“Then saith he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37, 38.
“Workers are needed now.” Counsels on Health, p. 507.
“The number of workers in the ministry is not to be lessened, but greatly increased. Where there is now one minister in the field twenty are to be added.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 414.
“Missionaries are wanted everywhere.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 389.
“Hundreds of men should be engaged in carrying the light all through our cities, villages, and towns.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 389.
“God calls for ministers, Bible workers, and canvassers.” Messages to Young People, p. 208.
“The canvassing work should no longer be neglected.” Colporteur Ministry, p.16.
“From the light given me I know that where there is one canvasser in the field, there should be one hundred.” Colporteur Ministry, p. 25.
“The Lord calls upon our youth to labor as canvassers and evangelists, to do house-to-house work in places that have not yet heard the truth.” Ibid, p.19.
These are appeals by God to young people. How will you respond to these stirring invitations? Are these quotes possibly meant for you personally? Have you ever thought seriously about entering the vineyard of the Lord on a full-time basis? Perhaps your answer is one of the following:
“Not now, maybe in the future.”
“I have other plans.”
“I’m afraid to speak to people.”
“I don’t know how to give Bible studies.”
“Will I be able to support my family with the income I receive?”
“I don’t have any missionary training.”
Nevertheless, let us always remember that in these closing hours of earth’s history, God, through the Holy Spirit, is calling on individuals to be His special messengers.
It is God Himself that calls and sends individuals into His vineyard. “…Whom shall I send, and who will go for me?” Then said the prophet “Here am I, send me.” Isaiah 6:8.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
Jeremiah details his call in the first chapter: “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” Jeremiah 1: 4-9.
Is the prophet Jeremiah’s experience similar to yours? Do you feel that you lack the ability to frame God’s messages in suitable language? God promises that He would qualify the youth for all that they would be called upon to do. Words would be put into their mouths in order to enable them to lead souls into the saving truth. If the Lord of the Vineyard has called you for a special purpose, He will certainly be by your side to assist. He does not invite and then abandon you. “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20.
Saul of Tarsus was another man the Lord chose for a special mission. “He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles.” Acts 9:15.
Frequently young people will ask this important question pertaining to the Lord’s work: How may I know whether I am called by the Lord?
The first sign of the heavenly calling is an intense, all-absorbing desire for the salvation of souls. There must be an irresistible, overwhelming need to tell others of what God has done for our own souls, and to reveal the plan of salvation to others. It is love and gratitude that motivate someone to share the blessed message of redemption. “For the love of Christ constraineth us.” 2 Corinthians 5:14. A person who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit and has experienced the new birth (a changed life) wants to point others to the Savior. The burning conviction implanted in the heart by God is evidenced in the irrepressible desire to witness to others.
Another way to determine whether one is called is to study the providences of God. Let me here briefly describe my own personal experience. I graduated from college in New York City during the height of the Vietnam War. Upon graduation I decided to work temporarily for the U. S. Census Bureau while waiting anxiously for the Draft Board to knock on my door. The job I had was going from apartment to apartment in the Borough of Brooklyn to interview people. It sometimes took a great deal of courage and faith to enter these crime-ridden buildings. But through the work of meeting people face to face the Lord was slowly preparing me for a greater work–that of saving souls for His kingdom. It wasn’t long before the Census Bureau had finished gathering the statistical information and so my job ended. Although my own plans were still uncertain, the Lord had His plan for me. He opened the door for me to do voluntary missionary work with two canvassing Bible workers. I found everything about the Lord’s work exciting and challenging. To reach out to troubled souls with the present truth was most gratifying. During this period of labor for souls, the Holy Spirit was earnestly striving with me. Little by little impressions were made on my heart to completely surrender my life to Christ. Then it happened–justification took place. The most important decision in life was made–the acceptance of Jesus as a personal Savior. Besides this, I could not decline the strong and direct appeal by the Lord to enter His vineyard. My great desire was to reveal Christ to others, not to live just to please self.
Shortly after my acceptance of Christ and the decision to work for Him, I was led to California to start as a full time worker. It was a beautiful time of life. I experienced joy and inner peace being in His service.
Then about six months later I was called by the Draft Board and since I had been granted the conscientious objector classification I had to do two years of alternative service for the Government. The news hit me hard. I had to quit my missionary work and look for a suitable job elsewhere. “Why, Lord?” I thought. How I wanted to continue what I was doing!
But the Lord was good and directed me to the city of San Jose, California, where I found a job in education–the San Jose College library. Everything about the library was pleasant, the people were nice, but the work was not as satisfying as the missionary work. I took every opportunity I could after work to go out and witness for the Lord. Time passed quickly, as it almost always does, and some six months later I learned that a group of attorneys from the East Coast had started a case against the government. Their argument was that since conscientious objectors do alternative service for the Government in lieu of military service, and since no one had been drafted during that time to do military service, conscientious objectors had then been called illegally and should all be freed. Praise the Lord! The news was wonderful! I could return to full time missionary work. I was very thankful and happy that God had intervened on my behalf. Sometimes God’s ways are mysterious, but “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
From the pen of inspiration we read: “We need to follow more closely God’s plan of life. To do our best in the work that lies nearest, to commit our ways to God, and to watch for the indications of His providence–these are rules that ensure safe guidance….” Education, p. 267.
The Reward of Service
“What will be the gratitude of souls that will meet us in the heavenly courts as they understand the sympathetic, loving interest which has been taken in their salvation! All praise, honor, and glory will be given to God and to the Lamb for our redemption; but it will not detract from the glory of God to express gratitude to the instrumentality He has employed in the salvation of souls ready to perish.
“The redeemed will meet and recognize those whose attention they have directed to the uplifted Saviour. What blessed converse they have with these souls! ‘I was a sinner,’ it will be said, ‘without God and without hope in the world, and you came to me, and drew my attention to the precious Saviour as my only hope.’
“What rejoicing there will be as these redeemed ones meet and greet those who have had a burden in their behalf.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 310-312.
If the Lord calls you today into His vineyard, will your answer be, ‘Here am I, send me’?