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3 Ways to “Live Faithful” on the Mission Field


Here's an article by C. Anderson, originally published January 21, 2022. Article reposted with permission from https://www.dmmsfrontiermissions.com.

Join me on an imagination exercise. Think of that day when you first see Jesus face to face. What an incredible moment that will be!

I imagine myself first falling at His feet in worship, tears of joy streaming down my face. I picture him reaching out His hand. He lifts me up to my feet, looks into my eyes, and says, “My beloved.” We embrace for a long time. He speaks gently to me again, looking into my eyes, and says, “Well done, my good and faithful one.” My heart soars and a huge smile spreads across my glowing face!

It is a dream of imagination now, but one day…one day…I long to see His face and hear those precious words come from His mouth.

As Jesus followers, everyone wants to hear Him say, “Well done, faithful one!"

This begs the question. How do we live faithfully on the field, so one day that dream will be a reality?

Living faithfully on the field is about taking care of what God gives. It is opening our ears to hear His guidance, becoming the kind of person the Father shares His heart with. He speaks His mind to those He trusts will faithfully respond.

A faithful missionary life includes:

  • stewarding (taking care of) what God gives

  • carefully listening to His voice for guidance

  • obedience as a daily lifestyle

  • developing a life-style where we reject comfort and convenience and choose to do His will

WHEN GOD SPEAKS

I was praying in my hotel room one day. We were on a trip to a new city. I had been given the responsibility to oversee our mission’s work in that area. We only had a handful of staff there but much to do.

As I spent time with God, I felt a clear sense of deep connection. As I sat before Him listening, there arose an unusually strong sense of conviction in my inner being. “There needs to be a large missions conference here. I want to mobilize thousands of young people from this place to reach the unreached.”

Wow, God! That is awesome!” I responded with excitement. “I wonder who you will use to do that.

The idea was brilliant. I was interested in what He’d spoken. There were many Christians in our part of India who could be sent out to the unreached nearby. As I continued to listen, God spoke more. I began to see pictures in my mind. They further described the things He wanted to do.

I knew this was from Him. He had spoken so clearly. It isn’t always this clear. This time it was! But what should I do with this Word????

For a few days, I continued to pray and listen. I then shared what God had said with my husband and a few other team members. Each one confirmed it, agreeing that what I sensed was from the Lord. Taking the next step, I began talking with fellow leaders.

Some of them had led large conferences before. I asked, “Would you be willing to come and lead this kind of gathering in our area?”

Since I believed this was from God, I shared the idea with great passion. Strangely, none of them responded with a “yes” to do this.

One leader I had known a long time, listened with interest. “It sounds like God is speaking to you,” he said. “Maybe, if God gave you the vision, you are the one who is supposed to lead this.”

Awwwkkk! Not me!” I thought. I had never led a meeting for more than around a hundred people. The vision God was showing me was of thousands and thousands of young people released into missions. My friend’s words stuck with me like glue. I couldn’t shake them out of my head. I knew being faithful to what God spoke, meant I would need to step out in faith. I’d need to take risks and move forward in obedience.

To make a long story short, two years later, we hosted a missions conference with 1,500 registered and around 10,000 in the open-air evening meetings! When the main speaker canceled, I ended up giving the final night’s message to that massive crowd. Hundreds of youth streamed to the front, responding to the call to reach the unreached. It was utterly amazing! What a blessing to obey and watch what God does!

3 WAYS TO LIVE FAITHFULLY ON THE MISSION FIELD

In the Matthew 25 passage, faithfulness meant taking what had been given and multiplying it. The servant who was faithful put his mina (coin) to work. He didn’t leave it sitting, or bury it. He invested it.

Being faithful is not only about the physical things we are given. It is also about the dreams, vision, guidance, and desires God has shared with us. It’s about walking them forward, step by step.

1. LISTEN TO HIS VOICE.

First, we position ourselves to hear God speak. How do we do that? We need to be the kind of person He would share His dreams with! That means developing a life of intimacy with Jesus. On the mission field, it is easy to get busy with ministry, projects, and even the constant pressures of doing what it takes to live life in your location. Times with God can become rushed, routine, or even mundane. We do our missionary duty and have our devotions, but there is no life. The sense of closeness fades. God wants to draw us into that place where we can pour out our hearts to Him. He also wants to share His longings with us, His dearest friends.

Are you hearing His voice? Have you positioned yourself as a friend God can confide in?

2. BE OBEDIENT AND TAKE RISKS OF FAITH.

Given a chance, God will speak. He wants to talk to His followers. There is much on His heart! He has plans to solve the world’s worst problems through His people. Creative solutions wait to be released. There are mountains He wants to move. In the current pandemic, I’ve often wondered…what would happen if Christian scientists started really listening to God’s solutions on how to solve this global issue rather than looking to their own wisdom and knowledge.

Once He speaks, how do we respond? Our faithfulness is demonstrated by our actions.

We don’t have to be perfect. God does love it when we take immediate steps of faith. Most likely, the things God has spoken, are much bigger than your own capacity, skills, and experience. Is Jesus calling you, like Peter, to get out of the boat? To walk on water? Trust Him and step out in faith.

3. CAREFULLY BE A STEWARD OF HIS WORD AND THE VISION HE GAVE YOU.

A good steward not only takes initial steps of faith. They continue to walk by faith until they see the dreams of God fulfilled. This requires perseverance. We face obstacles, difficulties, and spiritual warfare as we move forward. What do we do at that point? A faithful steward pushes through the problems. They ask God for further guidance. Faithful stewards refuse to give up until the vision is accomplished. They know God’s words will come to pass, and that He will accomplish His purpose (Prov. 19:21). This journey of risk-taking and obedience develops the character of Christ in us (Rom. 5:3,4).

WHAT DREAM ARE YOU STEWARDING?

Are you living faithfully on the mission field? What dream has God shared with you? What word has He spoken that you knew was for you? Are you still listening? Keep going forward! He is going to accomplish what He promised through you!

Maybe you’ve been paralyzed by fear. Perhaps you pushed aside and conveniently forgot about the things He spoke to you years ago.

Repent for not stewarding His words, direction, or vision. Receive his forgiveness- it’s yours! Reach out for His help to take risks of faith.

He is with you! He loves you. You are His beloved! By His grace, you will also one day be called His “faithful one.”

- C. Anderson

Original Post: https://missionarylife.org/living-faithful-mission-field-missionary-life/

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