We have been in Thailand almost 2 months! I’d be lying if I said that adjusting to a new culture is easy, but we know the Lord has led us here and He continues to confirm that are in the will of God. Reminding ourselves of this gives us great confidence and encouragement when challenging times or questions of why are we here come. It also helps us to stay focused on what He has called us to. I want to share with you four practical ways in which we have discovered the will of God for our own lives and principles of how the Holy Spirit loves to direct and lead people into the will of God.
The number one way the Holy Spirit leads me into the will of God is through His word. As we were preparing to come to Thailand, the Lord spoke to me through a few passages of scripture (Matthew 24:14, Psalm 2:8, and Ephesians 5:15-19) that tell of His promise of receiving an inheritance from the nations and our calling to partner with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit to present that inheritance to Him. These verses confirmed for me that stepping into missions was the will of God for us. At various times while reading or studying Holy Spirit will emphasize a scripture, making it stand out or come alive to me and I know God is speaking. Holy Spirit loves to open the scripture to us as His perfect will is revealed in the scriptures. If we are doing something contrary to what the word of God teaches we should repent right away, ask for forgiveness, press delete, and move forward in confidence in His mercy.
The inner witness of the Spirit is the second way we find the will of God. Two years ago when we visited Thailand on a vision trip, Amy and I both felt a strong impression of the Spirit that the Lord was calling us to come alongside Dton Naam as full time staff. These kinds of impressions from the Spirit (which are sometimes faint) is just one way he speaks. Other ways the Lord can speak includes things like remembering a bible verse, having thoughts that seem divinely inspired, seeing a picture, having a dream and many other ways. The Word of God (Romans 8:14, John 10: 2-3) teaches us that as sons of the Father and sheep of the Shepherd we can hear His voice and follow the leading of the Spirit. As we heed His word and act on it, He will often give us more.
Personal prophetic words is a third way that the Lord has revealed his will and confirmed for us that we are in the will of God. The following story is a personal example of this. When Amy and I first started dating she made clear to to me that she was called to Thailand. I went to church and two gentleman in the congregation prophesied over me that they saw me in the streets of Asia doing power evangelism and making great impact. I doubt that they even knew at the time that Amy and I were dating and that I was considering the possibility that she could be my wife. I have held on to this and believe that God will bring it to pass! Often the prophetic will encourage us in our calling and can help bring clarity to what God may be speaking concerning our life. The scripture teaches us that personal prophecy is for “edification and exhortation and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3). We are to test all prophetic words by the scriptures, and hold to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21). We are called to wage war with the prophetic words spoken over us (1 Timothy 1:18). Remembering, praying through, and speaking out prophetic words we’ve received when we face discouraging and challenging times is one way we can wage war with prophecies spoken over us. We should welcome prophetic words as they are part of our life in God and bring much benefit, but we should not always be looking for someone to prophesy over us every time we see a prophetic person. I have seen many people who are always looking to get a new prophetic word and living from prophetic word to prophetic word. This can take away from our own personal relationship with God and could lead to deception.
A fourth way God has used to reveal His will for my life is through leaders in the body of Christ. Many times the Holy Spirit will be speaking to me already about something in the will of God and then I will hear a sermon either at church or via a podcast addressing the very thing the Lord had already been speaking to me about. As we were preparing to come to Thailand we felt the Lord impress upon us that this is a key time for Thailand of great harvest and entering into what God has for her as a nation. It encourages us so much to hear our new home church here in Bangkok saying this is a kairos time for Thailand and that in the next 10 years there will be many come into the kingdom of God.
We believe that we have come to Thailand in God’s sovereign timing and are confident that He has brought us to be apart of His great redemptive plan for this nation and the Lord has confirmed this again and again. Even as our church is saying, now is a season of preparation for the next season to be fruitful in all we do!