by Jeffrey Bush, from They Turned the World Upside

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do ofhisgood pleasure. – Philippians 2:13

Sometimes, it is not clear what God may be calling you to do. John Williams, the martyr of Polynesia, said, “Lord, if it is not thy plan and will that I become a missionary, then tear the wish with all the roots out of my soul.” What a fire burned in his soul to be a missionary! When God calls you to do something, it is like a burning desire you cannot stop thinking about.

Most people ignore the call of God, but there are some who recognize it. John recognized that God was calling him, and his heart was torn. Everything in him wanted to be a missionary, but he struggled with thoughts that it may be his desire and not God’s. He feared being outside God’s will – even by becoming a missionary! Philippians 2:13 tells us that God puts it in us both to will and to do of His good work. It is not Satan that would give us a desire to serve God. It can only be the Lord wanting to put His hand on your life and use you. Your first excuse may be, “But I’m not the right age; I’m too young; or I’m too old.” John Williams was only seventeen when the Lord started speaking to his heart. He surrendered his will to God and let Him work in his life. John could have said, “But I just got saved! I don’t know anything about God or the Bible.” Instead, he threw himself into the Lord’s work, teaching a Sunday school class and getting involved in other ministries. He did all he could for the Lord until the Lord fulfilled his dream and his desires and sent him as a missionary.

Challenge: What is your answer when you hear the Lord speaking clearly to your heart? Are you as excited as John was, who wanted to make sure God actually WANTED him to be a missionary? John considered it a special calling from God, something so special that he wanted it with all his soul.