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Listening to the Spirit’s Call

William Guthrie


insideasi_summer2010_page_27_image_0001This spring, my senior class at Fountainview Academy conducted a series of ShareHim campaigns in Sabah, Malaysia. During the pre-trip planning process, we were given the choice of preaching with a partner or conducting the series alone.

My initial choice was to preach with a classmate to avoid the preparation that preaching alone would require. I viewed the mission trip as an opportunity to enjoy a slower pace, relax and do some “other” activities that seemed interesting to me. And, to be honest, I felt uncomfortable with the idea of preaching alone.

But the Holy Spirit would not give me rest about the choice I had made. I became impressed that I should preach the entire series. Through studying to understand each message, I would better internalize the full measure of the truths we were presenting, and I would be more fully committed to the true purpose of the trip.

Time passed, and I found myself at a small church deep in the Malaysian jungle, preaching the first message of the evangelistic series. As the nights went by, I realized that following the Holy Spirit’s prompting was the best choice I could have made. As I studied each of the sermons and the truths that our church has been given, I saw more clearly the wonderful theme of Christ’s love for man interwoven through all of the messages. I gained a deeper understanding of His love for all the people around the world, and particularly for those attending my meetings.

I learned many lessons while preaching in Malaysia. For one thing, it takes a significant amount of focus and energy to preach a unified and coherent evangelistic series! Probably the most important lesson I learned was to rely on the Holy Spirit for strength and guidance. During the appeals, I felt Him moving on my own heart, and my deepest joy was found in seeing the audience respond to the Holy Spirit’s calling on their hearts as well.

I was able to get to know some of the people who attended my meetings. I also participated in music with them on the trumpet, violin and voice. Although communication apart from a translator was limited to “hi” and “bye,” it was inspiring to feel the common bond that automatically forms between Christian believers. By the end of the meetings, I found it hard to say goodbye to the group of people I had come to know through sharing Christ. I look forward to seeing each one of them in heaven someday where we will need no translator.