Why Can’t I Tell?

A close up portrait from the nose down of a young woman with her pointing finger over her lips. She's shushing someone.

I clicked the “End Call” button on my Zoom screen. I had just spent the past hour meeting with someone working in the Disciple Making Movement arena in a place where secrecy is vital. Nour had related some amazing stories of how God is moving among Nour’s people. I heard how people are coming to Christ in large numbers and how churches are multiplying, all without the presence of foreign missionaries. We had also discussed the need for heart-language Scripture to help these churches disciple their people.

This conversation was a spark of light in a dark world. In the weeks leading up to this meeting I had felt like I was spending the vast majority of my time deflecting the flames and arrows that the enemy was sending against our field personnel. In contrast to all these hard things, the stories Nour told me were extremely exciting, and I wanted to share them with others. But Nour lives in a spiritually repressive environment, and all the stories were extremely confidential.

I had some questions for the Lord.

I absolutely understand the need for secrecy regarding these movements of people to Christ. Yet my heart was heavy, and I asked the Lord, “Why?! Why can’t Your people know about these movements? Why can’t the world see what is happening? It would be an incredible encouragement for so many who need both courage and hope right now!”

In the absence of an immediate answer, I gave myself over to sleep.

In the middle of the night, I awoke rather suddenly and felt that God was answering my question. It was one of those situations where you “know” many things in an instant … each of which takes many, many words to explain.

He had some answers for me.

The answers God gave me in that instant included a succession of Scriptures and concepts, including these:

  • Jesus’ teaching that the Kingdom is like a mustard seed … and like yeast.
  • Times when Jesus instructed people not to tell anyone about His miracles because it was not yet His time.
  • The Scripture in Exodus that says: When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle where God took the people of Israel the long way.”
  • Passages that talk about desperate times and persecutions in the future (including this present time) for the Body of Christ.

I understood from this vision that the time for people “seeing” the fullness of His Body was not yet. I understood that He is protecting His people and carefully strengthening them. I saw in that instant that my teammates and I are working for a future generation and that we are part of the strengthening that must take place. I understood that our work was absolutely essential to preparing the Church for the testimony they will give and the price they will pay for doing so in times to come. I understood that the harvest we are seeing now will pale in comparison to that which is to come.

I understood. I was humbled. I was incredibly inspired. I praise God.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash:

Sonia Willing
Sonia Willing has been a field missionary since 1997. She and her husband spent many years in West Africa. She now serves with our Care team and Field Ministries division in the Middle East, Eurasia, South Asia, and Mainland Southeast Asia.
See All Posts by Sonia Willing

Related Content

Make an Impact by Praying Now