What’s God’s will here?
What do You want me to do?
They’re some of the biggest questions people face as they look in an overseas direction. It’s why Go. Serve. Love has an entire page of stuff on the topic: Following Him: Am I “Called?”
The term “calling” can get buzzy, no? It might
- call us to look for signs or a feeling we don’t have–or God may not even be giving.
- place emphasis on emotion or intuition only, rather than wisdom or Proverbs’ “multitude of counselors.”
- put a “God-Told-Me/Thus-Saith-the-Lord” rubber stamp on our decisions, implying those decisions are untouchable if someone questions us.
- cast responsibility on a “sense” that we have, rather than us claiming creative, holy volition for our life direction.
- cause us to severely question or blame God, and even fall away (…it happens), when things go very badly.
- push us toward pursuing that intuition more than God’s clear, expressed will in the whole of Scripture: “God’s calling me overseas, so my aging parents or reluctant, fearful spouse aren’t really my concern. They need to get on board.” See Mark 7:10-12 for the Pharisees’ example of this.
In honor of Pastor Tim Keller’s death this morning (May 18, 2023), this video captures wisdom about the secret will of God versus God’s revealed will.
(You might also enjoy Keller’s sermon on this, or Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will.)
Seeking God’s Will: Questions to Prayerfully Ask
For now, your goal’s not to finish these questions. Time isn’t your enemy in attempting to make a life-altering decision. It’s your friend.
The goal is to enter into God’s presence, praying and listening, getting honest about your motivations, concerns, emotions, and other factors so they’re not manipulating you from behind.
Tip: The benefit of these questions is directly proportional to the amount of honesty you’re willing to invest.
- What experience have I had cross-culturally and overseas? (Consider not quantity of time spent, but quality. What were your experiences overseas? Did they represent the genuine challenges and advantages of overseas living?)
- What are the honest reactions of those who know me; my life circumstances; my gifts, passions, personality, and story?
- Do I have a specific people group, nation, and or organization in mind? Why am I drawn there? If I don’t have one or a handful of choices, where do I hope to start? (Don’t miss MEET AN AGENCY: A Series to Help You Find a Great Fit.)
- Does this potential move represent an occupational switch for me? Why is this/isn’t this appealing for me? In both heavenly and earthly senses, what will I lose, and what will I gain? Tip: Check out Your Career, Globally: Envisioning Your Talents Overseas and BUSINESS AS MISSION (BAM) :: BUSINESS FOR TRANSFORMATION (B4T)
- What are the major reasons going overseas appeals to me?
- What obstacles or areas of resistance about this possibility are most concerning to me? Why? What griefs, fears, loss, or concerns do these areas represent? How would God have me pray about those (without writing them off)? In seeking God’s will, which of my hesitations are wise (or my spouse’s, if I’m married), and worth my time to creatively problem-solve or choose to accept as loss?
- How much time have I spent praying about this–and listening to God, rather than just talking?
- What impressions have I been receiving through Scripture and the counsel of others?
- In what ways am I currently investing in ministry, and in service to other cultures?
What strengths do I bring to a team?
- What weaknesses do I bring to a team?
- How skilled am I at handling God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15)? How often, and in what ways do I share my faith in my current environment? What is my reputation among non-Christians and Christians?
- Am I concealing any sin patterns?
- What might I be attempting to escape by going overseas?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses in dealing with conflict?
How is my relationship with my spouse? My kids?
- If I’m seeing a counselor or therapist, what does that professional believe about my readiness to go? (Should I be seeing a counselor, if I’m not already?) What does my pastor or elder team or my small group think? Who else is seeking God’s will on this with me?
- How have I historically handled high stress? How have I succeeded, and how have I struggled? What patterns emerge?
What could happen if I don’t go? What could I gain? What could I miss?
- What could happen, in this world and the next, if I do?
Seeking God’s will? Don’t Give Up Yet
We’ve got more questions to come soon.
But if these questions have exposed some weaknesses? That’s actually a win.
Because if you don’t think you’re bringing any weaknesses overseas, that’s a far more dangerous place.
While you wait for more questions, here’s another idea toward food for thought in seeking God’s will: Give your most honest answers in Go. Serve. Love’s four self-assessments.
What are your indicated areas of growth? What impacts could those have on the field?
Like this post? You might like
Pray for Your Mission Field: 10 Ways [Printable]
Counting the Cost in Missions: What’s That Mean, Anyway?
Cross-Cultural Immersion: 10 Ways to Start Right Where You’re At
Verses to Help You Trust [FREE PRINTABLE]
2 thoughts on “Seeking God’s Will: 20 Journaling & Discussion Questions for Missions”
We do need to count the cost but at the same time not be afraid to go where God would have us go.