The First No
My heart pounded with excitement and fear as I walked in to the front office of the elementary school. My son had just started kindergarten at a private school that took yearly trips to India. “How do I sign up for the trip to India?” I asked the secretary. After a pause and a look of annoyance, she said sharply, “The trip is for students – high school students. You can’t go.” Deflated I walked out of her office accepting that “no” in to my heart for the next twelve years.
Then one day I bumped in to the principal of the school who leads the trip. “Hey,” I said, “You wouldn’t let me go on the India trip. It’s just for students, right?” He stopped in his tracks and turned to me with a look of surprise, “You would go?! I need a female chaperone!” Three months later I was sitting with a group of students singing “Our God is Greater” in a leper colony in Northern India. I had the honor of praying with this woman (pictured) and snapped her picture while she stood smiling as our bus pulled away. That was the first of so many incredible God moments on the trip I thought was impossible.
Is there a voice that has said “no” to you for you for months, years or even decades? Have you accepted that no into your heart? Would you be willing to ask the One who actually has the authority to make that call if you can go? Voices that say no can come from family, parents, a spouse, your bank account, irrational fears, past disappointments, language barrier excuses, the list goes on.
The first step in overcoming the no to a call to missions is identifying it. Then allow the question “what if” to challenge that no. What if you didn’t allow that to stand in between you and a trip? What if that had less authority in your life? Did the secretary I encountered really have the authority to decide that for me? She did as long as I allowed her to. Dare to ask the question, “What if God can make a way for me when there seems to be no way?” Pause and ask Holy Spirit to show you who or what you have allowed to tell you “no”. Just like when I bumped into the one leading the trip, will you ask the One leading your life if He would make a way?
"This is what the Lord says – He makes a way through the sea, a path through mighty waters … forget the former things. See I am doing a new thing! I am making a way …. Isaiah 43:16-19"
The No of Finances
If the “no” for a call to mission trip is your checkbook, then let me say, I understand. Finances love to scream “no way” to me, too. So let me bottom line it for you. Fundraise. Get the word out about what God has put on your heart. Allow others to support you and be a part. Ask God for creative ideas to make money for your trip. Send emails. Post on social media. Go to your small group and church groups and share your opportunity to minister His love to that nation. Then, surrender your trip to Him.
A week before I was scheduled to go on my second “impossible” trip to India with Wild, I was still hundreds of dollars short. I thought, “Well, if I don’t raise the money, I won’t go.” But, I also knew I had not emailed my uncle or my cousins to ask for support. Why? I had a list of reasons but mainly I just didn’t want to “ask for money.” Humbly I messaged them and shared my heart about the trip. Within five minutes, they sent the missing funds with a note saying how thankful they were to be a part. Two days after that a friend blessed me money for anything extra I might need on the trip. So I actually left with more than enough.
You may be thinking that’s great for you but I don’t have a family member like that. I hear you. But that is not the point. Here is what I want to challenge you with. You will have something that will be your story. Your way that God makes for you when it seems there is no way. But you’ll never know what that is for you if you don’t step out. What if God has more authority than the no of your finances? Ask Holy Spirit about that. Then give Him the chance. What do you have to lose?
The No of Fear
Fear of flying, fear of sickness, fear of danger, fear of language barrier, fear of conditions you’ll stay in or food you’ll eat, fear of feeling inadequate to minister … Is there a fear telling you “no” to a mission trip or something God is calling you to do? Let me be blunt with you. Since when does that voice of fear get to speak louder than God? You do not have a spirit of fear! But you have a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
Get really honest with yourself for a minute. What is your thinking set on? Things below or above? Is your thinking worldly, based on what your eyes can see or how you feel? No! You are set on fulfilling God’s purpose and call on your life. You are kingdom focused. You are brave. You are ready to challenge the no’s in your life with the truth of who you are and who He is for you.
What if this opportunity set before you is the very thing God is going to use to crush all those fears once and for all? He is calling you to a lifetime of adventure with Him! No fear can rule where HE rules! Allow Holy Spirit to minister His truth of who you are and who He is for you. Make a declaration today that no fear will stand in the way of your call to minister His love to the nations.
“And HE said to them, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.“ Matthew 4:19
“Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19
The Yes of God
If your desire is to spread the love of Jesus to the nations, then guess what? God says “Yes.”
“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all His people,” 1 Chronicles 16:24
With His “Yes” settled in your heart, the next question is: what does that look like? The answer is as endless and limitless as our God! It may look like something as simple as financial or prayer support for a missionary or missionary organizations like Wild. It could look like volunteering your time. We have many volunteer opportunities, internships and support roles available, or, maybe God is calling you to travel to a different nation, check options here.
Take that first step toward where He is calling you. He has already said “Yes.” Will you?
Elizabeth serves as Board Member of Wild for the Nations. She is passionate about seeing people experience God’s love. She and her husband Daryl live in Dallas, Texas and have 3 amazing children.