In Acts 13:1 we see a community of believers that knew what it was like to encounter God’s power. Paul and Barnabas and a few others while worshipping God and fasting, heard the unmistakeable voice of God. See Gods leading voice is discernible whenever you encounter God. Sure it may not be an audible voice, or any sort of a voice. It may be a sense, or a vivid image of what to do. Regardless of how his guidance comes, I believe it will be navigational, leading you to God’s will for your life.
For Paul and Barnabas and co., it was a voice. God spoke clearly that they were to go to spread the good news of the gospel abroad.
In this article I am going to briefly share, how to get on mission from God.
1. Encounter Gods presence
Paul in his letters portrays that he knew he was on mission for God. In fact in Galatians 1:1, he calls himself an apostle. An apostle is one who is sent on assignment by another. Of course, he is referring to his divine call to go on missions to the Gentile world, which included Galatia. The very first step in getting on mission from God is probably the most foundational. Many want to serve, make their life count, and leave a mark on humanity, yet they find direction from almost every other source except God. How can this be? Wouldn’t you go to the creator, the author of life to find out best how to impact his creation? This is exactly what Paul did, and I want to urge you to do the same, as you embark of figuring out Gods assignment for your life.
2. Clarify your call
Before his Acts 13 call to missions, Paul had encountered God several times, and in particular on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, where he was converted to Christianity. In the first few days of this primary encounter with God, Paul knew that he was called to missions. Yet he chose to spend some time clarifying the call of God and details of his assignment. He departed to the Nabatean kingdom in Arabia (see Galatians 1) and spent some time there in isolation. He could easily have gone to Damascus and start preaching or found his way to Jerusalem to announce himself, yet he didn’t. Instead he chose to allow Gods call on his life really sink in, and be time tested. This was a period of several years. Over this time, he matured, he developed and he was anchored in his call, and the message he was to spread abroad.
Can I encourage you that Isolation isn’t always so bad?
IN particular after God has spoken his call to you. Isolation leads to Preparation which leads to fulfilling your mission. What has God spoken over your life? Is it something vocationally? Or ministerially? Or even personally?
If you feel an abiding sense of import with this message, maybe it’s a call like Paul. Then I urge you to find some time alone. It could be over small chunks of time, or over an extensive period, or taking a weekend retreat, or a week long prayer or planning retreat. Whatever you do, don’t lose track of your sense of calling. Dig deep. Ask the hard questions. What are your motives? What will it cost? Who will be impacted? What if you fail? How will God be glorified?
3. Step out and do it.
After receiving a call, and preparing your self, the final thing we see Paul do was he stepped out.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
In these verses, we see God spoke, and then they went off.
Going is probably the hardest part of this 3 step process of fulfilling your mission. There are a 101 reasons as to why not to go? “It’s not the right time. You are not prepared enough. What will happen to……….. ” And so forth.
Despite the excuses, you need to step out and go.
Paul went with Barnabas. This shows me that we need help in fulfilling our mission. Maybe someone will go physically with you, but quite often it’s the moral support that really counts. Make sure you don’t do this stepping out thing alone.
As you purpose in your heart that you will go, then God will provide the who, and the what, so you can make your assignment complete.
– Pastor Olu Jegede