Some of the last words of Jesus Christ on this earth were these, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 NIV
Jesus spoke these words to his 11 disciples, and if you are his disciple today, then He was speaking to you too!
There are three principles of missions that I have identified as the G-Forces: Give, Go, and Grow. Today, I want to share with you G-Force #2: Go.
Answering the Call
There has to be a call. I remember a great quote from 19th-century missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, which has stayed with me for a long time.
“It will not do to say that you have no special call to go to China. With these facts before you and with the command of the Lord Jesus to go and preach the gospel to every creature, you need rather to ascertain whether you have a special call to stay at home.” James Hudson Taylor
God has already called you and me to reach this world! We have been called by God and our responsibility is to answer that call. If you have a special call to stay at home and not be involved in missions then that is okay… just make sure that call is from God because He has already commanded us to go into all the world.
There will be times when we need specific direction from God and He will reveal that to us when we need it. Many times, though, we may not know the exact where, when, and how. That leads me to my next point…
How Many Questions Do You Have?
As our world gets more complex, we feel the need to question everything. We are creatures of habit and unfortunately questioning God’s calling has become a habit.
The below story is meant to be funny, but I also think it reflects our “negotiating” with God’s call on many occasions.
British prime minister Herbert Asquith once spent a weekend at the Waddesdon estate of the 19th-century Rothschild family. One day, as Asquith was being waited on at teatime by the butler, the following conversation ensued: “Tea, coffee, or a peach from off the wall, sir?”
“Tea, please,” answered Asquith.
“China, India, or Ceylon, sir?” asked the butler.
“Lemon, milk, or cream, sir?”
“Milk, please,” replied Asquith.
“Jersey, Hereford, or Shorthorn, sir?” asked the butler.
Growing up in a 3rd world country, I am used to having only 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 choices of different products. I remember returning to the States and on my first visit to Walmart, I became amazed that not only do they have Oreos but they have peanut butter Oreo, mint Oreo, double stuffed Oreo, thin Oreo, chocolate stuffed Oreo, birthday cake Oreo, and the list goes on and on. As you see from the cover photo, there is even a cheeseburger Oreo… but surely that is not real… or is it? I could not even find a specific number on the internet that people agreed were the number of Oreo flavors. Probably too many to count 🙂
The West has become accustomed to having so many options, with everything (including their cookies) tailored to their specific wants and desires. Then when we get to church and accept the call of God on our lives… we want a God tailored situation for us… BEFORE we even GO! We want to know already the name of the country, the name of the city, the name of the church, and preferably be sent to a country that speaks English… and… “Oh God, can you throw in a nice house for us with a conveniently located school for our kids, and please go ahead and have conferences set up for us so we can just show up and preach to the masses.” We want to know the exact where, when, and how. Jesus simply tells us, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
God has already tailored our future for us. However, many times He chooses to not reveal it to us all at one time. Also, it is not always how we think it should be. God knows best though, He is kind of good like that.
Again, God DOES call us to specific countries and cities. He will lead us and direct us to a key lost family. I am not saying He won’t. I am just saying that many times we must GO before we KNOW!
“To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.” William Carey, pioneer missionary to India
Like in every aspect of our walk with God, He does not always show us our future. We must walk by faith and that is when God does His best work!
Will you GO?
To read the first article in this series “G-Forces: Give, Go, and Grow,” please click here: Giving Before Going