Have you ever heard an evangelist or missionary say they were sent and wondered what they meant? Have you ever prayed that God would send you to a certain place or maybe into a certain field of work but you struggled over being sure if you had really received an answer?
Nothing is more rewarding than being in the center of God’s will and knowing when God is truly speaking to you and exactly what He would have you to do. The problem with being human is that many times we let our own thoughts get in the way. Wishes and dreams about what we want to do or where we want to go can easily cloud our minds and make it hard to determine what is God’s will and what is our own will.
It is only through earnest prayer that the clouds clear and God’s voice can be heard. He gives us opportunities to work and be blessed but He does not force us to obey if we refuse. I have seen this happen in the lives of my sister and brother-in-law, friends and most clearly in the lives of my step-son and his wife.
He had been on two summer mission trips to Africa before he married a lovely young lady who had the same heart for mission work. They had both finished college and were working but still had a desire to “be sent”. I knew they had been praying about this matter so I was not surprised when my boy called and asked what I would think if they went somewhere. I was not surprised at the idea, only that it was coming up soon – in a few months. My heart suddenly was in my throat. I took a deep breath and using my best reassuring, supportive voice I said that I was very proud of both of them and, knowing that they had prayed for the right opportunity, that the Lord would provide and bless.
A few days later he called back to say that he and his wife had prayed that if the mission trip was the right thing for them that they would both be offered a position in the same place. They had received an email offering two teaching positions at the same school – each in the field of their particular college degrees.
There was still the question of funds. How would the trip be paid for? What about living quarters there and what would they do with their beloved pets? Things seemed to be lining up but there were still a few wrinkles to be ironed out.
Every time we talked I could hear excitement in my son’s voice, as he would tell me of one detail after another that the Lord had worked out for them. It was very clear to me now that this trip would happen and I began to pray more for their safety and freedom to witness and less about helping them to be sure they should go.
We planned a going away party and invited friends and family to come and fellowship, bringing with them well wishes and any donations they wanted to contribute. My son explained where they would be going and what they hoped to accomplish in the name of the Lord. One wall of the fellowship hall was covered with shades of blue representing the sky and the ocean that they would be near and the words “Send Me” centered in the sky.
Shortly after our gathering, donations from surrounding churches finished filling in the financial gap. Everything was in place. Documents were ready, their belongings were packed and we were set to visit for a final time before the trip. The mood of the parents and the young couple was similar in our faith that this was right. The difference was in their anticipation and excitement at the new and yet unknown things that awaited them and our fear of the same. My son and his wife shared a strong and unwavering certainty that let me know for sure that this was a trip that was mapped out by God himself. Never did I see or hear any fear or a hint of hesitation or reluctance in either of their voices. It was as if they were getting ready to go away for the weekend.
When they arrived in South America, they were provided with a comfortable place to live and were able to communicate with family and friends from home. Their assignment was for two years and their time has been spent teaching classrooms of children, witnessing to many people about Jesus and learning the culture of a different country.
They have made friends and accomplished the work they went to do. These things were possible because when God gave the call for workers there were two young people willing to “be sent” to a place they had never been, away from all they had known before and be workers for Jesus. In the will of the Lord there is no fear, no dread and no hesitation. That is how you know you have been sent.