According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….”
Part 6 of 7
From years ago I remember a Christian song with a tongue-in-cheek chorus which goes:
Please don’t send me to Africa
I don’t think I’ve got what it takes
I’m just a man, I’m not a Tarzan
Don’t like lions, gorillas or snakes
I’ll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle-class life
But please don’t send me out into the bush
Where the natives are restless at night.
“Please Don’t Send Me to Africa” (McHugh and Brown, 1988).
Those lyrics pretty much summed up how I felt about going on a foreign mission trip. Years later, though, I would find myself in the country of Vietnam doing exactly what I said I never would.
When God says “Go,” it’s time to go.
As a woman of faith, how do you know if God is sending you somewhere? My experience, and that of others, shows through the course of continued, routine prayer you may experience “nudges.” Holy Spirit prodding, to be exact. Perhaps you may have heard a sermon about foreign missions or read a compelling book or article, but no matter what, something triggered your thought process. Now you have a sense as you pray that God wants something more from you. Every woman has a conscience which the Holy Spirit enlightens and directs: “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 9:1, NIV).
Next, the idea and/or the geographical location simply won’t leave your mind. And now, that impression is festering inside of you. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21, NIV). As you seek God’s direction, the call to go somewhere for Him becomes all-consuming.
Then, events will “miraculously” line up to make this happen. Vacation time emerges, finances materialize, and confirmation from others occurs. Even more importantly, though, it lines up with scripture. God has a plan for you and knows exactly where He wants to send you, and how to get you there. For example, in Acts 16:6-10 the apostle Paul found the Holy Spirit kept him from preaching the word in Asia and instead directed him to preach in Macedonia.
Finally, nothing else will satisfy until you’ve yielded. Don’t be like Jonah who ran away when God directed him to go to Nineveh to preach. He fled in the opposite direction and ended up in the belly of a great fish before he finally surrendered to God’s divine command (See Jonah 1-3). How much better it is to, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …” (Colossians 3:15a, NIV) rather than continuing in our own course which often leads to discontent.
The spreading of the gospel will not happen by accident, but God will purposely use His people to further His kingdom. My weeks in Vietnam were difficult at times, but lives were touched and I have special memories along with the satisfaction of following when God said, “Go.” Is God telling you to go? Are you available to go?
Father God, I can’t escape the feeling you may be telling me to “Go” into a certain nation to spread your good news. Please grant me discernment about this calling and enable it to happen if it is your will. I’m available to go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Psalm 96:3 (NIV): “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
Matthew 28:19-20a (NIV): “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Mark 16:15 (NIV): “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
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