If there’s one thing that makes me feel sick, it’s reading negative comments on online stores (especially when those comments are about something I love). I’m not entirely sure why I continue to read them, but I seem to find myself doing so quite often.
Someone claims the new album is awful (though they clearly state that they’ve never listened to it). Someone else didn’t like that book because it wasn’t in their line of thinking (though they clearly state that they’ll never read it). Someone thought that app deserved one star because it kept crashing on their ipod (though they never thought about restarting their ipod after downloading it which almost always fixes it).
Negativity is everywhere and the irony/hypocrisy of it is that it’s making this post quite negative. Therefore, here’s a big smiley face to balance it out :D
I bring all of this up because yesterday I took a look at some amazon reviews of a book I’m reading. And while I was reading a three star review (though this book certainly deserves more stars than that), I came across a very annoying statement that I’ve heard several times in the past.
…I also noticed a very specific inclination to missions in the book, it seemed that every time or almost every time God spoke to someone, it resulted in a call to missions. Every one doesn’t have a call to missions…
Actually, they do. It’s called the Great Commission and it’s pretty well known among Christians. But I guess this reader isn’t the only one who’s missed it as I’ve heard this same comment come from several other Christians.
See, when you become a Christian, you have no choice—you are now a missionary. You don’t get to avoid the hard work of serving others simply because you’re not good at it, don’t like it or you don’t have a passion for it. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, you’re still called to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, and there’s no way out of that. It immediately becomes a part of your job when you become a Christian.
On top of that, when you decide to read a book entitled Hearing God’s Voice, you better believe there’s going to be references to missions. It’s so selfish to only want to want to hear God’s voice for yourself and never turn that outwards.
Why? Because others need Christ too. Others are dying to hear God’s voice. And when you actually hear Him speak, it’s called prophecy. The role of the prophets were to speak what God had told them—to be God’s mouthpiece. That’s a form of missions: releasing the word of God to others.
God: “Go to Nineveh and show those people my love.”
Jonah: “But I don’t want to!”
God: “Fine, I’ll take you there myself.”
When you state that everyone doesn’t have a call to missions, you are confusing anointing with call. For as I have said (and so has Jesus and the Bible made clear), we are all called to missions. However, some seem to be highly anointed by the Spirit of God for missions. Take Billy Graham for instance. He saw incredible numbers of people come to Christ in his lifetime.
But just because he’s good at it and you’re not doesn’t mean you get out of it. It doesn’t mean you get off easy and never have to worry about showing anyone Jesus.
Sorry, there’s obviously a lot of passion in this post. I just don’t want to see us abuse the Cross with ideas that try to calm down the call of Christ on us. I’d rather actually see us do something with our Christian life. God knows we already don’t do enough.
Furthermore, our church is getting ready to start a series on missions. So perhaps you can see where some of this passion is coming from.
For more thoughts on hearing God’s voice, take a listen to our latest Apollos session on prophecy.