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  • Writer's pictureJenny McPhail

No Buts But God

I feel a tug to go on missions, “but”…

Do you feel that tug? Maybe it’s subtle. So much so that you dismiss it as just a fleeting thought or a ‘maybe someday’ wish. Something in your brain may even say, ‘Where did that come from? That’s a crazy thought.’

“But” … then the tug comes back. This time, maybe it’s a little bit more than a tug … maybe it’s a vision. You see yourself sitting in a remote village or some faraway place. Maybe you are talking to a group of people and you don’t even know their language, but you know you were meant to be there. You have no idea what you are supposed to say or supposed to do. You are like a child in a different culture. You want to help, but you have no idea what you are doing or what’s expected. And that's okay. This is where God shows up! And He always shows up in a BIG way!

THIS IS MISSIONS! It’s the Great Commission! It’s Jesus whispering on your heart, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:19-20

What do we do with that? Jesus calls us to go and make disciples of all nations … He said in Acts 1:8 that we are even called to go to “the ends of the earth” to be His witnesses. God created us on purpose and for a purpose! And within that purposeful, unique, and beautiful creation, He planted something incredibly powerful. Deep within our hearts, He planted a desire, a thirst, and a hunger to know Him more and to share His truth to a hurting world … it is real and Jesus wants us to pay attention to it and follow it! We were made for a MISSION!

That call by Jesus may be a subtle whisper in the quietness of our hearts at first … In His still, sweet voice saying, “Come, follow me. Let me show you a deeper relationship with me. Let me draw you closer to me. Let me show you what is true and real.”

And of course, when God is at work in our hearts, the enemy wants to muck up the waters and cause confusion, doubt, and fear. So, in his conniving way, he throws you the “buts” ... ‘Sure you want to go “but” you can’t afford it. You want to go “but” you don’t have time. You want to go “but” what do you have to offer?’

But greater is He that is within us than he that is in this world! And when God starts tugging at your heart to follow Him, that tug will not go away … in fact, it will continue to grow and become stronger and stronger until you can’t ignore it or dismiss it anymore. And no matter what lies the enemy tries to throw at you, they will not be prosperous.

I can speak this truth because it is my truth. God worked on my heart just like this. I was a single mom with twins who were 2 and a 4-year-old, and I felt that tug. I thought I was crazy. My family thought I was crazy. Then more “buts” creeped in … “but I can afford it,” … “but what about my kids,” … “but what about my job” … “but what about my time” … so I ignored the call.

But God never gives up, and He kept calling and kept whispering that call on my heart. I kept coming up with excuses and more “buts,” but God would continue to show me that all of the things that were holding me back were in His hands. My time, my finances, my energy, and my children – they all belonged to Him. None of these things are my own. My life belongs to God, and the life I want to live is to be for His glory – in all things. How could I teach my children about God’s love, promise, and compassion when I deny what He calls me to do?

As God continued to call, He began to breathe these words into my heart in a mighty and loud and bold way - “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9

In those moments of surrender, I realized there were no more buts but God. And instantly, God gave me a peace that went beyond all understanding. As I stepped on the plane for my first overseas mission trip with Believers World Outreach, there was no fear, no doubt, only peace – and God’s reassurance that my life and my children’s lives were in His hands - I simply had to trust Him and walk by faith. My life was never the same and was forever changed in mighty ways.

You will see brokenness you could never fathom, you will see poverty of third-world countries that will break your heart, you will witness suffering and disease ... and in the midst of all of that, you will discover that within that brokenness and suffering, there is a powerful hope, joy, and love ... and it is purely JESUS! And you will see Him in a whole new way and you will come to understand His unconditional love in a whole new way. God will draw you into a closer relationship with Him, and He will pour into your life a new perspective on what our purpose is and how we can live to glorify Him every day no matter where we are.

So, sweet friends, I encourage you to say no more buts but God. Listen to His call, say “Yes,” and go. Don't ignore that tug! Hear Jesus speaking, follow where He’s leading, and be bold in your faith, cast aside any doubt or fear … and know that God Created You for This Mission!

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