How do you know whether you’re called to be a missionary? Do you wait until you hear an audible voice telling you to go, or do you sense an urge in your heart that just won’t go away? Listen to the experience of Jonathan Goforth.
Goforth, whose life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, was a missionary in China for 46 of his 77 years. It is said that 13,000 Chinese came to faith in Christ as a result of his ministry.
In his wife’s book Goforth of China, she records his words telling how he was directed to become a missionary.
“Although I was clearly led to be a minister of the Gospel,” said Goforth, “I rejected all thought of being a foreign missionary.”
Then he heard Dr. G. L. Mackay tell how he had traveled in Canada trying in vain to persuade some young man to come to Formosa, which is present day Taiwan, to help him. Goforth said,
As I listened to these words, I was overwhelmed with shame. Had the floor opened up and swallowed me out of sight, it would have been a relief. There was I, bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, daring to dispose of my life as I pleased. I heard the Lord’s voice saying, “Who will go for us and whom shall we send?” And I answered, “Here am I; send me.” From that hour I became a foreign missionary.
I don’t know if God wants you to be a missionary, but some have said that we’d better have a good excuse for NOT being missionaries, because Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news” (Mark 16:15). I do know we would all do well to recognize that, as Goforth said, because we have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus, we have no right to order our lives as we please without asking God what He wants us to do! Think about it.
Why am I writing about interruptions today? Because I just had a four-hour one pop up in the middle of my day today that totally changed my plans. I was glad to find the verse in Proverbs that assures us, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). Hey, if God sends the interruption, then it’s a Divine appointment!
 Rosalind Goforth, Goforth of China, publisher, date and page unknown.