God knows the plans He has for us, and those plans are for good, plans to give you a future, plans of hope. Hope in the Bible is not necessarily the same definition we use everyday. Hope in the Bible (the Old Testament in particular) is often closer to the words trust or confidence. It differs from that of the word trust in that it is a confidence that the object you are putting your hope into will have a confidently good outcome in the future. It’s the present progressive of trusting, so to speak.
This is what the Lord has done in my life, He has given me hope and given me a future. I am confident that His plans for me are much better than the plans that I had, and I look forward to seeing His plans play out in my life.
Before reading on, I suggest you catch up to this point. As you can see by the title this is part 5 of 5 in “Don’t Despise Small Things”. In my original post to this series I started it off with the verse from Zechariah 4:10 where he says “Who has despised the day of small things?”. The point that God was making through Zechariah was that in doing a work for Him there are many small days and small things that we must go through in order to accomplish bigger things. So when you find yourself going day-to-day, one small thing after another, don’t become discouraged in doing the work of the Lord. In fact, rejoice in these small things and small days. After all, Jesus told us to be faithful in the small things first.
To read the other four parts click these links,
As I had posted about last time, I had already been to Ecuador once. Since being there I had been praying about going back there to serve as a missionary, but had still been hearing ‘Wait’ from the Lord. In the mean time, I had been going to a secular college and teaching in the Jr. High Youth Group. That said, I think the easiest way to help you see the progression of me serving the Lord in California as a youth leader to being called to be a foreign missionary is to recount some of my private journal entries. To do this, we are going to have to go back in time a bit and overlap some on areas I have already described. I had graduated and returned from the York Calvary Chapel Bible College in May 2009, with instructions from the Lord to tell others what He had done in my life.
Entry on 12/8/09,
“Well, I wouldn’t say I was the best at keeping a journal, but at least I try. It has been 6 months since I last wrote in here, and much has happened. I ended up coming home to California, this was due to feeling like it was what God wanted as well as some visa issues that prevented me from staying. The plane ride home was relatively uneventful. I sat next to a Christian film maker and we chatted some, but other than that I just read my Bible. While reading I felt like the Lord was sending me to be a witness at home, especially to my old friends. I had expected only to be home for the summer but the Lord has not told me what to do next, so I am waiting….
In the mean time the Lord had plans for me that I did not know of. Right as I got home Jordan the Jr. High Teacher got sent to Iraq, since he was in the Marines. Since he left, I naturally stared to fill in for him. At first I was hesitant, since I figured I could only be here a short while, but eventually God gave me a heart for them and I committed to the work there….
…I have been going to Chaffey College as a necessity, to keep my parents happy and to keep myself busy, all the while making good use of my time here. At first, I really did not want to go but now I see that it is a mission field desperately in need of the light….
…Other than that I am just waiting. I believe God is calling me into His service yet I am still unsure as to how. I wonder how secular college fits in, perhaps it is all training or maybe this is my mission field. I only want God’s will in my life, and I pray that He makes His plans for my life happen. Ps. 138:8
I do ask You for direction, am I to be a missionary? Am I to go to college and then for what? What are your plans for my life?”
Entry on 1/6/10,
“So I am at the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference right now and it has been so blessed!! I just got a job at the Mountain High Ski Resort two weeks ago, but I am thankful for the rest God allowed me to have since I graduate from Bible College, it was well needed…. (I had been doing odd jobs and labor for work in the mean time, since I was unable to find a job. Not having a steady job was good though, it gave me time to rest spiritually and physically, readjust to American Society, and allowed me more time to serve in the ministry at my church.)
…I’ve been hearing a lot the first few days here about being a missionary to my home town first. I have a feeling God wants me to first serve Him here in Wrightwood, California. At first I was sorta sad about hearing this, but I began to surrender to it. Then tonight at the afterglow a woman had a Word from the Lord, when she said it I knew it was for me. The gist of it was something like this “…You will be sent out, but the Lord is waiting for you to walk like you were on the mission field now. You will be sent out… He will send you. He wants you to know that He has you for now right where He wants you and for you to know that you are on a mission field now, and that people are dying every day not being saved, there is great urgency where you are now. But He will send you out.” So God will send me out as a missionary some day, but for now my calling is here, to be faithful to God for once with my full heart…. I am so thankful for this direction. I have been praying and waiting, for what seems to me, forever for direction, and the Lord has now answered my prayer. Thank You God, help me to live a obedient life to you and please lead me and use me here, and help me to follow this calling. Show me how to be a missionary here Lord.
To be honest, I had a suspicion that this was the case all along. And it goes along with a few other things people have said to me here. Love ya, Jesus!! :)”
“So another exciting day! Today at college (Chaffey) the christian club was having an event. I felt like I should have woken up earlier in order to help out more, but I was lazy and slept in. But I prayed that if God wanted me to help out He would somehow make a way, even though I had classes that day.
