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The Mission Field: Local or World Wide?

August 7, 2014

missionsWhen people think of missionaries they often think of third world countries, no fresh drinking water, extreme political persecution, and so on.  But when you read the command of Jesus in the book of Acts chapter 1, He said you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  He didn’t just jump to “the end of the earth”.  There is a vast area way before we reach that destination.  For many, they are either too fearful or too selfish to venture further than their own “Jerusalem” and often won’t witness even at home.

The question in the subject line was: The Mission Field: Local or World Wide?  The answer is a resounding YES to both.

We need to learn to walk in obedience wherever He’s called us.  Being His witness, testifying of what He’s done in our lives (if He’s done anything in them) isn’t a suggestion, but a command.  Making disciples, or training people in their spiritual walk, is also a command.  It should be part of our daily life … wherever and to whomever He leads us.  Many times we agonize over witnessing to people when we hear the Holy Spirit tell us to ‘just open your mouth and I’ll fill it.’  It’s easier to stay in our comfort zone when the reality is God is calling all of us out of our natural comfort zone.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

The quote above is from a well-known pastor whom I admire. It seems fitting here.  We need to become so dependent on the Lord that we finally realize HE is our comfort zone.  Wherever He leads me, I know He’s there with me.  He’s not going to send me into the desert by myself and lead me to my own ruin.  He’s designed me to bring Him glory.  He said He would never leave or forsake me.  So when I’m obedient and I follow Him as He leads me, I can be assured that He has a purpose — a work — specifically for me and specifically for that place.

There are so many excuses I’ve heard over the years.

  • I have too many friends or family here.
  • I don’t know anyone there.
  • I don’t know the area and I’ll get lost easily.
  • I may have to leave a lucrative job.
  • What if we go broke?
  • What if it doesn’t turn out like we think it will?
  • How will we make it?

For each of those thoughts and questions the answer is: God.  Let’s take a look at these excuses …

I have too many friends or family here.  Yes, maybe true, but would you willingly choose to live a life that is in disobedience to His will?  What kind of blessings can you possibly expect from a life running from His calling?

I don’t know anyone there.  You know God and you know His voice.  You know His comfort.  You can have His peace because He’s leading and you’re obedient.  Staying and being disobedient may bring some comfort, but that comfort is fleeting and will never bring lasting peace, joy, or contentment.  I want to hear Him say to me, “Thou good and faithful servant.”  Those words will elude us when we purposefully walk in disobedience.

I don’t know the area and I’ll get lost easily.  For a time.  But God will be your grace and strength.  He’ll be your help in time of trouble.  He’ll prove Himself over and over when you don’t know the way to go, but you have a heart of surrender to Him.

I may have to leave a lucrative job … what if we go broke?  Are you really desiring to build your kingdom here or His kingdom?  Or more aptly, are you your own person?  Who do you belong to?  You can’t truly call Him Lord and then defiantly do your own thing apart from His will.

What if it doesn’t turn out like we think it will?  If He’s calling and your obedient, what does it matter how it looks on the surface?  If He’s in it, trust Him for the results.  Let me say that again, “IF HE’S IN IT, trust Him for the results!”  Don’t you think He already knows what is going to happen when we obey Him?  Don’t you realize it’s about Him, not you or me?

How will we make it?  A sobering question.  But the answer is still in the Lord.  If He takes you to it, He’ll bring you through it.  Giving tithes and offerings doesn’t make sense, and yet I’ve seen His provision for years by my giving up my ideas and being obedient to His word.  His promises are for us and our best interests … even when we can’t see them initially.

God never promises the road ahead of us is going to be easy.  He never promises we won’t have struggles of faith, health, or finances.  What He did promise is this: I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Is that enough?  It should be.

NOW does that mean God is sending  you to a tribe on the Amazon River who have never heard of the gospel?  Maybe, but odds are not likely.  But you can be a missionary to your neighbor or other people on your street.   He may be calling you to show hospitality and love to those in your every day life at work or at the grocery store.  He may be telling you to open your mouth to a single mom at a soccer game or a college age young man with piercings and tattoos everywhere.  Our job isn’t to wonder why me, but why not me.  He didn’t just save you so you could keep this wonderful good news secretly hidden and tucked away.  It is meant to be shared and if you saw people the way He sees them your heart would be changed.

Maybe He’s calling you to change jobs or occupations.  Maybe He’s calling you to attend a different college.  Maybe He’s calling you to a different city or even a different state.  We get so scared that He’ll send us to Africa that we shut down and refuse to even consider hearing where He wants us to go or what He wants us to do.

It is, after all, about Him, right?  It is, after all, what He wants that matters, right? If we hide our heart and find our delight in Him, no matter what we face, we’ll have His peace and presence in our life.  For me, that’s more than enough.

— Pastor Rick

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