Don’t Count God Out!
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
A few years ago I wanted to have a big day in the Philippines. One of the reasons to have a big day is to let people see God work and do great and mighty things. It’s good to remind to people that God is an great Almighty God.
I began to pray and ask God what He would have us do. In the first year of our ministry, God did some mighty things. One of them was that He helped us have 1,109 people on our first anniversary. We had people everywhere standing all around and looking into the building. We also had many people in classes underneath trees. You have to understand, we started the church in an old pig-pen building. We were able to give away over 500 Bibles that day. I can remember 2 ladies who brought 160 first-time visitors for one Bible.
After praying for a few weeks, I was challenged to double that attendance which meant that our goal was 2,218. I met with the members of the church and we began to plan on how to reach that goal. Remember, the church I started was way back in the mountains and we had to work at finding people. We searched for as many out-of-the-way villages that we could find. To our surprise there were many villages tucked away underneath many trees that we hadn’t seen before.
We started to prepare to put a plan together. I asked many church people to rent a jeep and to bring as many people as they could. When we took the count, we needed to rent over 30 jeeps. You must understand that the only transportation back in the mountains are these public jeeps. That day would be very difficult for the people of the area to go anywhere if we were renting all the jeeps. It would also be a great day of advertisement for our church because everyone would wonder where the jeeps were at.
Our people worked very hard and sacrificed so much for this big day. We heard it was supposed to rain. Once it rains back in the mountains it makes it very difficult for people to go anywhere. Saturday, the day before the big day, it began to rain. Not only did it rain, but it rained very hard. We continued to prepare for a great day. I can tell you as the day wore on that I was very concerned about the big day. I knew that many of the rivers in the area would swell up and make it very difficult for people to cross. I also knew that many people would be traveling for many hours in big trucks with no covering for them. I began to think that it would be impossible for thousands of people to come in the morning. I spent most of the night listening to the rain hit the tin roof of our house. There were times I would ask God, why would you let it rain, don’t you know we have a big day in the morning?
I woke up early that Sunday morning and it was still pouring rain, but I decided that we would run the jeepneys and do everything according to plan. A couple hours before the services the rain stopped. We already had people on the way from over 2 hours away riding in a big open rice truck. It was amazing to me when they showed up and there were over a hundred fifty people on the truck. People started coming in from all over. All of the Sunday school rooms were full and overflowing, and the church building was packed to capacity. We had people standing all around the building looking into the windows. It was so exciting to preach to so many people. When I gave the invitation there were over 700 people who came forward to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. It was so exciting to see so many of our church people with their Bibles opened and showing others the plan of salvation. An hour after the services were over it began to rain very hard again. I thought it would be impossible to have 2,218 on that Sunday. When the final count came in we had over 4,000 people on that Sunday. To God be the glory for the great mighty things that He can do.
Let me show you some lessons I learned that day.
1. We have to want to see some great and mighty things that God has for us. There are so many mighty things that He has for us that we don’t even know about. The only way we’re going to find out those things is to call upon Him and ask. What great and mighty things does God have for you?
2. One of the great promises of God is that He will answer prayer. So many times on deputation I would call churches and pastors and get either a secretary or an answering machine. When you and I call upon God, He personally answers us.
3. Once you find out that God has some great and mighty things for you, you need to have a plan. Someone once said, “Plan your work and work your plan.”
4. Remember that when you plan to do something for God there will always be some obstacles. Don’t get sidetracked, but remember what God has asked you to do.
5. Always remember that God is not limited. I learned that God can do it in the rain or on a sunny day. God really likes to do what we think is impossible.
I challenge you to call upon God and let Him answer you and show you “great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”