What does a ‘call’ from God look like? We’ve probably all heard amazing stories about how “God called me to go to Timbuktu,” or conversely, “I can’t go there because I haven’t been called.” Sometimes I wonder if the way people talk about ‘being called’ creates false expectations about how God guides and uses people. This is especially the case when it comes to the topic of overseas missions.
Does God call everyone?
There are universal calls to all followers of Jesus. We are called to holiness (1 Peter 1:15) and peace (Col 3:15), to suffer
(1 Peter 2:21), bear fruit (John 15:16) and make disciples (Matt 28:19). Sometimes God also lets people know he’s called them to specific tasks. Jeremiah knew he was appointed a prophet before he was born (Jer 1:5), Bezalel was called to design great works of art (Ex 35:30-33), and Paul knew early in his faith that he was called to be an apostle set apart for the gospel (Rom 1:1).
Since the days of the early church there has always been a small number of God’s people who have left their homes, forsaken comforts and often endured great
hardships to take the gospel to far off nations. Why did they go? Did they all hear God’s voice clearly calling them and
directing them which ship or plane to get on?
Our workers say...
I recently asked a number of Frontiers workers, young and old, how they were ‘called’ to take the gospel to some of the most unreached parts of the earth. The thing that struck me was how different their stories are. Some went because God clearly spoke to them but equally common are stories of those who went without hearing that kind of call. There are those who were ‘bothered by statistics’; grieved when they heard that so many Muslim people will never meet a follower of Jesus. Some went because they fell in love with a country or had a sense of adventure and wanted to be useful to God in a place where they felt they were most needed. Others went because they simply wanted to obey the words of Jesus when he told us to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15). And some were invited by friends to join them in this great rescue mission. You can read some of their stories on the following pages.
Of course, we believe it is ultimately God who stirs our hearts and leads and guides us. At times his voice clearly prompts and directs, but he also asks for volunteers to work with him (Isaiah 6:8). Whatever our age or background he frequently uses our passions, gifts and circumstances to direct us, and when we’re willing to be useful to him we usually find he will open and close doors for us.
However, it’s often only in hindsight, looking back on the journey, that many see how God led them each step of the way as they went to the nations to serve him. So as we continue to pray the prayer that Jesus taught us: ‘Send out workers into the harvest’ (Matt 9:38) let’s also step forward to act on the things that stir our hearts for Muslim people.
Get in touch with us to find out how you can pray, give or go.
Phone: 0303 333 5051