I write this as I am preparing for my first mission out of the country. The Bible tells us it’s important, imperative even. But how does this happen on a personal level? The idea of going on a mission trip and making disciples has intimidated and scared me – yet gnawed at me for a long time. Opportunities have come up in the past, but the “human“ in me has talked myself out of them every time.
“I have a family to take care of.”
“I have a business I can’t be away from.”
“Our calendar is too busy during that time.”
“I’ve only been a Christian a short while and I won’t know what to say.”
These excuses are still valid today, but why am I going now? Why this time? Prayer is why! In the passage above, the Lord appointed 72 to go. When I prayed about my constant desire to go on mission, the Lord gave me the clarity I needed. The Lord helped me put aside these excuses when I saw how he could grow my faith through it.
When COVID canceled our original trip, I was sad. But when we were told we were rescheduling for November, all the human thoughts and double guessing went back into overdrive. I prayed “earnestly to the Lord” as verse 2 commands, in order for the clarity to come again. He answered every excuse I had.
“But Lord, I have a family to take care of.” — “Your wife is more than capable of taking care of the family while you’re gone. And she also supports missions.”
“I have a business I can’t be away from.” — “Your staff is trained and the business will be OK.”
“But my busy schedule – November is basketball season! I will have both a high schooler and middle schooler playing basketball and I will be coaching my son’s team and…” — “There is never a good time according to YOUR schedule. Your experience from this trip will help you in your local mission field on your return.”
Luke 10 says that the “harvest is plentiful.” This isn’t talking about corn or wheat, but people – spreading God’s word and leading people to Christ. But just how plentiful are we talking? How many are ignorant of Jesus’s love and forgiveness? If the internet is correct (I checked several sources) about 31% of the worlds population claim to be Christian. With the world’s population estimated at 7 1/2 billion people, that means about 5.25 billion are not Christians. That is indeed a very plentiful harvest!!! So we just need to keep witnessing to others and spreading the word to everyone who doesn’t know him. We need to keep on and on and on.
With all this knowledge, why are the laborers few?!?! For me, as it may be for many, it was because of my listening to myself and not the Lord. It was making excuses as to “why not” instead of praying to the Lord about His will. Again we are all different and I know not all are ready to go on a mission in another country but the only way to know for sure is to pray about it.
As members of Belmont we all support missions when we support our church. Look at our budget. We give money to missions both near and far from Calhoun. We recite the great commission each Sunday at the end of each service to remind ourselves of the need to disciple and reach others. And we know there are many local missions as well as foreign missions we can support when the Lord is guiding us.
- What does Jesus say about the harvest? About the laborers?
- What excuses typically pop up for you when faced with the opportunity to do something for God’s Kingdom?
- What role does prayer have in terms of becoming a laborer?