FeatureMissionary Life

Know God, Then Serve Him

Learning a new culture and doing evangelism is hard. But for a missionary, the most important work—and sometimes most difficult—is worship.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

This familiar passage that calls us to stop, listen, and wait for God, is a missionary passage.

Why? Because the psalmist continues, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

How thrilling it is to read that in the midst of trials and setbacks, the purpose of God is going forth. His Spirit will accomplish his appointed work of exalting the Lord of hosts among the nations.

And yet, counterintuitively, we are commanded to be still. Being still cuts against the grain of most missionaries. We are the doers. We are the evangelical activists. Missionaries are the ones who scheme and strategize and do.

But before all this “doing,” God calls us to stop:

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)

This pause in the midst of our action changes everything. He will be glorified, not because of my frenetic pace, but because he is God. We serve him not to achieve some objective, but because he is God. We seek to publish his beauty and glory because he is worthy of it. Before we can declare any word, go anywhere, or do anything, we must be still and know him. In the work of world evangelism, God is inviting us to join him in his mission, not the other way around.

Learning languages and cultures is hard work. The tasks of evangelism, discipleship and church planting are laborious. Waging warfare against the prince of darkness is dangerous and deadly. But for the missionary, the most profitable and the most difficult work is often the work spent alone with God in prayer.

Know God, then serve him.


Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on January 4, 2016 on Scott Dunford’s blog.

About the Author

Scott Dunford is the West Coast Mobilizer for ABWE and lead church planter for Redeemer Church in Fremont, California. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.

Share

Missionary Life

View all