“He did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” Romans 4:20-21
I had wanted to go on a mission trip to Mozambique one year that was scheduled for the end of Nov into the beginning of Dec. My daughter was married in March of that same year, so I put it in the back of my mind thinking this was not the year due to the expense of both the wedding, Africa and the timing of it being just before Christmas. At the end of a worship meeting one night in August, a woman handed me a check and said that it was for a mission trip. She felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to sow into me, but she had no knowledge of my desire for this trip. Though I put it on the back burner, the Lord did not, “Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4.
I expected the check to be $25, maybe $50 but when I got home and looked at it, it was $500!! That was the exact amount of the required deposit and was due the next day! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to call to reserve my spot on the team. I called first thing the next morning and was told there was still room, so I filled out the application online and promptly put my check in the mail. The next step was writing a mission letter for prayer and financial support. I thought I was set. This was God; I’m going! I was supposed to receive a confirmation by email. Not so fast! By Friday I had not heard anything so I called the team coordinator and he told me I was put on a wait list.
“A wait list?” I angrily said into the phone. I have to write a mission letter, and there is not much time. What will I say to people if I end up not being able to go? It will be embarrassing to have to return their money.” He said to me “Where is your faith?” Those words cut into me as if someone stabbed me in my abdomen. I doubled over right there in my kitchen, and if I hadn’t been on the phone I would have screamed out in agony.
I had no choice but to accept the status.
The next week I prayed in angst over this, totally confused. Why would the Lord give me $500 to not be able to go? I thought maybe for a future mission trip and not this one? My prayers were begging prayers and whining prayers, to say the least. On Friday morning I was making my bed when this fleeting thought that seemed to come out of nowhere said, “Well you haven’t gotten a letter of rejection yet.” Wow! It was like being infused with a burst of energy. I got excited. It was a paradigm shift for me. I now had more confidence to pray for this mission trip. I began to thank God for this opportunity instead of pleading with Him to let me go, but I still had in the back of my mind the “what if”. Another week went by. I called again and was told they were in the process of trying to purchase more plane tickets and secure more rooms at the team house on the base but there were other teams coming in during our time, so it was still not yet settled.
It’s Friday again, and I’m making my bed, and I hear the words “act like you’re going until you hear otherwise.” It was another paradigm shift for me! I went on my usual morning prayer walk, but this time my confidence went up, and it felt like my whole being was involved in praying. It was something that is even hard to describe. It was not just my mind and emotions; it involved my whole being. Everything within me was thanking and praising God for every aspect of the trip. From provision to travel to new friends, to ministry that would happen to the weather, everything, and anything, you name it. It was as if I was already confirmed and on my way. I was no longer begging or whining; I had a confident assurance I was going. I acted as if I was going. Isn’t that what faith is? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” When I returned home from my walk, I looked at my phone, and I had received a text confirming my place on the team. I rejoiced so loudly that the roof almost blew off and my dog went and hid under the bed. Through people who had sown, I had more than enough to cover my expenses, contribute to the supplies our team purchased for Iris Ministries and leave a sizable cash donation. This mission trip was about more than just me.
To have a paradigm shift, we need to believe the promises in His Word. The shift comes when we pray from a perspective of heaven to earth rather than earth to heaven. We do not pray through the lens of our circumstance upward but through the lens of heaven downward. Ephesians 2:6 says, We are seated with Him in heavenly places. We take God at His word. It’s so much easier to have confidence when praying for anything if you see it first in heaven and call it down to earth. Romans 4:17 tells us to call forth things that are not as though they are. We need our spiritual senses awakened so like Jesus we say and do the things we see the Father do. John 5:19 tells us, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
If you can see it or hear it by the Spirit and there will be a knowing or confidence or if it is a promise in the Bible you can be assured He will bring it to pass.
Prayer Starter: Father I come to You today and repent of doubt and unbelief. You said that without faith it is impossible to please You but if I have the faith of a mustard seed I can move mountains and that you will answer the the prayer of faith. I choose to let faith arise in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen