I fear that when we think about going into missions, we can often turn too introspective.
We tend to meditate day and night on the all the questions that flood our minds: “Do I have what it takes?” “Am I ready to go into missions single even knowing I may not meet someone on the field?” “Am I qualified?” “Am I called?” “How do I know if I am called?” “How will I be able to learn another language and school my children?” “What agency would I go with?” “What would I do on the field?”
There is an aspect of counting the cost that is good and healthy. Yet, I do not think our minds should rest there. Our minds should instead rest on the Word of God and meditate on it day and night, especially as we investigate missions as a career choice.
Here are some passages that I would put forward to anyone who is asking the question, “Should I go into missions?” I would encourage him or her to write them down and carry them around with them – to put them up by the sink as they do the dishes, put them in the car, pray through them, even memorize them while jogging. I think that good decision making comes most easily when our hearts are saturated with the Word of God.
God is a Giver of Wisdom. He will direct you:
If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
James 1: 5-7
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord
Missions is God’s will
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts and as a garden causes what is sown to sprout up, so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.
Be still and know that I am God.I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us;The God of Jacob is our fortress.
1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
There is no Salvation Outside of Christ
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Jesus Comes before Family, Before our Own Lives
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
2 Corinthians 5:15
And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
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.
Set the Lord Before you and you will not be Shaken
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.
The Sufferings will not Compare to Coming Glory
For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
God will work out everything, every bout of malaria, every moment of rejection that you will feel, every frustrating interaction with the government for your good
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God’s Grace is Sufficient Anytime, Anywhere
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
It is amazing how all the questions, anxieties and unknown seem to dim in light of the power of the promises of the Word of God. There will always be unknowns, always be concerns, and always be suffering, and yet the promises bring a strange, unexplainable peace.
The above verses show us that missions is something that God wants. It is his will and his plan that people from every tribe, every tongue, and every nation will be represented before his throne in Heaven. There is no question.
And this is why I think missions should be approached with less caution. The Christian does not need to pray and fast in order for God to show him that he should tell his friend and work about Christ. The Bible says that is something that the Lord wants and therefore we can freely walk in his will and share the Gospel. Nor do we need to agonize about if we should or should not go to church. This is something that is just a “given” in Scripture. In the same way, I think these verses show that the Christian has God’s “permission” to go into the world and make disciples.
I pray that the Lord will use these verses to send out many more laborers into the harvest.