by Rick Warren
“‘Don’t say that,’ the Lord replied, ‘for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you.'” (Jeremiah 1:7-8, NLT)
Rick Warren joins us again today. Tomorrow we start a devotional series by Jon Walker on developing a clean heart —
Maybe you believe you need a special missions “call” from God, and you’ve been waiting for some supernatural feeling or experience to get you started.
But God has already stated his call repeatedly. We are all called to fulfill God’s five purposes for our lives: to worship, to fellowship, to grow like Christ, to serve, and to be on mission with God in the world.
God doesn’t want to use just some of his people; he wants to use all of his people. We are all called to be on-mission for God. He wants his whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world.
Many Christians have missed God’s plan for their lives because they’ve never even asked God if he wanted them to serve as a missionary somewhere. Whether out of fear or ignorance, they’ve automatically closed their minds to the possibility of serving as a resident missionary in a cross-cultural location.
If you’re tempted to say no, you ought to check out all the different ways and possibilities that are now available (it will surprise you), and you ought to seriously pray and ask God what he wants from you in the years ahead. Untold thousands of resident missionaries are desperately needed at this critical point in history, when so many doors are opening wide like never before.
It’s time we shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill the Great Commission. And remember what we discussed: The Great Commission includes you and your service.
Yet, hare some common excuses:
· “I only speak English.” This is actually an advantage in many countries where millions of people want to learn English and are eager to practice it.
· “I don’t have anything to offer.” Yes, you do. Every ability and experience in your SHAPE can be used somewhere.
· “I’m too old” (or too young): Most mission agencies have age-appropriate short-term projects.
Whether it was Sarah claiming she was too old to be used by God or Jeremiah claiming he was too young, God rejected their excuses: “‘Don’t say that,’ the Lord replied, ‘for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you.'” (Jeremiah 1:7-8, NLT)
So what does this mean?
· If you want to be like Jesus — you must have a heart for the whole world. There are over 6 billion people on earth, and Jesus wants all his lost children found. Jesus said, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live!” (Mark 8:35, LB)
· The Great Commission is your commission and doing your part is the secret to living a life of significance. You don’t need a special “call” from God to go on-mission; that’s been his plan all along. It may be long-term, or it may be short-term. Ask him to tell you.
· ‘Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone’ – That’s what Jesus told his disciples. Today, every corner of the world is available to us—we have no excuse not to spread the Good News. Think of ways you can go on-mission simply by using the Internet or your phone.