Embarking on the journey of becoming a missionary is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and discernment. In this article, we will explore the topic of, “What is God saying to you?” and delve into the distinction between a burden and a calling. Additionally, we will discuss the implications of ignoring either a calling or a burden, as well as the significance of exposure and experience in missions. It is very important to take a close and prayerful look at the following content when asking yourself, “Are you called to be a missionary?”
What is God saying?
To you through His Word
God’s words should always be front and center when it comes to making major life decisions. We know from John 1:14 that Jesus is the Word and Jesus’ great desire for us is to fulfill his destiny for our lives on earth. The influence and guidance of scripture will help lay the foundation of peace and assurance when it comes to making both small and large decisions in life.
To you personally
As a born again believer, we have the Holy Spirit living in us (I Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirits role in our life is to empower us (Acts 1:8) to lead and live Godly lives. As you consider your calling to missions, it’s important to lean into the Holy Spirit and what He is sayings we know that it will always align with with God’s word and His plan and purpose for your life. A great question to ask yourself is if there is a peace between how you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you and God’s word? if not, you are not hearing correctly from the Holy Spirit because the Word and the Spirit will not contradict each other.
To you through others
A third and very important piece of the puzzle when it comes to discerning what God is telling you regarding your call to missions is the council of others and not just “any” others.Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is [a]victory.” It is paramount in any persons life to surround themselves with pastors, leaders, family and friends that are not just “yes” people in your life. When it comes to making major decisions the Bible makes it evident that having a few strategic and key people in your life providing you wise council is a major tool in being able to unearth the right path and decisions for your future.
Differentiating Burden and Calling
It is crucial to distinguish between a burden and a calling. A calling is a specific and clear direction that emerges from God’s will and plan for your life. It encompasses a burden but is distinct from it. A burden, on the other hand, arises from the recognition of a need, but it does not necessarily imply a calling to address that need. Understanding this distinction will help you avoid misinterpreting a burden as a calling.
Ignoring a genuine calling can have significant consequences. Various biblical examples, such as the story of Jonah, illustrate the perils of resisting God’s specific instructions. By staying in a place where you are not meant to be, you risk missing out on the purpose and fulfillment that comes with following your calling.Similarly, disregarding a burden can lead to missed opportunities for growth and impact. While a burden may not encompass the entirety of your calling, it often serves as a gateway to deeper engagement and intercession. Ignoring a burden may mean neglecting an avenue through which you can experience personal transformation and contribute to the well-being of others.
To thrive in pursuing your burden or calling, it is essential to adopt a healthy and God-honoring approach. When it comes to a burden, responding with a plan of action that involves praying, serving, giving, and going can help you navigate your way effectively. On the other hand, walking out a calling in a healthy manner involves prioritizing four key aspects: Christ, Commitment, Covering, and Community. By focusing on these elements, you can stay grounded and avoid drifting away from your calling.
Exposure and Experience
Exposure and experience in missions play a significant role in discerning your path. They bring invaluable insights and help you understand the nuances of your burden and calling more clearly. They also reveal your capacity and aptitude for embracing new cultures, languages, and experiences. Furthermore, exposure and experience unveil your passions and areas in which you come alive, shaping your journey as a missionary.
Discerning your calling to become a missionary is a journey that requires careful consideration and prayer. By seeking God’s voice, confirming through His Word, and seeking wise counsel, you can gain clarity on your calling. Distinguishing between a burden and a calling is essential, as is understanding the consequences of ignoring either. Finally, embracing exposure and experience will provide valuable insights and shape your understanding of your mission. As you navigate this process, remember the words of Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have become alive!”