible. But when it is of God, it brings peace.
How does God waken such a calling? I will suggest ten means that he uses. Only one of these is infallible—the Bible. All the others are relative. They are not absolutely decisive in your leading. They are important. But any of them can be overridden by the others. Various combinations of these are the fuel God uses to drive the engine of his calling in your life.
1. Above all, know your Bible and saturate your mind with it.
2. Know your gifts and know yourself.
Every Christian has gifts (1 Peter 4:10-11). Knowing them shapes your convictions about your calling. And knowing yourself (as Paul exemplifies in Romans 7:15-24) deepens your sense of fitness for various ministries. (Keep in mind that this can be overridden by other facts!)
3. Ponder the need of the world.
The Christian heart of love is drawn by perceived needs, whether near or far. Therefore God uses what we know to awaken the measure of our desire that pushes us over the edge of commitment (Matthew 9:36-38).
4. Read missionary biography and missionary frontline stories.
Clearly the Bible treats heroes of the faith as divinely appointed inspirations for or the awakening of vision and ministry (Hebrews 13:7). “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
5. Inquire of your soul, “Where are you burdened for others?”
God sends and seeks the burden for lost people. Jesus carried such a burden: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! … How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (Luke 13:33-34). This burden was essential to his calling. What is your burden?
6. Know your circumstances.
Parents, health, houses, lands, children, age, etc. All of them matter in our calling, but none of them is decisive. They can all be overridden. “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).
7. Pray for God to throw you where you can be best used for his glory.
I say “thrown” because in Matthew 9:38 that is the literal meaning: “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to throw out laborers into his harvest.” The point is pray! Ask God to use you to the fullest for his glory. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
8. Do not neglect passionate, Christ-exalting, corporate worship.
The most important missionary calling that ever happened took place in corporate worship: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them’” (Acts 13:2).
9. Listen humbly to the spiritual people in your life.
They not only confirm your gifts. They are the instruments of God to awaken in you possibilities and joys of missionary service that you never dreamed (2 Timothy 1:5-7).
10. Cultivate absolute surrender of all you are and have to Christ.
This is the person that God leads to the greatest fruitfulness of life. Woe to the person who tries to be a half-Christian and never says from the heart: “I renounce everything for you, Lord Jesus. I am willing to go anywhere and do anything at any cost, if you will go with me and be my everlasting joy.” This is why Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. … Therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27, 33).
Don’t let the crushing sadness overwhelm you
You have an anchor, and even though you have let him go
He has never let you go
And He loves you
And He still loves you
And you can never earn His love
Because it is a gift.
Let Him love you.
Draw near to Him.
He still loves you.
Let go, give it to Him.
He said love is patient, then He said: I am love
He said love is not not easily angered, then He said: I am love
He said love keeps no record of wrongs, then He said: I am love
He said love always protects, then He said: I am love
He said love always overcomes, then He said: I am love
He said love never fails, then He said: I am love"
"It reveals a lot that Jesus said the world would recognize his disciples “if they loved one another” and not “if they sinned less.”"
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Have you ever felt overwhelmed, buried, crushed, smothered, confused, or absolutely swamped? Maybe even disheartened, broken, stressed, exhausted, or just plain tired?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then a commendation is in order because you are one exceptional person. I mean, I hate to break it to you, I really do, but one day you’ll know what I’m talking about, and more than likely, you’ll feel it more than once in your life.
Read Matthew 11:28-30.
The people in this passage knew what it feels like too. They live in an oppressive religious culture that motivated people into strict obedience to the law by way of guilt, shame, and violence instead of a loving relationship that Jesus offers. With that being true, imagine hearing a new message of freedom from religious oppression by entering into a personal relationship with God. Even though it probably sounded too good to be true, that’s exactly what Jesus was calling them to do.
That’s also the life to which Jesus is calling us and all those around us today. When we find His rest, we just point all of the tired, burdened, and broken people to Jesus to find the same rest for their weary souls. When we find our joy in Christ and Christ alone, we find a joy that can’t be shaken by the bad conditions around us. If life has you or someone you know stressing, remember that you can find true peace that transcends all understanding by turning everything over to Jesus and letting Him give you rest.
Happy things today:
- I got to eat my pizza that I brought from home for breakfast this morning
- I got tons of typing out my notes done yesterday while studying with my fellowship, which was such a blessing
- I feel well-rested :)
- I feel loved. I get so insecure sometimes because of people, so I should work on that…
- Jesus loves me. hahaha! I still don’t get it (why)…
- I’m almost done typing out my notes
- I got a ride (and $) for grocery shopping yesterday with mom, which was awesome cause now I have food to eat in my apt!!
- I think I can survive this week. I think. hahaha
- I’m listening to 1 Samuel again and God is super comforting me right now. haha
- My roomie just got home! :D
- I have chocolate pudding and orange juice and strawberry yogurt with granola and food from care packages from my fellowship peeps and all this food makes me so happyyyyy