I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go

“When did you know you were going to be a pastor?” I am asked that question often. I felt God’s call as a teen,  in a Sunday evening service in a little church, when Spirit extended His invitation to serve. But, the ‘call’ was a part of my life from childhood. 

Our family was part of a denomination that emphasized world missions. When missionaries came to our little church it was always a special Sunday for me!  Their stories about far-away places, the things they put on display from their ‘field’ were captivating.  The pictures they showed from their slide projector carried me away to some African nation or Asian island!  They built schools, preached revivals, did Sunday School under straw roofs, and ministered to the sick!  Those people were heroes in my eyes. I was sure they had a higher calling than the rest of us.  More than one Sunday night, during the prayer time that always ended the meetings, I sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” from the most sincere heart.

I still have deep admiration for people who take up the call to serve God on the other side of the world, far from home and family!  But, I know that God’s calling is not just for an elite group, nor does it always involve moving to Argentina or Zimbabwe! 

People of great spiritual need live in my town, and yours, too.  Serving Christ and sharing the Gospel with people who live next door may not produce the dramatic stories but people are lost, without hope, without God, in our town.  People who share our culture and fashion may not appear to be living in spiritual poverty. Familiarity can make us blind to their condition.

Jesus’ disciples urged Him to move on from people they thought worthless, a place unimportant to God. He told them to take another look where they were, to see what saw God sees- “As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time! ” (John 4:35, The Message)

Sharing Jesus and hope with our neighbors will not involve a big tent filled with a thousand people like I saw in missionary pictures 50 years ago.  Few of us will cross flood-swollen rivers in a dug-out canoe to preach to a remote village or face the hostility of a local shaman!  (I remember those stories like I heard them yesterday!) We take the hope of Christ to our neighbors when we pray faithfully for individuals to know Him, when we set an example of compassion for others, when we care for the least among us, when we live what we believe. In these ways, we point others to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life.

It’s easy to think that these United States are a “Christian” nation since there churches fill our towns and crosses dot the landscape.  The reality is that we are in a time of spiritual poverty – a lost people inundated with pornography, enslaved by greed, deceived by sensuality, and serving the great “I”- Self.  Because individuals live without God, our political system is broken, our justice system is a joke especially for the poor, and in spite of great wealth, we are poor in Spirit. Many churches are lifeless, having “a form of godliness but denying its power.”  Spirituality may be spoken of but God is absent.

This is our mission field! God commissions you and me, trusts us with the words of life. When we find the joy of being part of turning a life around, helping someone find Christ, it is a deeply rewarding experience. What thrills me in pastoral ministry is not ‘church work’ but rather those moments when someone makes a confession of faith, is baptized, and becomes a disciple of Jesus. You can be a disciple-maker.   

As you think about sharing Jesus, set aside the stereotypes of street preachers yelling about God’s judgment or the Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on your door to hand out literature.  Just be a friend! Pray every day for a few people that need God.  And, live the Gospel before you speak the Gospel.  You are a missionary.

Here is the word from the Word – Jesus’ direction for us.  “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, NLT)

When you have prayed with your friend, your children, your neighbor, your parent and helped them to find the Light, to change their eternal destiny, and discover real hope –
you will be the happiest Christian in your church!


I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go

(A hymn a century old, but still compelling in the message.
These words stirred my heart 55 years ago and still do!)

It may not be on
The mountain’s height
Or over the stormy sea
It may not be at
The battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me
But if by a still
Small voice He calls
To paths I do not know
I’ll answer dear Lord
With my hand in Thine
I’ll go where You want me to go

I’ll go where You
Want me to go dear Lord
Over mountain or plain or sea
I’ll say what You
Want me to say dear Lord
I’ll be what You want me to be

Perhaps today there
Are loving words
Which Jesus would
Have me speak
There may be now
In the paths of sin
Some wanderer
Whom I should seek
O Savior if Thou wilt
Be my guide
Though dark and rugged the way
My voice shall echo
The message sweet
I’ll say what You
Want me to say

So trusting my all
I know Thou lovest me
I’ll do Thy will
With a heart sincere
I’ll be what You want me to be

Carrie E. Rounsefell
Public Domain

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