In my last post, I asked for examples of following the Holy Spirit. Dan Hubbell, a spiritual father to many, shared this incredible story that demonstrates how following the Lord can sometimes be crucial. He says:
"On one of our missions to the Philippines, our hosts planned for us to minister in the southern part of the Islands where there is a large population of Muslims. Just two weeks before our departure from the US to the Philippines, I was warned by the Holy Spirit not to go. I struggled with this word from the Lord because all plans had been made and tickets purchased by our mission team. But I could not deny the clear warning from the Holy Spirit. I emailed our hosts and told them what the Spirit had spoken. Before they had time to receive my email, I got an email from the hosts saying that they felt led not to go to the southern part of the Philippines. And when they receive my email message that I was not coming to the Philippines because of the warning from the Spirit, they expressed disappointment but understood my decision.
A few days later, I received word from the Philippines that on the very day we would have landed in the southern islands, militant Muslims stormed the airport where we were to land and murdered some of the people there. They also went on a rampage throughout the island killing Christian leaders and other believers. The government declared Martial Law and sent troops to quell the violence.
Had we not heard from and listened to the Holy Spirit, those who would have met us at the airport as well as our mission team, would have been there at the time of the attack and massacre. Also, because of Martial Law, had we survived the Muslim attack at the airport, we would have been confined to our accommodations for the entire time.
Needless to say, we were all thankful to the Lord for warning us and sparing our lives for further mission work."
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7 replies on “An extraordinary story shows the importance of following the Spirit”
So much is given to the fact that Paul performed ministry from jail. Yet Paul was clearly warned before he returned to Jerusalem that he would be handed over, clearly ignoring the Holy Spirit. So it appears, that whether we obey or not, God wins and uses both situations to further the kingdom.
David, I’ve often wondered about that incident in the life of Paul. Have you read Neil Cole’s latest book, Journeys to Significance on the life of Paul? He’s excellent on that subject.
Hi Felicity, great story. We and our friends had a number of such stories too, from our days in Asia in the 80s. In particular I remember a time we were teaching a group how to listen to God and then we all ‘practised’ and shared what we were hearing/seeing. As each shared a picture developed…pray for protection, (psalm), President Aquino in the Philippines, assassination attempt. We all prayed fervently for Mrs Aquino. A week or so later the headlines in the paper were ‘Miracle of God’ or ‘Act of God’ (bit fuzzy now) as a bullet narrowly missed her head. The saints rejoiced, were amazed and were very encouraged. We experienced a number of such leadings in those days. I have a brain like a sieve, but we may have some still in our diaries.
Over the years though, other elements at work in the Church have brought more caution to us in this ‘practice’..your recent blogs have driven me to study/thought over these and I may try and write my own blog…time permitting (very short of) in response. I believe it may add to our understanding and strengthen our faith.
Postscript! The Lord definitely shares His mind in the Body and leading is richer and wiser the more we listen to the Lord in each other.
In our last group we had an issue with a person. As the committed group sort the mind of the Lord, He led us corporately, thru pictures/scriptures/words to love/accept this person, not confront and He would deal….He did! The person announced they were not coming back the following week and the issue literally went away
Laura, I love these examples. Personally I believe that one of the next major moves of the Holy Spirit will be as he challenges his body to listen to his voice and obey him. Imagine what could happen if his people did this everywhere and in every situation. Sure, there would be excesses. But I believe we would see the Lord do so much more.
A current situation I’ve been going through this weekend.
We’ve had YEARS of financial trial. At the end of last week I was approached with a potential major life changing proposition. There are many factors involved so I asked a handful of good friends to ask the Lord to speak to me BEFORE I get immersed in situation, and BEFORE I told them details…..I wanted to hear from God first, as a beginning guideline or to warn me off.
In the old Asian missionary days, this was a practice that we understood and valued….ie seeking initial mind of God before human reasoning got involved (though the latter has its place).
I am so sad to say that all the friends I asked, bar one old friend from the past(and man of God) had no concept of what I was trying to do. I have one very precious word from him, wonderful, but only the one (one man doesn’t make the mind of christ from the body) and I’ve had human questioning and even irritation from others. It is an actual lesson in this for me right now. (also how sad I am yet again re Church)
If anyone reads this and knows how to listen to God, please lift me to the Lord just at this time and ANY thing you sense, maybe you could share with me here? No biggie, I’m seeking initial guidance in a huge thing. We don’t have a ‘body’ here that currently gathers, we are (and have been) on our own in our town for some years. Our immediate Christian family near by are busy surviving, and are the ones I’ve asked.
Laura, sorry, I meant to get back to you on this earlier. I certainly understand the pressure of years of financial trial. We had 9 years when we first moved here when we couldn’t make ends meet. No one wanted to employ 2 unlicensed physicians and so we did all kinds of menial work for years–and it never paid enough to support a family with 4 kids.
As to the difficulty of finding people who understand the need to hear the Lord, I’m guessing that the average believer is very unused to these concepts. We tend to work with a group from around the country in such situations via email if we need others to hear the Lord with us as well as with our local home church.
I pray the Lord leads you very clearly re this opportunity. Let me know where you are on the subject and if you still need more prayer for clarity.