Every person is unique, so it is also important that we approach God in a unique way. In this article I will show you how you can find God according to your uniqueness.
Why I had packed two suitcases for Siberia, and then it was not necessary after all.
Two travel suitcases, ready packed for Siberia with many warm clothes stood there in my small room. But they were not packed for a vacation, but for a much longer stay. And then they stood there – for weeks.
A story from the beginning of my discipleship, when I was about 22 years old.
#prayer #mission #Jesus #Siberia #prayerimpression #discipleship #planeticket #suitcase #missionarysociety
A few weeks before, I had had quite a clear and distinct prayer impression in my quiet time in the morning. I had sat down comfortably on the sofa in the living room for a time in the morning before work and had a time of discourse with God. During this time of prayer, a thought grew larger and larger in my heart that seemed very strange to me. “Jesus needs me in Siberia.” I had no idea how this thought came into my heart – but such was my “word of God” in prayer in the morning. The following day the same thing happened again, once more this word “Go to Siberia”. When the same thing happened the third morning, I decided to do some research in the evening, after work.
Because, where is this actually located ? And what kind of people live there? I wanted to see what kind of country this is, which has become so important to me through prayer. But when I opened the maps, I was very frightened. “But that is very very far away – and also very big”. In the following weeks I began to investigate what people live there, how they live and what kind of country it is.
Impression becomes action
You surely know this as well. Some thoughts of the heart come, but they also become weaker and insignificant again. And at some point you have forgotten them. But this thought of the heart remained. It even became more intense at times. One day this prayer impulse was so strong that I expected to find a plane ticket to Siberia in the mailbox in the evening. When I came home from work in the evening, I took two suitcases from the basement and began to pack them. Especially warm clothes, because I now knew where Siberia was.
When I looked around my small room afterwards, I realized that I still had far too many possessions. If it would really go off now, it would be a quite chaotic farewell from my flat-sharing community. So I started to reduce my remaining possessions that same evening. I gave away my stereo and most of my records. The rest went into the trash. After all, I might not need it after tomorrow. Music is not needed on the mission field. My most important books went into a box for later separate transport.
The others must know
In the days and weeks that followed, I began to tell my roommates in the shared apartment that I expected to have to leave the shared apartment soon. I also told my church, especially the pastor, that the end of my cooperation was near. When these people heard my reason for leaving, they thought I was crazy. But my mind was made up, if this prayer impression was true, it would start soon and I wanted to be ready for that. I wanted to inform my family and my employer only shortly before departure. Then, when everything is clear and the facts are known. After all, I didn’t want to make everyone crazy beforehand.
The waiting begins
And so, from then on, I waited every day for the arrival of a letter from a missionary company, with or without plane tickets, but at least with the information about when I would finally be leaving, and with the facts about where my mission would be. In those days I always lived with the hope: “Today, or maybe tomorrow, but then for sure. Then the plane tickets would come by mail, or at least the letter explaining all the details.
But nothing comes
But the letter did not come. Not that month, and not in the following ones either. It did not come at all. Yet it had been such a clear word in prayer. As a young Christian, I could not understand it. Obviously, the time was not right yet. But good, so I could prepare myself better for the coming task. So I signed up for a Russian language course, got books about culture and sociology of the different regions in Siberia and much more.
But no letter came from a missionary society. Not in the days, but also not in the months or years afterwards. Had it all been a fantasy or a figment of my imagination? A few months later I met my future wife and other goals and intentions came to the fore. In the process, my prophetic word became more and more distant. For my family it was never an issue that we might go abroad to serve Jesus there. And we did what every good servant of God does in such a situation: He serves where God has placed him. So we successfully built the Kingdom of God in our hometown for more than 25 years. Founded a church and led many people to Jesus.
But the fire stays
But deep in my heart, that fire from the beginning continued to burn. This passion deep in my soul has always remained. I am there when the Lord Jesus needs me, no matter where on this planet, no matter when. I am there – until today, more than 35 years later.
So in 2020, following a prophetic prayer impression, I rode my motorcycle to the Turkish-Greek border to do something for the Kingdom of God. In 2023 I went to pray in the (real) desert because of a prophetic prayer impression. And much more.
And who knows, maybe one day, more than 37 years after the prophecy, I will be in a far away country to serve Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So what is the call to the ministry?
The core of my passion is certainly the mission “to introduce people to the risen and living Christ”. This mission has never faded over the years. But it was a long way for me over the years until I understood what vocation is. And especially how to live a call from God. It was a long way, with many detours and many mistakes I made. With failure, falling down and getting up again. If I had to summarize this whole wealth of experience today, this sentence would read as follows:
Vocation is not the “WHERE” – but the “WHAT” – vocation has NOTHING to do with a place – BUT with my personality.
The example of Philip in the Bible
Let’s take a look at this consideration using the biblical person of Philip in the book of Acts. He was used by God in at least four very different places for different ministries. Initially, he belonged to the core of the early church in Jerusalem. For example, Acts 6:3 reports that he was elected as one of seven deacons of the first church and was thus responsible for caring for the needy.
Not only in Jerusalem – also in the desert
In the time of persecution, he was led by the Holy Spirit to Antioch and told the people there about the risen Jesus (Acts 8:4). There the Lord speaks with him and sends him into the desert. But he does NOT explain to him what he should do there. BUT Philip there recognizes the situation brought about by the Holy Spirit and leads the eunuch to Christ. Then the Holy Spirit “telepaths” or “beams” (think Starship Enterprise) him in an instant to Asdoth (Acts 8:40), a great distance away.
Philip goes on
What is he supposed to do there? He begins to travel through the places and to tell about Jesus. Thereby he comes to Caeserea where he possibly settled down. Because from there it was reported that Philip had four daughters gifted by the Holy Spirit and lived in his own house (Acts 21:8-9).
What was Philip’s call to ministry? Was he a deacon, a pastor, a preacher, an evangelist, or rather a pastor or shepherd – or whatever? We cannot understand. And also the question about the place of his vocation? Where was this? Jerusalem, Antioch, Asdot to Caeserea or wherever. This also cannot be said. So we find out: Philip was called in a great way. But no one can say to what or where.
That’s why I had to learn in my life, it’s not about the “WHERE” or “WHAT”, but about a lifestyle that brings Jesus to the people in every situation and in every place. Quite obviously, in my early years, I had interpreted God’s speaking a little too precisely. Obviously, it is more about living completely close to God and recognizing and carrying out His tasks that He puts before my feet. Or, in other words, to recognize and walk in His ways. Following the example of Philip, who recognized the ways of the Lord and then walked.
Thus, we may understand our vocation as a call to the closeness of God. As “being on the way by his hand and letting ourselves be led”.
As already explained in Ephesians:
For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 SCH2000)
Or in my words, through the new birth in Jesus, we have become people who recognize God’s prepared work and pray and act into it. This can mean that we have to go to another place for a while or whatever. Thereby the spirit of God with his speaking will often lead us into very different tasks and also to very different places. With this realization I have now landed together with my wife in Switzerland and not in Siberia. But who knows what is still to come …..
Jesus’ disciples are those who, …..
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. (Revelation 14:4 SCH2000)