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Monthly Missions Message

"Discerning God's Will"

October 2002

Have you ever considered that discerning God’s will is as much an art as it is a science.  Without sharing three points and a poem, let me try to explain.  You see, God can reveal His will to us by any means that He desires, but the Scripture tells us that He speaks through His Spirit in a still, small voice.  I don’t know about you, but with all the “voices” in my head, sometimes it is difficult to discern the Voice of God.

 Now before you call the psychiatrist to have me re-evaluated, you know that there are all kinds of distractions in this world that can take our focus off God.  These distractions are the other voices.  When attempting to discern God’s will, we must find the balance between using the brain that God gave us to follow His leading and becoming so pragmatic in our decisions that we never consult the Spirit of God in prayer.

 Not having been to the Philippines since the summer of 1993, we felt that we were not able to pinpoint an exact location for our church planting ministry.  It is very difficult to get a true picture of an area when it is based wholly upon books and web-sites.  So our first priority has been to visit several potential locations for church planting.

 In the past three weeks, we have visited twelve different cities, all which are in need of new churches.  Two of these cities, Lucena and Legazpi, seemed to have the greatest need.  Lucena has a population of over 200,000 people, of which there are about 500 Baptists and less than 4% evangelized.  In Legazpi, there seems to be an even greater need.  Legazpi is the most prominent city in the Bicol region of the Philippines , and yet it has only one Baptist church and one Bible church.

Facts and figures about population density, socio-economic profiles, demographics, and such comprise the scientific end of our search for God’s will—we want to take the message where the message is not being heard.  But the artistry of discerning God’s will is much more difficult for me.  At times, I wish God would simply give me a “pillar of fire” to follow.  Each time we entered a new city to explore its possibilities, I would pray, “God, if this is where you want us to serve you, please reveal Your will to me and give me peace in our decision.”  As we drove into Legazpi last Friday night, I had a strange sensation that swept over me.  It was as if I knew that I was home!

 Logistically speaking, Legazpi is an excellent target for a new church planting movement.  It is the capital of the Albay province, as well as the capital of the Bicol Region.  The people all speak the national language—Tagalog.  It is a large enough city to have large super-markets and American fast-food.  This will help keep us all happy!  But most of all, it is where God spoke to my heart in a still, small voice, saying, “Your home!”

 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

 

For More Information Contact:

BMAA Missions in the Philippines
PO Box 30910, Little Rock, Arkansas 72260-0016 USA
Tel: 501-455-4977
FAX: 501-455-3636
Internet: www.bmaam.com

E-mail: [email protected]


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