ANSWERING A MISSIONARY CALL
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
Missions can be defined as God specifically sending a person to reach the unreached for him. The unreached are those people who have not heard the gospel sufficiently enough to be taken over for Christ. The sender is God, and the personality sent is the missionary. The unreached can be within the environment of the missionary or in faraway lands. A Call is imperative for missionary work. The missionary call is just like any other call to Christian service. Many people have shipwrecked their lives because they were not sure of God’s call upon their life. If you are sure of God’s call upon your life, you will not be tossed to and fro by all shades of doctrine. Being called to be a missionary is by God’s grace; it does not follow a stereotyped style. Factors underlying God’s call include acknowledging and receiving a claim of ownership by Christ. You must acknowledge divine ownership upon your life and develop an understanding of God’s will and have the willingness to do it. You should also develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice by having an open mind, an attentive ear and a pure heart. In addition, you should be active in God’s service. A missionary call does not necessarily come through a special revelation. The call can come through a casual remark by a friend or neighbour about the heathen. It can be through a letter received from a missionary or through reading extracts from an article, book or periodical. It can be through a hymn, an anointed message, counselling from an anointed leader or through divinely orchestrated circumstances. Are you prepared to answer the missionary call?
A missionary should be physically fit to withstand adverse situations such as mosquitoes, bad climates, diseases, poor public sanitation and poor medical services. Also, a prospective missionary should at least be at the level of his or her audience. In other words, a missionary must be adequately educated to reach the highest of all the educated folks in the mission field and should be able to meet and discuss with other missionaries at their level. To excel as a missionary, you need a charming personality that is emotionally stable. You should also be able to adapt to the culture and food of other people. There is equally the need for you to be patient and persevering. A missionary should be versatile. He or she should also be submissive to God, the mission board and to his or her superior officers. Finally, whoever wishes to be a missionary should have a thorough experience of salvation, sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
For success on the field, every missionary should ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and ask for these gifts now.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
1 Kings 4-6