Here I am! Send me.

I’ve grown up with a developing heart for missions. Through the years of school Mom read my sisters and I, or on our own we would read the compelling stories of missionaries such as David Livingston, Cameron Townsend, Gladys Aylward, Betty Green, Amy Carmichael, Elisabeth and Jim Elliot, Keith Green, Brother Andrew and many others. We studied the 10/40 Window and read about the ancient cultures of the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans and how in some of their communities they came to believe in the One, True God because they had eternity written in their hearts. My heart strings have been especially tugged by the story of Floyd and Sally McClung in Living on the Devil’s Doorstep and David Wilkerson’s story in The Cross and the Switchblade.

Each of the stories we read inspired me and made me realize that somehow I one day wanted to help in the efforts of people like this to bring God glory and share the good news of his saving grace to the world. I need to develop my oral communication skills so I can go out and speak to anyone on the streets in a captivating and powerful way about Jesus but I also want to use the gifts God has given me in some way. I enjoy writing, photography, English studies, teaching and storytelling. Can I use these areas of interest to further God’s kingdom? Yes, I can, but how will it be?

Youth with a Mission organization has been on my heart for the past several months. I am continually meeting people who have taken discipleship classes and done other missions work through YWAM. With a beaming smile on their face they each excitedly tell me about their time and experience spent serving God in that way. Is God leading me to do the same? Where? When? How? I could learn a lot through something like this but I could also learn on my own as I’m practicing the helpful skills for ministry day to day through evangelizing and helping people in need. What better education than experience?

I want to live a surrendered life with purpose by bringing hope to the hopeless. I want to do what I enjoy and develop my talents but for God’s glory, not my own. I have so many opportunities and ideas of what to do and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

Jesus, here I am! Send me. Please show me where you want me to go and please keep my heart humble so I do these things for you, not for me.

2 responses to “Here I am! Send me.

  1. Laurel, you have an amazing heart. God is leading me to share this thought:

    The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

    The beauty of Isaiah’s “Send me!” proclamation was his willing response to having experienced the presence and power of the Almighty. Isaiah didn’t need to rest in oratory skill to speak the Word of the Lord; he had received the empowerment of the Spirit through his desire to be a holy vessel.

    So it is with you. The Lord has placed a strong anointing on your heart that begins and ends with Christ’s love and the Spirit’s power. The hopeless do not become hopeful because a man or woman constructs a wonderful presentation; they hear these every day and continue to live in poverty, sickness, and despair. Rather, the lost are drawn to His Gospel of love and grace, and you are fully equipped to share that message today.

    Is there benefit in training? Sure. I also have many friends that have wonderful tales from ministering through YWAM and other similar organizations. However, these exist primarily to offer opportunities to meet the needs of the hopeless; there is no fleshly skill that can be learned to better communicate the love of Christ. God will certainly use whatever is set aside for a holy purpose, because He wants to be glorified through using you as His vessel. But even if you had none of these things, you would still be fully equipped to speak His Word today — it is His Spirit (and not the persuasion of man) that draws creation back to Himself.

    That which distinguishes the missionaries you mention from the average believer is not skill or training. These men and women lived their life by a continual submission to the Spirit’s leading and through the overflow of Christ’s love. None of them are remembered because of a wonderful illustration or sermon that they constructed; they are revered for their compassion, perseverance, and humility. Isaiah reminds us that the Lord is the one that anoints us, sends us, speaks through us, and indwells us to comfort the broken.

    The mission field is all around you, and the love of Christ transcends every barrier. Even while you plan for the future, don’t wait until tomorrow to walk in this anointing. Fall at His feet and ask Him to reveal the hopelessness around you and grow in confidence that you are empowered to do His good work.

    • Anthony,

      Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts, they are good and encouraging to hear. I agree with you, I don’t need special training to serve God. I can do that now, where I am and with the tools I have. Sometimes I just feel like I could do so much more and be better prepared if I took classes at a place like YWAM, especially if I were to do missions in another country in the future. Then again, what is better than experience in sharing the gospel, learning and living? That’s what I’m doing now and I should probably just stick with it. I really don’t need a school to tell me how I can use my talents.

      Yes, I know the missionaries I mentioned were not who they were because of any special training they had and I didn’t mean to imply they were but I mentioned them simply because I want to be like them. I admire the complete submission and set-apartness they gave to Jesus with their lives. I find myself thinking I would become closer to God if I set aside time in my life to devote to something like a YWAM DTS . . . but that’s nonsensical. It’s not where I am or who I’m with that matters, it’s what my heart desires. I can be just as devoted, excited, and in-love with Jesus from home as anywhere else.

      Life is one long wait. We wait for the day we can drive, we wait for the last day of school, we wait for our spouse, we wait for a great career opportunity, we wait for children, we wait . . .

      While I’ve known this fact to be true I’m glad I have to be reminded of it (as I was a couple times recently) to actually consider it again because this means I’m actually living contentedly. From moment to moment I’m filling each instead of simply waiting for the next. Yes, I wait on God but I’m not sitting still. God does not teach us to shut ourselves into a dark room to wait and know his will. He teaches us to move and seek as we live in obedience and wait for him to reveal his plans for us.

      When I wonder about my future I have no reason to worry; he has proved faithful in my life so far and he promises to remain so.

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