I am a full-time missionary. But I wasn’t always one. To serve full-time in the mission field was perhaps the hardest decision I have ever made in my life.
You must be wondering why I would be writing about reasons to not go on mission trips when I am in the field. I suppose you could say these were my reasons for not going on mission trips before I dove in audaciously.
1. If you are afraid to witness firsthand what God is doing in the world.
I was afraid. I was afraid that God would show me what He was doing in the world and worse, even use me and invite me to join in His work. I felt unqualified to be that person He could employ for His purposes. I was lugging with me a massive baggage of insecurity that paralyzed me from taking a step of faith in obedience to Him.
When God first called me to go to missions, I literally ignored the whole idea. For a couple of years, I was able to avoid acknowledging the burden I had felt and successfully overlooked its existence. It reached a point I could no longer pretend that it was not there. It was becoming awfully heavy to carry.
2. If you don’t want to look foolish.
Fear of making a mistake was the prevailing thought in my mind. I didn’t want to look unwise to the world. I was too fearful of taking a misstep and looking utterly reckless (although I knew at the back of my mind God was telling me to do so). I didn’t take a step forward.
Yet, as a Christian and by declaring Jesus as my Lord and Savior, the world has already deemed me nonsensical. To them, I have a ludicrous belief and a misguided faith in someone. However, at that time, I still chose to be afraid of looking like an idiot to the world in exchange for being in line with God’s will.
I had somehow opted to overlook the fact that being in line with His will is the best place anyone could offer me. I should have taken it and grabbed it at maximum speed without any hesitation.
3. If you think God is too small.
I would never readily admit that God is small. But even if I didn’t profess it, this unuttered belief was apparent in the way I had lived. Closely associated to my feelings of insecurity, I had somehow acknowledged that God was not bigger than my lack of qualifying attributes.
Pride, essentially, masqueraded itself as humility. I had allowed myself to conclude that God could not use me because of how inadequate I had felt.
But God is bigger than my feelings, my abilities, and my circumstances. He is larger and greater than everything in this world combined. Yes, I am inadequate but He is more than sufficient to fill my lack. I could never completely fathom the depths of His thoughts, the extent of His plans for me, and the power of His love to work through me for His glory not in spite of my weakness but because of it. It took me awhile to see this truth and to unreservedly embrace it.
4. If you think God can’t do what He says He can do.
I believe in God. It took me awhile to believe Him.
It was easier for me to grasp the undeniable existence of God who is above all. But it was much harder to wholly believe Him—to believe that He cares for me, that He loves me, and that He can do what He says He can do for me, such as deliver me from my enemies or provide for my needs.
I surmise the heart of this issue was my lack of trust in Him. This became evident when I felt the desire to go to China—my first mission trip. I was racked with worry, particularly about finances. How was I supposed to raise thousands of dollars? Where was I expected to get the money?
Yet, when I obeyed Him, He not only gave me what I needed, but also beyond the required amount. He prompted many people to give, some even without my asking. In one of the many awe-inspiring stories that emerged from this episode, a friend gave me all of her first salary. I cried out of overwhelming gratitude to this beautiful person and out of pain for not believing God.
As Christian author Beth Moore once said, “God doesn’t at all mind proving His own people wrong to prove His Word right.” He proved me wrong that day and splintered my flawed beliefs into pieces.
5. And finally, if you think your comfort is more important than obedience to God.
When God called me to go to missions, I was blossoming as a teacher in a relatively new school. I was in love with my work, my students, and the people I worked with. I was comfortable and it was difficult for me to see beyond that comfort. I thought, What else could be better than this? Why would I move from this feel-good chapter in my life and march into an unfamiliar terrain?
God, then, unexpectedly but powerfully showed up, demonstrating to me that what He has prepared will surpass what my mind could conceive on its own. The God of the universe has set a plan specifically for me. What could be more superior than that? My comfort was a small price to pay.
It ultimately boils down to my obedience to Him. When would I want to disobey Him, dishonor Him, or grieve Him? Shouldn’t saddening Him upset me greatly? It should, for He is the most important person in my life.
Even though I am already in the mission field, these faulty reasons still pop up from time to time in my journey as the King’s daughter. Missionaries are not immune to attacks of doubts and fears. But instead of choosing to retreat, I pray to God to give me the tenacity to push forward in whatever He asks of me. I discovered that it is possible to conquer overwhelming arguments of so-called benefits to not heed God’s call. You can be victorious over them.
While I don’t believe that everyone is called to be missionaries to other countries (that’s an article for another time), all Christians are called to be missionaries within their spheres of influence. So these considerations could easily be applied to wherever you are—no matter your geographical location.
May we desire to obey Him with everything we have, to join Him in the work He is doing around us, and to choose to tell others about Him whenever opportunities arise.
K E Z I A’ S B L O G