Are You Called to Missions?
June 2022

By Michael Smiel, US Office

Are you called to missions? A lot of believers struggle with this question. What is a calling from God anyways? When I start asking questions like that it usually raises more questions and trains of thought until I finally bog down in a mire of doubt. What am I supposed to do with my life? What does God want? What if I don’t get it right? What if I fail at it? So forth and so on until I don’t feel like I’m making any progress. I did this a lot for a long time (and still catch myself doing it!), until I realized it was less complex than I was making it out to be. Are you called to missions? Am I? The simple answer is, “Yes.” 

The Call 

I have found myself wishing God would just vocally say exactly what my calling is. As it turns out, he already did. Matthew 28:19-20a says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you...” Jesus commands the disciples to make disciples of all nations. They are to go, baptize, and teach them to observe (keep) Jesus’ commands. A calling is simply our way of packaging up, “this is what God wants me to do.” The Bible is full, cover to cover, of God’s calling on our lives; who we are to be, what we are to do, and how we are to do it. In the case of missions, we are to make disciples of all nations...every one of us as followers of Jesus. 

Ask. Listen. 

The confusing part can be the who, the what, the when, the where, the how. Hopefully you know why. Jesus is our one hope! All of these bits of information are important. Who will I go to? What will I do? When will I go? Where? How? The Spirit is key here. In Acts we see the disciples going to the nations and we find a lot of moments where “the Spirit said” (Acts 8:29, 10:19), which then led the disciples to a new people. You won’t have all the answers all the time. It takes asking those questions of the Lord through prayer and listening.  

Pull on the Thread 

It also takes a willingness to do what my wife and I began referring to as “pulling on the thread.” I imagine a red thread that goes off into the distance. I’m not always sure where it is going but I follow it until I find the next thing that it's tied to. We often do this with curiosity, experimentation, and wonder. Sometimes we do this with frustration and impatience. Sometimes we stay there for a while. Sometimes we move on quickly. However, we try to do our best to look to the Lord and be faithful in continuing to follow the thread. This is akin to Philip taking the road on which he eventually meets the Ethiopian (Acts 8) or Peter going with the men who were looking for him (Acts 10). Simply put, you have to take action and follow where God leads. 

Don’t Forget 

It can be difficult, scary, or anxiety-inducing to go and do what the Lord asks. It probably will be, whether that means across the street to a neighbor, across the world to make a new life with new neighbors, or to give financially to enable someone else to go also. I think that’s why Jesus gave us this particular calling to go make disciples of all nations sandwiched between two important truths. In Matthew 28:18 he declares to his followers, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Then he says in 28:20b, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus is not some powerless person with no authority or ability that is worlds away, yet asking you to do something difficult. He is capable and he is with us on a mission that he has called us to join in with him. He is capable. He is present. We are called. Let’s answer! 

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