Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to be a missionary

In my recent blog of random thoughts, several of those thoughts related to the field of missions. I've never felt called to be a missionary but I definitely feel led to be part of missions work, whether through supporting missionaries, going on short-term mission trips or simply sharing the love of Jesus with anyone I come into contact with.

But, what if God decides to call me to be a missionary? Well, he already has in the ways listed above, but what if it meant moving my family to another part of the country, or another country and living as a full-time missionary? Would I be willing? Would I be prepared? Could I do it?

There are plenty of reasons I feel unqualified, or unprepared, to answer that call should it come my way. The first, and most significant, reason is because I don't feel like I have the right training - i.e. I didn't go to school to be a missionary, a pastor or any other kind of minister. I don't know the Bible as well as I should. I don't have much experience in evangelism. I am painfully fearful of public speaking.

But, this morning I was reading 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, and I realized I don't need to be well-studied or confident in my own abilities. See, Paul wasn't either of those things. He said he came to the church in Corinth in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. His whole strategy was to know only Jesus Christ and him crucified. Read it for yourself:

1 Corinthians 2 1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:   “No eye has seen,
   no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him”—
 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
   The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
   that he may instruct him?”
   But we have the mind of Christ.

Nothing in this chapter tells me that I am unprepared to do whatever God calls me to do - whether that is to be a full-time missionary, share Jesus with my neighbors or show my kids what a relationship with Jesus looks like. I have the Spirit of God in me, and that's all I need.

So, I'm ready! I'm prepared! I'm still scared, but I'll go where He sends me! 

1 comment:

Thankful Becky said...

Amen!
Love your heart (and Katie's too!)...and your openness to whatever God has in store.