Today as I talked with a friend about having a hard time hearing God’s voice of direction over the past few years, I couldn’t help but think that there was another way. I’m convinced that The Lord enjoys talking with his children and that often, when I can’t hear, there’s something blocking my ability hear.
I’m reminded too of Jackie Pullinger who would gather up a team and GO into Mainland China to do ministry every time she detected a drop in their power in the Spirit. It was on these trips that they’d see God increase their faith by demonstrating power in bringing salvation, signs and wonders. Then, when the team came home, they’d intentionally pass along their increased faith.
I’m a big believer in encouraging Jesus followers to Go on short term mission projects – even if they’re close to home – as a way to increase a sensitivity to the voice of God. There are mysterious connections between GOing on mission and hearing the voice of God. Not everything can be explained, but here are some of my observations:
Hearing God and GOing on mission
1. Jesus’ great commission was “GO, into all the earth.” Every command of God is linked to a blessing. Living in agreement with God allows the realities of His Kingdom to flow. When we obey His command to GO, we get to enjoy the benefits of being right where He wants us.
It’s no small wonder that we hear God’s voice better when we are in new surroundings. Familiar and comfortable settings can keep us distracted and even busy. Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Paul and many others found that the wilderness was a great place to hear God. And then each of them continued to hear God as they went where he wanted.
2. When we go into new places with the purpose to minister with Jesus, our prayer life improves dramatically. Praying for finances, visas, flight connections – desperation in prayer is a good thing. Desperate prayers are Dynamic prayers.
Now imagine that you’re praying for healing while you’re on mission – and the Lord answers! A power encounter is when the Kingdom of God faces off with the kingdom of this age – a sickness is healed, weather is changed, money shows up in an unexpected place…you name the story. In power encounters we see that God’s kingdom of Light, always shines brighter than the kingdom of dark so we come home with stories of victory, confidence in God’s strength, and a desire for God to move this way in our home city/region.
Confidence in God’s desire to heal will certainly improve our intercessions for home!
3. You get to fire up the rest of the church when you go:
– intercessors pray
– givers give
– hospitality specialists put on parties to raise money and awareness
– children learn about other places and are inspired
And they all wait for your stories so that their faith and ability to hear from God will increase. We all need you to GO!
So What Will You Do?
It’s easier to change direction than it is to get started. Newton said: a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Works the same in life, once we are moving, it’s way easier for God to adjust our direction. We trust him, we have confidence and history. Getting moving keeps us likely to stay moving. King David got into lots of trouble when he stayed home and didn’t go off to battle.
As I’m writing this I’m feeling some excitement about GOing myself. Is there a neighbour who needs help? Is there a nearby community I can serve? Is there a country I need to bring good news to? A church I need to go encourage?
If not me, who?
If not here, where?
If not now, when?
And What Kind of People Will We Be?
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
And so I pray that we’d consider GOing into the world, and waiting to see if God will speak to you through this.