Mission to Cambodia #11 – So much to say, so little time

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Missions
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It is an interesting thing having the set schedule of an 8-day instructional period, rather than the freedom of the weekly worship service of a local church. I must confess that I’m developing a whole new level of respect for the various professors I’ve had in college and seminary, who have had to stick with their syllabus, no matter what. I have already reworked my schedule several times, and I’m still behind. When I teach this afternoon, I will be finishing Matthew 21 & 22, which puts me one full day behind. Thankfully, it’s looking more and more likely that I will have the majority of the day on Thursday as the sole teacher – so hopefully we’ll be able to finish the whole book of Matthew. My constant prayer is that we can cover the material, without skimming over the details in a mad rush to the finish. I pray that God would give me grace and discernment to know what to emphasize, and what to leave out from my notes. Ultimately, I desire to be faithful to The Lord and His word, and impart to these men the things God wants to show them from the Scriptures.

It’s a reminder to me of how dependent we are upon the Holy Spirit. When I’ve been on other mission trips, our dependence upon the Spirit have been a bit more obvious. There were questions about logistics – needed help for translations – desperate need for God’s provision – grace in sharing the gospel of Jesus, and much more. From the very get-go in an evangelistic-minded missions trip, it’s easy to see how badly we needed the help of the Holy Spirit. But what about a teaching-focused mission trip? His help is just as necessary. We can teach others based on our knowledge, but only the Holy Spirit can give us the RIGHT words to say. We can share our background, but only the Holy Spirit can give us the wisdom on what to share & how to share it. The Spirit empowers us to think on the “fly,” make the needed adjustments along the way, and even give us the physical strength to stand and speak during the time allotted to us. Is it possible to teach without the Holy Spirit? Yes – but it’s not possible to be effective without Him. His empowerment and leading is absolutely essential if we desire to see results for the kingdom of God and the glory of God.

What’s true on the mission field is true in our daily walk with Jesus as well. How often we forget our dependence upon the Spirit when we are home and in our comfort zones. We can read the language – we can find our way around town – we know what to say and how to fall into our routines…and we can easily begin to do these things in our own strength. We even get to the point that we try to do “ministry” without dependence upon the Spirit as we teach children, lead worship, serve others, etc. But it is impossible to truly do the work of God without the power of God. It is impossible to ascribe glory to God when we are acting in our own flesh.

We have a mission field all around us, no matter where we might be. And the Holy Spirit is just as necessary at home as He is halfway around the world. May God help us continually remember our dependence upon Him!

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