God has opened a door for me (Revelation 3:7, 8) to minister in the Philippines on a missions trip with a team from my church from 2/5 – 2/18/2019. We are going to the church that was planted by a missionary couple from our church that pastor two campuses, one in Asignan and another in Dagupan. We will be going to serve and support them as well as to do outreach in those communities to share God’s love and salvation. God the Father said to His Son to ask Him for the Nations as an inheritance and the ends of the earth for His possession (Psalm 2:8; Matthew 12:18-21). This will be my first trip to the Philippines and I want to share with you how this all came about!
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16:9 (NKJV)
Around the end of September 2018, it was announced in our church service that a team would be going over to support the Pastors and our church there and if interested to turn in an application. I felt a prompting in my spirit that this was something I should do. I haven’t been on a mission trip since 1981 when I went to Scotland with a group from the church I was attending at that time in Southern California. In the years since then, I never could get enough time or the planned time off from work. I also had health issues in these latter years which I felt would be too much for me physically to provide the help they needed. I am currently retired from healthcare so I have the time and God has healed my back and migraines that would have hindered me before. I needed to know this was for me and I asked the Lord to confirm it to me.
What are some steps to take that help us to hear the voice of God? Beginning with praise and worship invites His presence (Psalm 100:2, 4; 22:3). Prayer brings you into communion and fellowship with Him (Revelation 3:20; Psalm 16:11). It is helpful to write down what you are asking concerning His guidance and direction. Believe that He will show and guide you (Mark 11:24; 1 John 5:14, 15). Get into His Word and look things up that pertain to the answer that is needed. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you (John 14:16; Romans 8:26, 27). Don’t just think you know the answer, but get a Word from God! He can even confirm it to you (2 Corinthians 13:1).
I know that we hear God’s voice because we are His sheep and follow Him and will not follow another (John 10:4, 5, 27). He tells us to ask and it will be given to us, seek and we shall find and knock and it will be opened (Matthew 7:7, 8). He is just waiting for us to come to Him so He can reveal things to us (Jeremiah 29:13)! Sometimes He speaks through the written Word and other times by the inward witness (John 14:26; 16:13; Isaiah 30:21).
God’s written Word and the inward witness are two different things; however, they never contradict each other. Romans 8:16 says; the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit. This means that God’s directions come from inside of you not from the outside of you. The Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit and your spirit translates it into a thought. A thought might come to your mind and you may even wonder: was that me, Lord, or was that you?
The inward witness is that quiet knowing, urging, or prompting and leading arising within you as your spirit is being influenced by the Spirit of God (which occurs after you are born again).When we spend time in His Word, in prayer and worship with Him every day we grow in learning to hear His voice. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). One Word from God can change our lives when we act on it and apply it!
So the first thing I did was to pray about it to know if this was the will of God for me. Mark 11:24 says that whatever things we ask for in prayer, believe that we receive them and we will have them. Having the peace that Jesus gives helps us to know in our spirit that this is the way to go (Philippians 4:7; Psalm 85:8). He orders our steps and will show us the way we should go (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 16:9). I want to do His will, not follow my own (Psalm 40:8; 143:10) and walk in the good plan, purpose and destiny He has for me and created me for, for such a time as this (Esther 4:14; Exodus 9:16).
We are not randomly placed in this time and location! Wherever He has placed you, this is your assignment for that season. We need people in all mountains of societal influence (i.e. religion, family, education, government, media, arts and entertainment, and business). We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I know that He has a good plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11) and that we have the ability to hear God’s plan which must be received by faith (James 1:6-8). Everything in His kingdom comes by faith that it might be by grace (Romans 4:16)! He has promised to lead us and direct our paths if we ask Him and put our trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Isaiah 48:17). We need to make a quality decision by settling it in our heart to do what the Holy Spirit tells us to do and be obedient to the plan.
It is important to be still before the Lord so we can hear His voice (Psalm 46:10), get God’s wisdom on it (Proverbs 4:7; James 1:5) and then obey. We need to stop trying to do things for Him and let Him lead us! The Good Shepherd leads us into abundant life (Psalm 23). When we wait upon Him, then we receive His strength to do those things He is asking us to do (Isaiah 40:28-31).
I asked the Holy Spirit to show me in the Word what His will was for me concerning this trip and He led me to Exodus 3 where Moses encounters God in the burning bush. He talked with Moses and said that He has seen and heard the oppression of the people and He wanted to send Moses to deliver them. This is the first place where God declares His Name “I AM.” This resonated in my spirit that the Lord wanted to send me to the Philippines so I signed up.
I needed finances for the trip which I didn’t have so I asked Him about it in prayer. The Holy Spirit led me to Genesis 24 where Abraham sent his servant back to his father’s country to find a bride for his son, Issac. What spoke to me was how the Lord answered the servants prayer even before he finished praying (Genesis 24: 15; Isaiah 65:24) and in Genesis 24:40 the Lord sent an angel to tell him that He would send an angel before him and prosper his way which he did (Exodus 23:20). Angels are spirits who heed the voice of His Word and do His pleasure as well as being sent forth to minister to us who will inherit salvation (Psalm 103:20, 21; Hebrews 1:14).
I felt inadequate as did Moses, so I was in good company! (Exodus 4) but I heard the Lord say to me that with each assignment He gives the anointing and resources needed for it (Philippians 4:19). The anointing of God is His power and ability that comes within at the time of salvation to transform us (Acts 2:38; Romans 5:5; 2 Corinthians 3:18) and the anointing upon us is the power of God to minister the Gospel, healing, and deliverance (Luke 4:18; 24:49; Acts 1:8).
Jesus is the one who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:4). I had asked the Lord to baptize me with His Spirit back in the 1980’s and I knew that I was anointed to preach, heal, and deliver just like Jesus did because He is the Head of the church and we are His body here on the earth (Luke 4:18; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Colossians 1:18). We will discuss this in more detail at a later time. I also received a Word of Prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; which we will discuss at a later time) that the Lord had put His Words in my mouth and my lips were anointed with oil which represents the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 1:9, 10).
I also had concerns about some food sensitivities that I had and so I took it to the Lord in prayer. I needed to know that He would take care of these things as well. He led me to Luke 10:2-9. I had previously prayed that the Lord of the Harvest would send out laborers (Luke 10:2) and He answered by sending me! The Lord confirmed through these verses that He will provide all the supplies I need (Luke 10: 4) and that I will be able to eat whatever is set before me (Luke 10:7,8). He showed me that when He sends His disciples out, He gives instructions to follow so they are taken care of. Verse 9 also let me know that part of my ministry will be healing the sick and declaring the Kingdom of God.
Jesus told us in Mark 16:15-18 that we are to preach the Gospel and baptize. He said that these signs will follow those who believe: in His Name they will cast out demons, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, drinking anything deadly will not hurt them and they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Mark 16:20 says that when the disciples went out and preached, the Lord worked with them and confirmed the Word through accompanying signs. We can expect this as His disciples and believers!
I will be taking a break from all social media during the time of my trip from 2/5 – 2/18 so I can focus 24/7 on what God has planned for our team. I will schedule daily Bible verses to post while I’m gone but no blogs until after I return.
When you give to God’s work He gives a blessing back to you (Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:10, 11). When you give and pray, you become part of the mission even though you are at home. Please pray for us that the Lord would open a door for the Word to be preached (Colossians 4:3), we would speak boldly (Ephesians 6:19) and for us to be able to declare His glory and wonders to the Filipino people (1 Chronicles 16:24).
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14, 15 (NKJV).
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV)