Have you ever gone to a concert, event or program where at the entrance they hand you the program for the evening? I tend to see it on a weekly basis with the programs they hand out at as your coming in to the church. These programs outline the order of the service. Have you ever noticed an asterisk in the program? It is usually at the bottom of the page. Generally, it says: “***This program is subject to change.” If you attend a Pentecostal church, it may read like this: “**This program is subject to change by order of the Holy Spirit”. Well, a couple weeks ago, the program that I had prepared for my trip to the Dominican Republic was subject to change by order of the Holy Spirit.
Our trip to the Dominican Republic was from November 1st – 6th (Tuesday to Sunday). We were a group of 20 people, including my sister, my parents, and myself. The purpose of the trip was to minister in Paraíso, Barahona through preaching, worship, and charity. The Sunday before we left, my family received an emergency call from Guatemala and that same morning, they had to fly out to Guatemala. Now, from the four of us that were going on this trip, it was only two of us, my sister and me. The next day, at about 8pm, my sister received the news that she was unable to leave the country. This news shook us because our flight was scheduled to leave at 5am the next morning. We made many calls, but no one could help us. The next morning, I arrived at the airport at 3:30am, and from the four of us that were scheduled to go, now it was only me. My parents were in Guatemala, my sister was in the United States, and I was headed to the Dominican Republic.
When we landed in Santo Domingo, we still had a 4-hour drive to Paraíso. That evening I was scheduled to preach in an open air event in the center of the city. We got to the ranch where we were going to be staying at about 6pm. We only had an hour to get ready before heading out. That was the plan, but God had something else in mind. At 6:30pm it started to rain hard and it wouldn’t stop. At this point, we were unable to hold our service outside. The event was canceled so we decided to take advantage of the evening and have a service amongst ourselves, the missionaries.
The ranch in which we were staying had a gazebo that served as our temple. As we were worshiping, I was meditating on the Word of God. I asked God to give me a message to share with the missionaries. What kept resonating in my spirit was the word “Holy Spirit.” I felt I should speak about the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I shared what God had placed in my spirit, and when I finished sharing the message, I began to pray for everyone. I quickly realized that some of the missionaries had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and others had not recognized the power of the Holy Spirit to perform signs and wonders. For me, it was important that God would baptized us that evening because part of our mission in Paraíso was to pray in unity for a revival in the city, healing of the sick, but most of all, that people would come to know Jesus.
That evening, some of the pastors and I began to pray for those desiring to be baptized. God, in His time, baptized them. One of the young ladies that was baptized described it like this: “In that instant I felt a fire running through my veins. I began to jump and cry. When I opened my mouth, I had no idea what language I was speaking, but I felt it was from heaven. It was something I had never experienced, and I will never forget.” That evening the missionaries were motivated and ready to begin the week. They were baptized and empowered, believing that through the Holy Spirit, they would lay hands on the sick and the sick would be healed; they would lay hands on the captive and the captives would be free. There was no doubt in my mind that it was necessary to speak about the Holy Spirit that evening.
But why so many changes to my agenda? In my mind, I was going to preach in the city that evening, with my family alongside. None of that happened. Actually, it was the exact opposite. I preached in a gazebo to our team of missionaries, with my family not present. None of that bothered me, on the contrary, it made me cherish how the Holy Spirit works. During the rest of the week, the Holy Spirit made some additional changes to our program and God was glorified!
To be effective ministers and to have effective ministries, sometimes our agendas and motives need to be subject to change by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our eyes see one thing, but the Spirit sees another. The good thing about allowing the Holy Spirit to change our agenda is that despite all uncertainty that we may have, the Holy Spirit takes us to the need of the people. It’s great to have agendas. I have my agenda and my journal where I write my goals, but after all that, I hand them over to the Holy Spirit.
I believe that God wants to do great things in this generation. We want revival, we want to see signs and wonders! I desire that, but we need the agenda of the Holy Spirit. We need Him to guide us. I ask, is your program subject to change?