Someone once asked me how I could be so sure that God had called me to be a missionary.
I think the question should have been worded like this:
Are you a Christian, or are you... not?
Because for me, I can either be a missionary, or I can be an atheist.
But, here is the much longer version of my answer that I posted more than a year ago.
My purpose in missions has always been clear to me. From the very beginning of my walk with Christ, I knew that He had called me to proclaim the gospel- to tell others what He had done for me.
Being in missions has never been an option for me. Every time I open the Bible, every time I sing a hymn, every time I hit my knees in prayer, the message I receive has always been the same. "Go". That command has echoed in my ear from the time I was a young teenager.
God's desire for his people to carry the gospel to "all nations" has always been crystal clear to me. When I read the story of Cain, I saw God's mercy, and I focused in on how this murderous man carried the story of God's grace far from his own home.
When I read the story of Abram, I saw how God desired so greatly that all people would be offered salvation.
I read the stories of Jonah, of Daniel, of Nehemiah, and all I could see was how these men were God's ancient missionaries. As a young person, just a babe of a Christian, I realized that I had no choice but to be a missionary.
God has placed in me a heart that longs to share his grace with people who do not have access to it. When I think about people in far away lands, people who have to beg for Bible studies, people who walk for miles to worship a God they don't even know yet, people who are hurting and who have little or no access to any good news, my heart breaks.
I know that I am called to missions, because there is no other option for me. Either I am who I say I am, and believe what I say I believe...
or I am not.
I say I am a Christian, which means that I have been forgiven from a crud load of evilness (trust me- I am full of badness. FULL of it). How can I not follow the command I have been given to "Tell the gospel to ALL nations"? How can I say I am a follower of Christ and ignore the command he gave to me?
Furthermore. Those who are reading this who are Christians (I do have a few readers who do not follow Christ), I also know that YOU have been called to missions. Either the Bible is true...
or it is not.
Go. God has not called you to stay. He has called you to GO. It is written on every page of that book you call the Word of God.
You can not share the gospel of Christ by staying. At the very least you will have to go across the street, but I think God has bigger plans than that. He desires that we cross our own comfort zones, that we minister to people who are outside of our own cultural boundaries. He wants ALL people to know of His love, and He has chosen to use YOU as a tool.
Go. Go to the grocery store. Go to the moms group. Go to the inner city near where you live. Go to the homeless shelter in your town. Go somewhere, but Go.
Because God did not tell us to stay. He told us to GO.
And THAT, is how I know I have been called to missions.