Today I had lunch with a good friend who has been called with his wife to an evangelistic ministry reaching out to third-world students attending college. What a beautiful fruitful ministry. They have seen our Lord use them to bring many to Christ. It is common to find my friend and his wife sitting in our church services with people who are seeing worship of the true God for the first time. And, praise God, it has been wonderful to see these people give their lives to Him and worship Him by being baptized in our church.
Sitting there looking at my friend, I thought, “Who would choose him for this ministry?” He’s a quiet techie guy. He’s not outgoing (at least, not on the surface). He doesn’t look strong, able to take the beating, the daily disappointments that come with every evangelistic ministry. There is nothing that would seem to indicate this is God’s purpose for him. But God did call him to this ministry. And God uses him, and we see the fruit.
My Surprising Call to a Foreign Country
Then I look at myself. One day, over 10 years ago, I sensed God calling me to go to Afghanistan. Afghanistan! Ridiculous! I know nothing about that place, and I’m no aid worker. But God knew I was. And I knew He wanted me to go. I told friends and family and got zero confirmation. Opposition galore. But I knew it was what God was asking me to do. So I went. Three times!
A lot happened on those trips. On one, I almost died from heat stroke (praise the Lord for a nearby army base and the medic who hydrated me). And I often wonder, “What eternal good came from them?”
But I see one wonderful result every week at church—Jake and Tza and their three children. Jake is a friend who lives nearby. Tza was a missionary from the Philippines who taught English to students at Kabul University. Jake went with me to video my work in Afghanistan. He met Tza there. If I had not answered God’s call, there would be no Papa Jake and Mama Tza walking the children into our church every week. Just because I answered God’s call.
A Call to Produce a New Bible
And then there’s The Readable Bible. Who would choose me? A poor English student in high school and college. A middling Greek and Hebrew student. A businessman/pastor/teacher, not a scholar. Yet I believed it was what God was calling me to do. And today, we see that a new Bible, the most readable one ever, will be released book by book over the next three years!
Who would have called Paul—an enemy of the church, a Jew of Jews—to take the gospel to the Gentiles? Only God. Who would have called Peter and Andrew, two simple fishermen, to be “fishers of men?” Only God. What righteous person would call Matthew—a tax collector who oppressed the Jews, a friend of sinners—to be a follower if he wanted to reach Jews? Only God. And who would call you to work at what you seem least likely to succeed at? Only God.
So let me ask you: “What is God calling you to do?” “Do you feel unqualified?” So what if you do? Do not miss God’s call just because you don’t see yourself in the role He’s called you to. See yourself as obedient to Him, live obedient to Him and then you will see the fruit of his ministry to you and through you to those He wants to bless.