My recent trip to Nigeria was a real teacher. I always look forward to my mission trips because I know God is about to teach me some new things, take me to a new level, and I am about to grow in some areas. All of that is good, but I also know that it might be a bit painful.
Recently, the Lord has been dealing with me in the area of trust. With the trust issue, know that there will also be suffering. There has to be dying involved when you are moving into more trust in the Lord. Normally, that also means that the Lord will allow some things to be absent or taken away from you. We must know for sure that if something goes away, God has something greater in store for you. That also means that you must stay focused during this teaching.
On this trip to Nigeria, I was stretched beyond measure. It did not feel good, but I was aware of what the Lord was doing. I had to make a decision to suffer through, die to my flesh and trust God.
We were being locked out of our hotel rooms because our host was not able to pay for our rooms. I had to get some money, and I was desperate. Through all of that, the Lord was speaking to me and giving me directions. This was a crucial time, not a time to be emotional. When people get emotional in crisis, it cuts off your ability to hear the still, small voice of the Lord. It is imperative to remain calm and get into a position to hear.
Trust is an issue that most of us have had to deal with or are still dealing with. Trust issues are critical in this season because of the conditions of the world. We need not be moved by what we see, hear or by what people tell us. It is imperative that we only believe what the Word of God says and what we hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us and what He does for us. I cannot express enough the importance of living and moving in the supernatural in this season. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to discern through us at all times. This means that we must be in a state of total surrender to the Lord.
I had so many wonderful things happen on this trip. The enemy threw everything at us that he could to cause us to lose our focus. But it was necessary to continue to press through. That was the word the Lord gave me before I left, that this was a season of “deep press.”
There is a place called Kadesh Barnea. This was an oasis in the wilderness that in times past brought defeat, failure and death to the children of Israel. (Read about its importance in Numbers.) The Israelites were about to be delivered to the "land of milk and honey," but it was just out of reach. That's much like God’s people today, who come so close to their breakthrough, healing and deliverance and are defeated at the brink of what God has for us.
Kadesh Barnea was just south of the Promised Land. God’s people either come to this figurative place, this oasis, and get too relaxed and end up “blind sided” by the enemy, or we become tired of the pressing and fighting and quit before the real blessing is able to manifest.
In Nigeria, while I was dealing with the hotel emergency, the Lord was working. One wonderful thing the Lord did was to open a door to work with the Nigerian government training leaders, especially ministers, on ethics and values. What a wonderful platform to work from. This is the same work we have been doing; however, we will be able to reach far more leaders for the Kingdom of God.
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