Monday, July 18, 2011

Serving Where He Leads

A while back, I heard a prominent preacher speak about “the mission field”. He became loud and passionate as he shared his feelings about those who travel half-way round the world to reach others for Christ. Interestingly, his message wasn’t to “go”, rather it was to stay. He encouraged the congregation to stay home and spend their time and money locally because, “lots of souls are perishing here, too”.

Lately, I heard another preacher make a similar comment. This time, though, I couldn’t help but smile inwardly. I could recall, not long ago, when I felt the same way as both those preachers. I couldn’t understand why people would spend thousands of dollars on a trip to love on strangers, when they had family members and neighbors who also needed ministered to. It made no sense to me. While I could understand a “calling” to stay and live among the people of another country, a simple two week visit seemed to me (back then) to be a waste of time and money.

My husband and I have supported many missionaries over the years. We committed to praying for them and financially giving the amount God laid on our heart. We always believed supporting them was “our part”. And usually, on the day the missionaries departed from the United States, I would give a silent sigh of relief that I hadn’t been called to go with them. I have even commented out loud on several occasions, “I’m glad it’s not me!” Several of my friends have heard me confess that, “I could never give up the comforts of home and go do that.”

Be careful what you say you’ll never be able to do. I am personally convinced that is exactly what God will nudge us to do, just to prove that He is God, and that by His power He can enable and equip us to do those things we may never have thought possible. He can change our desires and mold us into men and women of integrity and character, if we surrender our will. When we humble ourselves and get ourself out of the way, completely submitting to God’s authority, we will know true freedom, peace, and yes, even joy.

While there is nothing wrong with ministering to our neighbors, there is something wrong with busying ourselves by doing good deeds in order to get out of obeying God’s nudges to go and do what He is telling us to do. It can also be wrong to listen to others (no matter how well-meaning they are) who tell us to stay home, when we know we have clearly heard from the Lord to “Go”!

The main message that we need instilled in our heart is…obedience. The preachers who discouraged overseas missionary work forgot – if God is telling you to go, you must obey. God will take care of local needs (and your own needs); He is big enough to do that. What He wants from us is such a close relationship with Him (which comes from spending time in His word, in prayer, and with other believers) that we recognize His voice, and then immediately obey.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight
(Proverbs 3:5-6).

Trusting Him,

Content Copyright Connie Cameron; All rights reserved
Site by Eagle Designs