Tag Archives: evangelism

When God Says: “Go”

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….”

Part 6 of 7

From years ago I remember a Christian song with a tongue-in-cheek chorus which goes:

Please don’t send me to Africa
I don’t think I’ve got what it takes
I’m just a man, I’m not a Tarzan
Don’t like lions, gorillas or snakes
I’ll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle-class life
But please don’t send me out into the bush
Where the natives are restless at night.

“Please Don’t Send Me to Africa” (McHugh and Brown, 1988).

Those lyrics pretty much summed up how I felt about going on a foreign mission trip. Years later, though, I would find myself in the country of Vietnam doing exactly what I said I never would.

When God says “Go,” it’s time to go.

As a woman of faith, how do you know if God is sending you somewhere? My experience, and that of others, shows through the course of continued, routine prayer you may experience “nudges.” Holy Spirit prodding, to be exact. Perhaps you may have heard a sermon about foreign missions or read a compelling book or article, but no matter what, something triggered your thought process. Now you have a sense as you pray that God wants something more from you. Every woman has a conscience which the Holy Spirit enlightens and directs: “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 9:1, NIV).

Next, the idea and/or the geographical location simply won’t leave your mind. And now, that impression is festering inside of you. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21, NIV). As you seek God’s direction, the call to go somewhere for Him becomes all-consuming.

Then, events will “miraculously” line up to make this happen. Vacation time emerges, finances materialize, and confirmation from others occurs. Even more importantly, though, it lines up with scripture. God has a plan for you and knows exactly where He wants to send you, and how to get you there. For example, in Acts 16:6-10 the apostle Paul found the Holy Spirit kept him from preaching the word in Asia and instead directed him to preach in Macedonia.

Finally, nothing else will satisfy until you’ve yielded. Don’t be like Jonah who ran away when God directed him to go to Nineveh to preach. He fled in the opposite direction and ended up in the belly of a great fish before he finally surrendered to God’s divine command (See Jonah 1-3). How much better it is to, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …” (Colossians 3:15a, NIV) rather than continuing in our own course which often leads to discontent.

The spreading of the gospel will not happen by accident, but God will purposely use His people to further His kingdom. My weeks in Vietnam were difficult at times, but lives were touched and I have special memories along with the satisfaction of following when God said, “Go.” Is God telling you to go? Are you available to go?

Father God, I can’t escape the feeling you may be telling me to “Go” into a certain nation to spread your good news. Please grant me discernment about this calling and enable it to happen if it is your will. I’m available to go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Psalm 96:3 (NIV): “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”

Matthew 28:19-20a (NIV): “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Mark 16:15 (NIV): “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

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All the Time in the World?

Nervously clicking the “submit” button, I realized I was holding my breath. Slowly, I exhaled, aware of the importance of what I had just done. This was a sizeable step of faith for me as I submitted my first Christian article for publication. Although I’ve always had a passion for writing, I had done nothing about going public with it until several years ago. What changed my mind?

As I’ve gotten older the reality strikes me that I don’t have much time left. In fact, none of us know when our days on earth may be over. Yet, simultaneously, being newly retired, I also have all the time in the world these days. What a lovely paradox.

I have all this time, but at the same moment, time is short.

With my remaining years I’m compelled to make a difference. As I’ve aged, my priorities have changed and my internal urgency for evangelism and discipleship of others has heightened. The Bible describes this divine compulsion—Jeremiah 20:7-9 details the inner struggle the prophet Jeremiah had when he sunk into discouragement, reluctant to continue proclaiming God’s message, as he had suffered for it when he did. However, Jeremiah’s inner drive kept him obedient and pushed him on. “But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9, NIV) Proclaiming God’s Word was an intense motivation for Jeremiah.

Additionally, in Acts 4:20 we find the apostles Peter and John stating, “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard,” (NIV) in front of the Sanhedrin. This must have been an intimidating experience for them, but they testified they absolutely could not stop speaking about what they had seen and heard while with Jesus. Again, that divine compulsion to make public the good news of Jesus Christ.

Likewise, God’s Spirit in me compels me to undertake this pursuit and proclaim His Word through my writing. What is the Lord nudging you to do? Is your passion sharing the love of Jesus with young children? Are you a talented singer who needs to use your ability in worship at church? Or, do you need to open your home and facilitate a Bible study? Don’t ignore your inner voice spurring you on and stretching you beyond what you feel is possible; because, it’s by His Spirit you will accomplish great things for Him. Savor and invest wisely your allotted days.

The Lord is coming soon. I enjoy joking it’s not about whether your beliefs are pre- or post-tribulation rapture, but rather, in all seriousness, the importance of being pre-pared. Time is short. I hunger for my family and friends to know of and about our Lord Jesus Christ.

Father God, Our time is short and I know you desire me to use it wisely to advance your kingdom. Please show me how to further the gospel and where I need to commit the time to do so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Psalm 90:10 (NIV): “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

Romans 12:11 (NIV): “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:14 (NIV): “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”

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