2015 Myanmar – Megan Napier

God of Commitment

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. – Isaiah 62:1-2

As I was reflecting back on what I had experienced and seen God do in Myanmar, I realized that I had completely missed what He had been communicating to me personally. I was caught up with meeting the amazing native pastors and ministers, with seeing God powerfully touch and encourage His people, with enjoying the times spent with the team, and with walking out my own personal breakthrough. I had assumed that the theme of the trip was about believing through faith and not by sight, as there were many moments like that for me on the trip. But it wasn’t until I was reminded of Isaiah 62 that I realized God’s zealous love in Myanmar was being made manifest in His commitment to His people. Our God is a God of commitment. He is faithful and fully committed to His people. He sees where we are, and He is committed to taking us from glory to glory. And upon deeper reflection, I realized that this was the true theme of the Myanmar trip for me.

First off, God was showing me how committed He was to me in my life personally. I have to admit that even making it to the day of departure for the mission field was personally difficult. I was facing different obstacles from support raising, to huge projects going on at work, and also different issues in my heart. There were times when I wanted to break my commitment of going to Myanmar. But in the last few days before departure, God used different people and signs to keep on showing me how committed He was in sending me to His mission field. Right before heading off to Myanmar, a sister shared a prophetic vision that she had for me. She saw a balloon on the floor that looked liked me, but there was no air in it. This sister felt that God was going to breathe into me and inflate the balloon. But I needed to know that this wasn’t just about breathing life back into me with His breath, but also about the fact that the Lord was committed to bringing me back. This word meant a lot to me, as I had been feeling very much lifeless and stuck for the past couple of years. But to hear that God was committed to bringing me back began to soften my heart. Isaiah 62 is not just a chapter that was highlighted to me regarding Myanmar, but it’s also a chapter that has meant so much to me over the years. In verse 1, God declares that He will not keep silent until He sees Jerusalem shining. Through this prophetic word, the Lord reminded me again that this promise was also for me. The Lord is committed to me regardless of where I am and what condition I’m in. Furthermore He is not just committed to be with me, but He is committed to making me shine for His glory.

On a greater scale, I believe that God is also committed to Myanmar rising up in the glory that He wishes to shine through her. God loves Myanmar so much, but instead of merely feeling His love, I saw His love through His commitment and through His actions. While in the field, our team had the privilege of meeting several local pastors through Native Partners for World Missions (NPWM). These pastors have been through so many different hurdles and situations, but this has not kept them from pressing forward for the sake of Christ being exalted in their congregations and their nation. I remember one story in which a pastor and his wife were led to take in orphans, even though they did not have the resources to take care of them. Nevertheless the pastor and his wife obeyed, trusting that God would provide for all their needs. It is this posture of faith that marks the lives of these ministers even today. Even through political unrest, natural disasters, financial difficulties, illness, and death, these pastors have not waivered in their commitment to preaching the Gospel and shepherding God’s people.

In addition to His commitment to His ministers, the Lord also specifically highlighted His heart for the pastors’ wives. There is a saying that behind every great man is a great woman. Through this trip, God was showing me what a blessing it is when a pastor and his wife are committed in marriage. It is a powerful blessing when ministers are committed not only to the ministry, but to each other. Pastor Zam and his wife, who currently minister in Yangon, were an amazing example of this truth. Their marriage has been through many different seasons of blessings and difficulties, but their commitment to each other is strong. I was able to see God’s heart for marriage through other relationships as well. As I was praying for an NPWM pastor, the Lord pressed on my heart to pray for his wife. This pastor shared afterwards that he and his wife had actually met the first New Philly Myanmar team that was sent in 2009. They had received prayer and encouragement from the team, but this time his wife was unable to come. But God obviously wanted to make sure that prayers were lifted up not only for the pastor, but also for his wife, even if she wasn’t there. They are co-laborers for the Kingdom. God was proud not only of their ministry, but I believe He also wanted to highlight His pleasure over their marriage.

In addition to witnessing God’s commitment to me, and His commitment to marriage, I also witnessed God’s commitment to His church. No matter what the obstacles, the Lord is determined for His people to encounter Him. For example, there was one difficult ministry event where the team wasn’t sure if the congregation was able to receive much from the ministry time. In the flesh, it was so easy to pick out what could have been wrong and why the ministry time didn’t seem as powerful. It is one thing to discern what blocks could exist, but the team knew that we needed to contend and break through whatever spiritual blocks for the sake of the people who had come out. It was still difficult during the second service, but in faith, I felt that the spiritual block was broken and the team was able to witness God moving powerfully in people’s hearts. This openness continued on to the last service as His presence was poured out. God is committed to His people and used our team to intercede and also to release His love and glory. The Lord wasn’t focused on the blockage, but He was committed to bringing His people forward and to encourage them that they and their nation are meant for more.

“Golden Myanmar” was what Pastor Myunghwa declared over the people and the land of Myanmar at our last service. This was not referring to the golden Myanmar currently known for its gold-plated Buddhist temples, but a golden Myanmar reflecting and shining forth the glory of God. It’s the same name, but the new “Golden Myanmar” stands for so much more. And it is my prayer that God will not keep silent, nor will His people, until we see Myanmar rise up and show forth His glory to the nations.

In closing, I would like to share one prayer request on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Myanmar. There are currently a few bills that are being considered by the Myanmar government which will require all formerly Buddhist converts to seek approval for the conversion from the government. Buddhist women will also need to seek government approval to be able to marry a man from a different religion. This will allow the government to keep track of who is converting to which religion. There are concerns and fears regarding these bills. But this is obviously a tactic of the enemy because they know that they are losing their power and grip over Myanmar. Remember that, as declared in Ephesians 6:12, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I ask that as believers, we stand in faith, remembering God’s commitment to His people. I ask that we intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters, that these bills not be approved, but instead favor will be released over our brothers and sisters. I declare that they shall rise up and shine forth God’s glory in places of influence in government, education, families, all across Myanmar and even the world!

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