Step by step, led by the Spirit
10 Feb 2021
Right now, when it’s difficult to get permission to even leave Australia, there is an enormous barrier to serving amongst the unreached to bring the good news of Jesus. When barriers seem insurmountable, Jesus reminds us that ‘God is Spirit’ (John 4:24). This means that he can cross any barrier: between heaven and earth, transcending time, and even into people’s hearts.
Long before COVID, the Spirit was crossing barriers for me. He encountered me as a young adult intent on an impressive medical career, and, through books like Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, and the example of others who had gone before, He connected my pride-filled heart with His mission to all the nations. When I was uncertain on where to go, God allowed me to cross paths with a team leader who inspired me to join them. Because God is spirit, He can cross the barriers of pride and confusion.
Serving overseas, we of course encountered more barriers – and God crossed them all. The political situation was a barrier, as the people we wanted to serve were labelled “off limits” for the gospel. But as we looked at our maps, the Spirit guided us to a village that we could reach undetected by hostile authorities. To get there, the rugged mountains were a barrier. But when we were lost at a fork in the road, right as we were praying for guidance, the Spirit brought someone along our path who not only showed us to the village, but who welcomed us into his home time and again afterwards.
In the village, the worldview and culture of the people was a barrier to them receiving the good news of Jesus. But the Spirit firstly showed us new aspects of the gospel, so we could communicate about Jesus in a way they could appreciate. He also ‘extended His hand to heal and performed signs and wonders’ (Acts 4:30), to help them see that Jesus wasn’t just a story from another country, but powerfully present. When we prayed for one young man who was injured, he was amazed at his rapid recovery and became the first Christ-follower in his village. They asked us to pray for rain to come on the village, and the Lord brought rain. One time God even responded to my prayer to help a guy’s motorbike start working; he was astonished and afterwards very eager to know more about Jesus.
God is spirit, and today he is crossing every kind of barrier to reach the unreached with the gospel. In His love, he desires for the precious people he has created to be connected with Him. As I have gone with Him, in a small way, He has allowed me to cross barriers that I didn’t think I could ever cross – and connected more deeply with himself. If you are thinking about serving amongst unreached peoples, walk in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), and you will see him make a way.
Is God calling you to join the mission field? Get in touch.