The very principal thing is to put God first in everything; from time to position, etc. Don’t even allow the ministry to take priority before Him! Serving God is not the same as spending time with Him. As my pastor always says,
Don’t get so busy serving God that you forget the God you’re serving.
Jesus said, “…for without me ye can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:5) He’s the source of all our power, and it is folly to not spend time with him. You may not think, in your current situation, that this is a problem, but when you find yourself with as many things to do as a missionary does, you’ll think again.
#1: Prepare to be alone.
At your home church in the States you probably have heaps of friends that you talk to all the time, and of course your family too. This is not always the case in the mission field of life. You may have some friends, but you might not have anyone. Your security must not be found in them.
#2: It’s you and God
You may be privileged to work alongside someone with a common passion, but there will be times when you’re on your own – you and the Lord – or nothing gets done. Often the growth and added fellowship of believers to work along side of comes just when God is about to move you to another solitary place.
On the missions trip I am currently on, I’ve found that the missionary’s church runs a Sunday service, Bible club, nursing home service, a Bible class once a week in the school, breakfast once a week in the school, a kid’s Bible study, an adult Bible study, door knocking and letter-boxing in nearby towns, street preaching in Auckland every other week, and door knocking near Auckland on the other weeks. These all are led by this one missionary with help from his family and occasionally a member of the church. As the missionary, he is responsible for what God has entrusted to him – to see to it that things get done. You may expect to be very busy in the work God calls you to: to get up early and go to bed a little late and still not have time for everything you wish you could do…
This kind of life requires total commitment!
All too often, people don’t fully realize everything they will have to do and deal with. Many give up their God-given callings or return home from the mission field because of lack of preparation and adequate understanding of what God is going to require of them. Yet, despite all of the drawbacks it’s still worth it to give your all to serving the Lord. I want to encourage you to pray for missionaries, knowing just a few of the challenges they face and preparing also to be on the mission field God directs you to, whether that be local or foreign!
Keep seeking and serving God.