Summary: A call to Mission Work.
Here we Go Again!
Eight years ago, God called one of my best friends to go to the Mission Field. I was mad at God for calling him and mad at Eddie for listening.
Eddie Pastored a large, influential church about 100 miles away from where I served. He was my pastor. When I had a problem, I turned to him for counsel. If I was discouraged, I’d call Eddie and when things were going well we celebrated together. Then God ripped him out of my life.
One afternoon, before their appointment, Eddie asked me to talk to his wife. The Mission Board was hesitant in appointing them to their assignment because his wife, though she was willing to go, had some doubts. As we began to talk, I heard God’s voice. I was tempted to encourage her doubts so I could keep my friend, but I clearly heard God say to me, “Don’t interfere with what I’m doing!”
Obedient to the Lord, I fanned the embers of her faith and watched a passion to follow God’s will begin to blaze in her heart. I’ve lost my friend. He is an undercover missionary and cannot have substantial contact with religious leaders in the states. I grieve the loss, but now I feel I’ve really given something to missions. I’ve given something that has cost me something.
2 Samuel 24:24 NASB However, the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
Today I’m left asking the question what would happen if God said GO and we said NO? God is fond of saying go. The word appears 2015 times in the bible. For a quick comparison of the impact of that number, I’ll tell you the word STAY only appears 319 times.
What if Abraham had said NO when God said GO?
What if Moses said NO when God said GO?
What if Ruth said NO when God said GO?
What if Paul said NO when God said GO?
I don’t have to understand, nor explain why God says Go, I just have to obey Him when He does.
Functioning as a journalist on assignment for GROWING CHURCHES Magazine, I sat in Rev. Haney’s office in Lake Village, Arkansas asking him about the lasting impact a recent Mission Trip had on their church. He told me about the professions of faith and church growth his church experienced. He explained that after receiving help from a California Church, his Church sent a crew of men to put a roof on a neighboring church to get them out of the rain and how they were planning on going to inner city Los Angeles on another mission. He told me about lives that were impacted, then he told me how the trip begin to chip away at the racism in the community.
As he spoke, he began to expose his vision. He wants to change the “Mamma sleeps with any man” culture of some of the families in his community. He wants to get kids off the streets and into the kingdom. His church is tearing down the shacks in town and building homes that give the occupants dignity. He wants to change the world in his community.
I noticed I wasn’t writing anymore. “Next year,” he said, “I’d love to have a dozen mission trips.” I quit listening to him and started listening to God who I clearly heard say “GO!” Up until that point, I hadn’t told him I was a pastor. Then I asked, “Can we come . . .can our church help?”