This post is the third in a series of three addressing common issues for students considering participating in the Chinese Trek summer missions. Check out the first and second posts.

God has some exciting plans for developing your heart this summer. We want to help you in processing how the Lord may be leading you to serve. As you pray and study God’s Word, consider the questions below, and ask God to help you understand His call on your life for the summer ahead.

Question 1

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD , ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

Matthew 28:18-20

What does God’s Word say about my decision to go on a summer project?

The Bible is God’s travel guide for your life. And it is much easier to figure out where you are going if you read the directions before you embark! Read and study passages of the Bible, praying that God would speak to you through His words. Ask Him to help you make a decision on how you can best spend your time this summer that will be most glorifying to Him. God loves you and His plans for you always have what is best for you in mind. If you search His Word with an open and teachable heart the Lord will speak to you through it.

As you study scripture let God show you what His desires are and how He may use you to complete His Will. Jesus commissioned all those who call Him Savior to preach His gospel to the whole world. Perhaps going on a summer project may be God’s way of using you to actively participate in taking the gospel to the world this summer!

Question 2

How do I sense the Holy Spirit leading me as I pray about going on a summer project?

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (NIV). As you study God’s Word, pray and ask God for wisdom in your decision-making. After you spend time asking, remember to spend time listening! He desires to guide your heart as you make these important decisions.

Question 3

What insights do I gain from people who know God, know me and know my situation?

Is there a spiritual leader in your life? Whose walk with God do you look up to? Who gives you spiritual advice? Ask the people in your life to pray for you and give you honest perspective about your desire to go on project. Seek wise counsel from your pastor, a Bridges International staff member, or another spiritual mentor in your life. Seek out someone who knows you well-someone who is familiar with your strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and unique situation. Ask them to help you consider what God may be planning for you this summer.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.

Proverbs 1:5

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”

Proverbs 19:20

Question 4

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:31-33

How has God been at work in my circumstances?

As you walk by faith and let the Lord arrange the details of your life, opening and closing doors, presenting opportunities and going before you in every situation preparing the way, try and pay special attention to God at work in your circumstances. Closed doors may open (Romans 1:13) and open doors don’t mean that you should necessarily walk through them (2 Corinthians 2:12, 13)And remember God promises to provide everything you need to do His Will.

Question 5

What is my deepest desire regarding the decision?

Has God given you a passion to use the gifts He has given you to serve Him? Do you have a passion to see a specific people group come to know Him? On the surface you may seem to have many different wants and desires. But when you start to seek the Lord and ask for His Will you will find yourself desiring what God desires! ” For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13. Sometimes God does call us to surrender our own desires to His Will just as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane “My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” But when you choose to obey God and surrender your own will to His, God promises to reward your sacrifice. Luke 18:29 says, “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4