I just want to share a little bit of what God has been teaching us over the past few days. This is pretty much a giant online journal brain-dump! So bear with my rambling and hopefully the Lord can take these words and make them mean something to someone else too.
As some of you may know, we have been in contact with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) since last September. We have some college Bible credits that we need to get out of the way before we can officially begin the application process, but it has been something that has been kind of “in the works” and something we have been praying about.
This past Friday, the recruiter that we have been working with came to our home for a visit and to work through an estimated timetable of when and how everything would happen if we were to pursue this full-steam. It was great to get an estimate but it was also a little shocking and overwhelming that in less than a year, Marcos could quit his job and we could be full-time “missionaries” with MAF. Of course, it would be another year and a half before we actually left the States but, still, it becomes a lot more of a reality when you start putting dates on it.
However, over the past few months and especially as we talked to the recruiter on Friday, I have begun to have serious doubts about my “calling” to the mission field. There are a lot of things that I am very passionate about that are not location specific. Raising a family, supporting my husband, being involved in some sort of ministry to underprivileged/orphan kids, maybe even sports ministry, can all be accomplished here in the States just as well as in a foreign country. I have never had a 100% sure belief that God was calling me to foreign missions. Ministry, yes. Missions, maybe?
So, I tried to go back to the basics. What I know to be true.
I am called to be a missionary. Matthew 28:19-20. Pretty basic.
So, the next question is where?
Anywhere I am. Everywhere I go. Every day.
I think the reason I am hesitant to go to the mission field is because I don’t see my community here in Oklahoma City as a mission field. Oh, I say that I do, but in reality, in the deceitfulness of my heart, I don’t. I don’t feel “ready” to go out of my comfort zone, to be accountable to be in the Word and in prayer daily, to live a life that is not “normal” by my own definition.
In my head, these are my options. 1: Go be a missionary in some remote country and have a hard life that is completely surrendered to the Lord. 2: Stay here and have a comfortable life and do whatever I want.
But if I look to the Bible, those are not my options. If I boil it down, my real struggle is not whether I want to be a foreign missionary or not, my struggle is do I want to surrender and serve God or not?
Comfortable Christianity is so common in our culture. We can be Christians and have a comfortable little god but still run our lives the way that WE want to. Of course we’ve all heard this but I think we tend to think that is someone else, maybe a new Christian or someone who is not really serious about their walk with God. But the more I have looked at this in scripture and the more God is revealing in our hearts, I am beginning to realize that this is ME!
We need Jesus to change our mindset that it is only “missionaries” that have to be challenged out of their comfort zone and give up some of the conveniences of life. Even if we never end up on a foreign mission field, I hope that God continues to work in our lives so that our lives are a constant mission. Missions is not a job that you go to from 8-5 and then you get to be “off”. There is no time off. We are called to live on mission.
BUT THAT IS SCARY!!!!
So we don’t do it. We convince ourselves that a little Bible-reading, going to church, and living a moral life is all there is to Christianity.
We let lesser things distract us from total, radical surrender to what God is calling us to. Galatians 5:20 “selfish ambitions” is named as one of the works of the flesh. “…the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” Galatians 6:8
But how often does selfish ambition define my life? What do I worship most days? Selfish ambitions. I sow to the flesh rather than sowing to the Spirit.
I need to see Jesus as the most glorious thing. I need to stand in awe of His gospel. If I saw Him for who He truly is, in all of His glory, I could not help but respond in complete surrender and submission to His plans for my life.
So, will we be “real” missionaries someday? I have no idea. But whether we are somewhere halfway around the world or right here in OKC I want our lives to be uncomfortable. Am I ready for that step? NO! I am scared to death running in the other direction most of the time. But the cry of our hearts is for God to make that our desire. Somehow.