WALKING IN THE WILL OF GOD
Margaret and I have been sharing together lately on how the Lord has led us over the years. The various Pastoral appointments we have had, and the choices we could have made, and the places we could have gone too, but believed then and now the churches we Pastored were the perfect will of God for us.
Then the dramatic change of direction as the Lord led us into full time Bible teaching after 22 years of Pastoral ministry, with the opportunity to Mentor perhaps hundreds of young men in their walk with the Lord and helping them in their training for ministry. I was given responsibility to develop a Bachelor of Missiology degree, and to be responsible for the College’s Missions ministry. Although not thinking of myself, this development produced so much fruit for the glory of God, and did so much in my life.
Nothing happens by chance and hindsight is a wonderful thing to look back and see the signs and markers of the Lord’s leading. Back in the 1970’s we began taking teams to Asia on Mission trips, this developed much more in the 1980’s. In January 1985 I took a team and went to India for the first time. The first week I taught in a Bible School in Hyderabad in Andrah Pradesh. At the end of the week, I was discouraged. I had never seen so many people in all my life. India has at least 1.2 billion people.
82% Hindu, 13% Muslim and less than 2% Christian, I thought why bother India will never become a Christian nation. We were meeting for prayer before catching a flight to Vizag also in Andrah Pradesh and I had a vision (or something that changed my life).
I KNEW IN A MOMENT OF TIME JESUS CHRIST SHALL BE LORD OF INDIA.
When you have such an experience you need to go back to the Word of God, I read in Psalm 2:8 Ask of me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance. This verse confirmed the burden God has given, and for every other nation on the earth.
THIS HAS PUT A PASSION AND BURDEN ON MY HEART FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS.
It was probably in 1988 I conducted a Pastors Conference in North West Thailand, one afternoon I was taken for a drive saw the mighty Mekong River, saw the Golden Triangle area, and went onto a market town called Masai. There was a bridge over the river, but foreigners could only go half way, so I did and looked into Myannmar and I felt the Holy spirit weep for the nation. I felt it would not be long before I went there, which I did, but on my return home from Thailand, when I started to pray for Myannmar, there also came a burden for the 3 Indo China countries of Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam, and these 3 nations became the preoccupation of my heart. I have been 32 times to Vietnam (31 times teaching Pastors in the underground church) the last time was when the Pentecostals and the Baptists received official recognition by the Communist government of Vietnam.
I have been 4 or 5 times to Cambodia and the Church is exploding there. A revival had begun in the early 1970’s you can read about it in Todd Burke’s book “Anointed for burial”, but the majority of the Christians were killed during the rule of Pol Pot of Killing Fields” infamy.
I have never physically been to Laos, but was able to sponsor a seminar for 3 days where I ministered to some 50 Pastors. some 25 from the approved church (C.M.A.) and 25 from the underground church, we had an awesome move of the Holy Spirit. Just last month there has been some changes in the communist government in Laos and a much more open attitude is developing to the West and to Christians. I have a Singapore friend who has been a underground missionary there for many years. He keeps me informed of the exciting developments in this nation.
After 11 years in the College in Sydney,We had 2 fantastic years as Principal of a College in Singapore, again 2 years doing the will of God. We came back and I spent almost 6 years serving at Hillsong College, and still able to go to the nations. Then with the clear leading of the Lord stepped out in faith and began itinerating and teaching and preaching almost full time in Asia. This period until now has been the pinnacle of my missions ministry, I have truly lived the dream. This took me all over Asia including India and Taiwan, as well as Singapore, East & West Malaysia and especially Indonesia which has been the nation that I have especially spent much time, in Java, Sumatra, Timor, Bali, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. The Lord met all my needs.
As an aside, next week we celebrate 7 years living in this retirement Village, again we can so loudly declare, we came here in the will of God.
Sadly, there are times when one must lay a ministry down, either because the Lord is clearly leading in another direction or because of age and health reasons. I had anticipated returning to Indonesia again this year to teach in a School, that I have been involved in since the start of the century, but the time has come for me to say that I believe the Lord is closing this door and I must lay this ministry down. It is with a very heavy heart that I write these words, I have lived the dream, and count it such a privilege to have been able to serve the Lord in this way.
The passion and burden remains as strong as ever, and I will give more time to Intercession, praying for the nations, and especially those 25 nations I have had the opportunity to teach and preach in.
I still have my blogging, and preaching, and this I will continue to do with all the strength the Lord gives me. TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY.
THE ONLY PLACE TO BE IS IN THE CENTRE OF GOD’S WILL.