Why Not You? Why Not Now?

Overcome the paralysis... take your next step.




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November 4, 2019


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Check out this article, Why Not You? Why Not Now?: Two fundamental obstacles to mission: We don’t know if we are the right people for the task, and we don’t know where we fit. How can we overcome paralysis?


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Paralysis has become a cultural phenomenon that can keep people from doing the simplest things, like deciding which coffee flavor to select or what shirt to buy. So, when it comes to the big decisions in life? Forget it!

Not surprisingly, this attitude can negatively impact our aspirations to follow Jesus to the nations. I think there are two fundamental obstacles to moving forward in mission:

  • We don’t know if we are the right people for the task.
  • And we don’t know where we fit in the task.

With this lack of clarity, many of us are waiting, paralyzed about taking that leap. We sense God wants us to engage in missions, but we feel stuck. We hesitate. And we may even think to ourselves, Surely there is someone better, more gifted, to do the work.

Who does God use?

Now, 2,000 years after Jesus gave His call to take the gospel to all peoples, 6,000 ethnic groups still have little or no access to truth. It is left to us “nobodies in particular,” as pioneering missionary C.T. Studd put it, to take up the work. Who does God use? The evidence of Scripture and history would indicate that He uses the willing—those who make much of God and little of themselves. Availability is truly the best “ability” we can offer Him.

Whoever you are, and however you are gifted, God can use you among the unreached if you are willing. Take a step.

Finding a fit

If we can jump that hurdle and believe that God can use us, the issue of where we fit remains. We want to see God use our lives in extraordinary ways. Perhaps we have grown up hearing messages telling us we should not settle for less than the best. So, we want to give our lives to something of worth.

Overcoming paralysis

The options are many. Too many, it seems. In our desire to make the right choice—no, the perfect choice—we often find ourselves back in paralysis mode. We continue to wait rather than act because, as long as we’re waiting, we don’t have to suffer the consequences of a wrong choice. The reality, however, is that inaction has significant consequences as well. It’s ironic. One of our greatest strengths, the refusal to settle for the status quo, also exposes the Achilles heel of our age.

We’re afraid to commit.

  • What if we choose wrongly?
  • Or what if we were meant for something else?
  • What if we miss out on something better that God meant for us?

We may be afraid of somehow “ruining” God’s plan for our lives. There is no perfect life plan. Simply a perfect heavenly Father who orchestrates all things together for our good and His glory. There isn’t a fully detailed map of our lives with every step along the way given in advance. But there is Jesus, calling, “Follow me.”

Take your next step

Whoever you are, and however you are gifted, God can use you among the unreached if you are willing. You don’t need to have it all figured out ahead of time. All you need to do is take that leap into God’s exhilarating unknown. In due time, God will show you the next steps and, most importantly, he will be with you in the journey. It would be our joy and privilege to walk with you on that journey as well.

Why not you? Why not now?

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<p class="rich-text-callout"><strong>See Also: </strong><a href="#"><em>Discerning Your Calling: How Do You Know If God Is Leading You to Serve Cross Culturally?</em></a></p>

Take the next step

Think God might be nudging you to be a missionary? Take our Next Steps quiz and (you guessed it) find some good next steps to take.

Take time to discern your calling.

Think God might be nudging you to be a missionary? Talk to your church! Use the Charting Your Course worksheet to brainstorm other things you can do.