I decided I had about 20 mins before class to at least go and say hi to Chris (The CCC President)… He asked if I would at least like to go to the prayer room to pray for some people… After a while a Christian woman named Sharlim (I think) came in and asked if we needed any help with the prayer team. We told her that there wasn’t anyone coming in but she could pray for us. I told her about how I wanted direction and wanted to be a missionary. As we were talking though, a guy in a wheel chair came in. (He had some sort of condition where he couldn’t walk and couldn’t talk very well, some sort of special needs kid) and I asked if he wanted prayer, to which he nodded yes. Then we asked what for, I think he was all mentally there but could not talk. He could sort of mumble words but it was really hard to understand. He pointed for something in his bag, eventually we figured out that he wanted his laptop out. He typed out “My friend sick”. So we prayed for his friend and him.
Then I asked if he wanted to join us in prayer (we were about to pray for each other before he came in) before I left for class. …The guy held up his hand like he wanted to put it on my shoulder, as I had done for him when I prayed for him, and he began to pray for me. I don’t know what he said but I could hear him make out the word Jesus to start with. After that he left and we kept praying. Sharlim started to pray for me and prayed that God would open my ears to hear Him. After that she felt led to anoint me with oil. She prayed God would anoint me with His Spirit and then anointed my forehead as she did so. Then she anointed my hands and asked God to bless them. She then anointed my feet and prayed for God to shod them with the Gospel of peace, then she prayed for the helmet of salvation and for God to protect my mind, touching my head again as she did so. Then she put oil over where my heart was and prayed for the breastplate of righteousness. Then she touched the side of my knee with oil and prayed for the belt of truth, the shield and the sword (I was thankful that she chose a more culturally appropriate spot then where a belt normally goes!). It really blessed me and I had tears in my eyes by the time she finished. I felt like a prophet of old, or King David, being anointed by the Lord…. she told me this was the verse from the Lord that she saw as she prayed,
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.””
Entry on July 15th, 2010,
“So I just got back the 13th from a 2 week missions trip to Ecuador. At first I did not think I was going to go but as Philip and I prayed together about the missions field God began to give me a heart for it…”
Entry on 2/21/11,
“So I am now praying about going back to Ecuador this May till about September, while I am on break from college. I should have enough money saved up by the end of this season at Mountain High. By the way, both school and work have been very fruitful and even enjoyable mission fields.
Today in reading Acts I got this verse, Acts 22:15 “For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” It seems this is confirming my calling to all men, of all nations to preach Jesus to, especially when I combine this verse with Jer 1:5 “…to the nations.” It is pretty cool and daunting that Jesus would want to use me for something as big as that, especially when I am such an unworthy sinner. God’s grace really is amazing!!! God is not partial in His love, so why should I be (I was referring to Him sending me to the nations, instead of just one nation as a missionary). I am now in the honor program at school. I figure as long as I am doing this then I may as well do it all for the Lord. That in itself is a testimony of Jesus in my life…
Another thing I have been thinking about is what do you do when you don’t have clear direct revelation of God’s will? To those who say you can do what ever you want and Jesus will be with you (minus sin) they may be right, because Jesus did promise to never leave us. But, a clear reading of Acts shows that God does give clear direction to those who are open and willing to obey His Spirit.
So then what to do when you don’t know what to do. Follow clear revelation in the Bible (I.E. love God/others) then: to He that abides in Christ… Proverbs 16:9 “A man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” But once God’s clear revelation comes, all our plans must give way to His. Proverbs 19:20 “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel – that will stand.” In the end, God is in control and we must trust this. Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are of the LORD; How then can a man understand his own way?””
Entry on 7/2/11,
“I think God is calling me to be a missionary. I have had this desire for at least 3 years or more now but finally it is confirmed. Isaiah 52:7-56:8. I am to depart, to preach the good news of salvation through God’s son. He has promised to go before, with and behind me. Greater faith in my God has been born in my heart this night through His Word. But where will You send me? Where shall I go? I know You have promised to be with me where ever I go, but I want to know Your wisdom in where I will be most effective.”
Entry on 7/7/11,
“Today was so blessed. Had so much fun at the firm foundation friday and I just love the youth at our church. God has blessed me in just allowing me to be a part of this ministry.
Also, after church Blanca asked if I was still praying about Ecuador. I said yes. She said she had a dream I was in Ecuador speaking Spanish, that it was like I had and would be there for a long time. She said she wasn’t necessarily saying it was a spiritual thing but she just thought it was interesting. Maybe this is one more piece of confirmation… but even still I will wait for further clarity…. I have prayed many times that I want to be where God can use me the most, if that is Ecuador so be it Lord. Not my will be but Yours be done.
Lord, I also ask that you would confirm to me through Zeke, so that Zeke doesn’t feel I am leaving him but knows you have truly called me. Love you Jesus, thank You for today.”
