I didn’t always dream of being a missionary.
When I was a kid my future profession ranged anywhere from school teacher to astronaut to author. It wasn’t until I had gone on my first mission trip in high school that I knew for sure that I wanted to give my life to spreading the Gospel and helping those in need.
I was shy and scared to speak in front of people, yet I knew that somehow God could use me to tell others about Him.
I didn’t have a bible degree (and still don’t) but I trusted that the Holy Spirit would guide me through the Word and give me the wisdom I needed.
I was only 14 when I came to this decision and by 17 I had pushed aside the typical American dream for a God-inspired dream.
I am now 26 and have the privilege of serving the Lord full-time with my husband and our three girls. It isn’t always easy, or fun, but it is what we have been called to do and that is where we find the most joy.
You’ve been called to do it too.
No, I don’t mean that you’ve been called to a foreign country or to the “missionary” profession (though I think many have been called to this profession and never take the plunge). I do believe though, that every single Christian has been called to be a full-time missionary of the Gospel of Christ. Yes, even you.
It doesn’t matter what your profession is; doctor, teacher, janitor, if you have Christ as your Savior you should be in full-time ministry for Him. You should wake up in the morning asking God what He has for you today. You should look for opportunities to show God’s love. You should be eager to speak the Gospel message wherever you are.
I know. You don’t have a Bible degree. You’re nervous about what others will think of you. You already serve in your church, isn’t that enough?
I can remember clearly the first time I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to speak to someone in the United States about Him, just a short time after I had joined the ministry and taken on the profession of a missionary.
I was driving home from a friend’s house and stopped at a small gas station. I put my card in at the pump to pay, but it didn’t work. I pulled up to the next pump and tried it with the same results. I was irritated because it was late and I needed to get home to pack (I was going to Nicaragua the next day) so I hurriedly went inside to pay. As I looked at the lady I felt an urging to share the Gospel with her. Instead I smiled, went back out to my car and as I pumped the gas I thought of all the reasons not to talk to her.
There were people in there, sure to hear. She had probably heard it before and lets face it, probably wouldn’t respond to anything I said.
But despite all the reasons not to speak up, I decided to dig deep, find some courage and do it anyway.
So I went back in, bought a Gatorade then started talking. I’m sure I stumbled over my words and blushed from the embarrassment of having so many people looking and listening, but I did what God had impressed on my heart to do. In the end, she told me she wanted to accept Jesus, right then and there. I could hardly believe it.
God had an appointment for me that day and despite my own weakness, insecurities and doubts, He used me, unworthy, unfaithful me, to lead someone to Him.
For me, it changed my life. I had already committed to spreading the Gospel but there was something different about doing it in the United States, at an unplanned time, in a gas station. I wasn’t in Mexico speaking to the desperately poor and I wasn’t with a group of people all doing the same thing. It was just me and God and this woman behind a counter.
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, it was at that moment that I became a full-time missionary.
You see, being a missionary isn’t always about packing your bags and travelling to foreign lands.
It isn’t a title or even a profession.
It is about giving everything you have and everything you are to the will of our Father in Heaven.
It is about putting aside what you want, what makes you comfortable and what you makes you happy to allow God to use you in ways you never dreamed possible.
It is about sharing Jesus all the time.
If you ask me what I do, I will tell you I am a wife, mom, home-maker, teacher and yes, a missionary, but those are all just titles. Every day I struggle to fulfill my true calling:
To give myself full-time to the will of Christ.
I strive to be a full-time missionary.
How about you?