You may have heard that my family is moving to Malawi in September. We believe the Lord is leading us to serve with SIM in Malawi as missionaries in discipleship and healthcare. So how do we get to the place of hearing and following God’s call?
The language we use can sometimes be confusing so I will break down how it worked for me as I listened to God and then followed His lead. The first step in hearing from the Lord is always through His Word, the Bible. Regular reading of God’s Word is primary in knowing what God calls us to do. If you sense God is leading you to something but it is contrary to the Bible, it is not God speaking to you. God will never lead you to do something contrary to His Word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As I read the Bible, I knew that God is for making disciples among the nations. Throughout the Bible, God speaks about all nations following Him and Jesus commanded in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations. So the first step in hearing God’s call was confirmed for me through the Bible.
The next step for me is through my prayer time with the Lord. As I spent time praying and seeking God’s direction, the desire to move back to Malawi was consistently in my prayer time. The more I prayed the more I sensed it was something God wanted for my family. The desire lined up with the Bible and the gifts and talents the Lord has given me and also a peace was sensed in my prayer time with the Lord.
After those two areas were lined up and we began to tell others about or desire to return to Malawi as missionaries, it was confirmed by Godly men and women. Multiple leaders in the church, including Pastor Craig, confirmed our readiness for missions and were supportive of our desire to return to Malawi. If the leaders in our church would not have confirmed readiness, we would have slowed down and not continued at the same pace. Even though my desire was not against Scripture and I had a peace in my prayer life, others are important in confirming the leading from the Lord as others see things in my life that I may miss. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
Are all people going to hear God’s call to the mission field in a cross cultural setting? No. But God does desire for each person to hear from Him and follow His lead. Through reading and knowing God’s Word, praying continually and seeking the advice of Godly men and women, each person can hear and follow God’s call. Sometimes there will still be unknowns and God wants you to step out in faith and trust Him with the details. But if it fits with His word, you have peace in prayer and others are confirming God’s call, you are probably on the right track.