Entry on 12/2/2011,
I am sure now that the Lord is calling me to preach His word to the nations. It is amazing to know He gives me the freedom to go where I want, since any nation is part of “all nations”. God loves the world equally. But there is so much more need in other countries, sure I could stay here… but I would be one of millions of teachers/evangelists. People have so much opportunity to learn the Word here, if they don’t then it is on them not me.
That being said I am going to Mexico tomorrow, for a one night visit to a church, an orphanage and a mens drug rehab center…
Entry on 12/4/11
“Back from Mexico, it was good to be reminded that this is what I want to do with my life. Was fruitful and God was with me and leading me. I felt there was a confirmation that I am called to be a missionary while I was there.
Then just now I checked the daily Bible verse app on my phone and it said this;
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Up until recently I had always been reading verses that said wait, now I am hearing “go”. What nation is first Lord? Mexico? Ecuador?”
Entry on 12/8/11
“‘Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men. They immediately left their nets and follow Him.’ Mark 1:17-18
Following Jesus means leaving behind my old life. Becoming a missionary means leaving my job, my friends, my family, and my ministry. I love them all, but I love You more Jesus. I know Your calling me, here I am Lord, send me.”
Entry on 12/9/11,
“I keep seeing these verses and ones like them. Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 9:23-27, Matthew 4:19-20.”
Entry on 1/21/12,
“Gen. 12:1-3, Lord, it seems like you have told me this before, is this more confirmation about the missions field? What does this mean for me?”
In between this entry and the next I had decided to go to Ecuador, there were many reasons for this that I didn’t list here. But basically it was an open door, I wanted to go there and circumstances were pointing in that direction. All those things lined up with what God had told me in the black and white revelation of His Word, so I announced that I would go to Ecuador. The Lord had confirmed it to Zeke before I told him about it, like I had prayed for and I was going to finally be sent out.
Entry on 2/7/12,
“Matthew 9:9, Follow. I keep seeing verses about following Jesus, He is calling me to follow Him. He knows who I am and yet He is gracious enough to call me? I do not know why you would want me Jesus, but ok. I have heard Your call to follow You, and will answer. Please make me into who You want me to be as I follow You, thank You for still calling me after all the evil I have done. Truly, You are a God of mercy and grace. I answer Your call. What encourages me is that if You are saying follow me then that means You will be with me, and ahead of me. I do not want to go alone, so thank You.”
Entry on 3/30/12
“So my plan ticket has been bought. There are still a few things I need to do before I go, but it is official now… I have a one way ticket to Ecuador….
…Tonight I read a devo that encourages me to go still, to take this step of faith. It was based on this verse, 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Me going to Ecuador is the biggest step of faith I have taken yet. Thankfully God has been faithful to me. He is providing all that I need and more.”
Entry on 4/28/12,
…I have been studying Numbers 13-14 tonight, about how Israel did not enter the land because there were giants there. Only Joshua and Caleb trusted in the Lord and gave a good report… and were rewarded by entering the land 40 years later.
There are giants in the land awaiting me in Ecuador, but there are always giants everywhere. The Lord has told me not to fear, and by His grace I will not.
Lord, forgive me for the unbelief that has been in my heart these past 3 years. I was not trusting… I ask that as I step out in faith, that You would fight for me. As You fought Egypt for Israel, like You promised me You would. Take away any fear of man from me and make me as bold as a lion, from Your righteousness. I ask for Your words upon my lips, and victory against those who oppose Your truth. May I ever speak Your truth. Send Your Spirit Lord, send with me Your presence or send me not. Amen.”
Entry on 5/7/12,
“Acts 7:3 ‘and said to him, Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’
When I read this verse I couldn’t help but apply it. As Abraham did, I set out not knowing where I am going, until the Lord brings me to a promised land.
And so, I will leave my beloved America, I will leave my beloved family, and follow the Lord to a land I do not know. Maybe this promised land is Ecuador, or somewhere else, perhaps it may be Jerusalem itself, at the second coming of my Lord Jesus. But until He shows me this land I will move forward. And first is Ecuador. Thank You Lord for this verse. Guide me, lead me, and bring me to the land You have for me.”
Entry on 5/14/12,
“Matthew 28:18-20 was the verse of the day on my phone. More confirmation. 🙂
Also started blogging, has been pretty fun and well received. It is bigger than I intended it to be, I could use it to reach more people.”
And so that’s how I got to today, here and now. It has been a journey, and a long one at that. I am sure we all could fill volumes of books quite easily in retelling our pasts, but in retelling mine I have attempted to give you some of the major events that have defined my life. They are road markers along the way, along the path which ever leads upward for me. This is the upward calling of Christ Jesus. He has called me to the nations, to speak forth His Word, to make disciples and to teach them all that He has taught me. Thankfully, I do not go alone, for He never asks of us what He isn’t willing to do Himself.
May you hear the call of God on your life, the upward call. And more so may you answer it.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
© 2012, Matt Camphuis all rights reserved.