“The aim of the missionary is to do God’s will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen;
he is useful and does win the heathen, but that is not his aim.
His aim is to do the will of his LORD.”
I met a missionary today in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. My goal was to run in quickly to pick up some new fabric for a quilt I’m making Malakai, but God had other plans. I saw her when I pulled in, a nicely dressed younger black woman, standing in the tiny bit of shade a young tree offered. She was just standing there, looking around with a smile on her face. My immediate thought was if she needed help, but she didn’t look desperate. I pulled in several parking spots away from her and gave her a little smile. She started walking towards me as I got out of my car and said, “Hello! How are you?” I gave the obligatory, “Fine,” and she responded, “Well, good. I’m just out talking to people about Jesus.” God’s refreshing breeze was passing over me. Right away I noticed her accent, something of African descent. I asked her where she was from, and she said Nigeria. That piqued my interest! I told her that my family was moving to Kenya in January and she asked why. So I said that there was a children’s home we were going to be partnering with, and that my husband was in construction. Her eyes lit up and she pretty much yelled, “And you got called!”
We both started laughing and she went on to tell me that she had been called, too. Not to Africa or Asia, but to her hometown, the Highland Village/Flower Mound/Lewisville area. She shared how God opened her eyes to the immense hurting around her, and asked why she was content with it. He spoke clearly that He wanted her to get out on the streets with people, to directly speak the name of Jesus. We live in an affluent area, but affluence does not equal happiness, as we all know. Why, then, are we not reaching the people around us? We were both in awe that God’s calling came so clearly, that He gave the strength and courage to accomplish it. I can not tell you how encouraged and uplifted I was by my brief encounter with Lolo. She was a gift from the Lord, and her boldness and joy was a testament to the changing power of the gospel.
Why am I ever content with seasons of apathy? My life should always be intentional, focused on furthering the kingdom of God. A pastor from my hometown church recently said that we shouldn’t look for divine appointments throughout our day. Every appointment is divine. God does not guide me sometimes, but all the time. Psalm 139:16 says that, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of the came to be.” If I don’t know the specific calling the Lord has for my life, then I should be fervently asking Him to reveal it to me. And just because He may not answer right away, does not mean that I have permission to sit on my bum doing nothing. I can still be serving the lost, proclaiming Christ and His saving grace, and ministering to people who are hurting.
There is pain in every corner of this world, and it is sad that people, me included, feel that serving Jesus in America is not as glamorous as moving to Africa. Where have we gotten this thought from? Not God, because He says in Matthew 28:19 that we should “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Have we forgotten that America is included in “all nations”?
Now, my family has been specifically called to move to Kenya and come alongside Naomi’s Village. God has confirmed that, and He continues to affirm each step. But that does not mean that one must be called overseas to make an impact for Christ. Lolo showed me what it looks like to walk out God’s calling right here in Lewisville, TX. We see in Mark 2:14 that God told Matthew the tax collector to “‘follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” Then we see the calling of the Gadovene demoniac in Mark 5:19-20, how Jesus told him to “go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Both men received a calling from the Lord, specific and important.
It’s not the place that makes our calling remarkable. It sure is not us. It’s Christ. The fact that God invited us to join His work is in and of itself something to be in awe of. And you know something neat? He desires that for every one of His children. Some of us may move to the other side of the world, and some of us may stay in our hometown, but all of us have a calling. We simply need to ask the Lord to reveal it to us. He is eager to do so.
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32