How do you sense and know whether you are called to missions? It should be obvious that not everyone is called to pack up and go. When the Holy Spirit spoke to the church at Syrian Antioch to set apart Barnabas and Paul for the work He had for them to do, He did not slam the rest of church for being slackers. Some are clearly meant to go and others are meant to send. Paul understood that truth and teaches it in Romans 10:13-15.
But how do you know what your role is? Oswald Chambers said, “A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before.” A missionary often senses a pull forward from the needs of the world, the lostness of mankind, the masses of peoples starving for food and thirsting for clean water—those starving for the Bread of Life and thirsting for the Water of Life. Yet, the truly called missionary feels primarily propelled into world missions from behind, compelled by the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit’s leading. The missionary call is both behind and before.
Matthew Henry also spoke of the inward call and the external call. The inner call is a profound and inescapable sense of the shoulds and oughts on one’s life. The external call is the confirmation by dear believing friends who recognize and affirm one’s gifts and calling for missions.
Much could be said about the wisdom of investing one’s life in missions, but the reality of a missionary call is undeniable to those who have it. Many know very well that they once loved the Lord and longed to serve Him in other ways, but slowly and surely a growing conviction became an awareness of a new life calling in missions. The missionary call is both inward and external and it is at once behind and before. It is behind us in the command of Christ and it is before us in the needs of mankind.
Now, you are saved. Your life is before you. And today there are still untold millions still untold. God is calling many to missions. Have you heard Him call? Listen . . .  

Dr. David Sills

Dr. David Sills is the founder and president of Reaching & Teaching International Ministries, a missions professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaker, and author.

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