“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith… that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16, 19).
I knew I was on the Lord’s mission. I (Norm) had returned from a two-week trip to three Central American countries. In the days leading up to the trip, I was struggling with the fact that little seemed to be lined up. I didn’t even know where I would stay or the individuals I would meet there, but I knew I was on the Lord’s mission. The first thing I sensed was that Satan would try to hinder. That he did. The second thing was that I prayed that the Lord would manifest His presence. That He did. When we talk about the manifest presence of God, we often think of the miracles that accompany large meetings when obvious things happen that normally wouldn’t. Or we think of healings and deliverance. These are all a part of the manifest presence and the fullness of God. But there is something more.
The One who holds power beyond our imagination is with us as we go. It was obvious to me, as in the past that the Lord was manifesting His presence and fullness through His provisions, safety, divine contacts and favor with those I was meeting. Our purpose is to see thousands of workers raised up from the Latin American world. Though previously unannounced, the Lord led me to some of the most influential Christian leaders in three countries, gave me wisdom in speaking and favor with all. This is what we call going out in the Spirit and power. In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gave a great challenge to go to all nations teaching them all things. But He also pointed out that all power was given to Him and that He would be with those He sent all the time. This is going out in power.
“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 28:19-20).
The cornerstone scripture of Elijah Company is Matthew 9:35-38. It is a model of a missionary, Jesus being that model. He went into all the towns and villages. He proclaimed the good news of the Gospel. He healed all diseases. He had compassion on all the people. And He said that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few therefore we should earnestly implore the Lord of the harvest to send workers (who in reality would be just like Him – going, preaching, healing and praying). But the most interesting word in this passage is the Greek word “ekballo” meaning “send“. The response to earnest prayer for the Lord to send workers would be His direct and personal intervention to send in His power. The word “ekballo” can be described in many ways. It is a spiritual word that conveys hurricane-like force to drive along. It is the same word used a few verses later in Matthew 10 when Jesus told His disciples to “ekballo” demons, meaning “cast them out by the finger of God“. When one is sent in this way by the Lord of the harvest, He goes out in the Spirit and power.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out (ekballo) workers into his harvest field'” (Matthew 9:35-38).
After twenty-five years of mission’s work, my conclusion is that missionary work is not difficult. It is not hard. It is simply impossible. It is for this reason that nearly 60% of foreign missionaries do not return to the field. Many try to do in the flesh what can only be done through the Spirit and in God’s power. So the question remains, “How does a person go out in the Spirit and power?” I would never claim to be an ultimate authority on anything pertaining to God’s ways, but there are some things the Lord is showing us. Just like I went to Central America and experienced God, those going on the mission field need to know what God’s ways are in sending people in the Spirit and power.
How to Go Out in the Spirit and Power
“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah… to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
- Develop a personal spiritual resume – Develop your spiritual gifts, get involved in evangelism, exercise your prayer life, and step out by faith right where you live. Do this in the shadow of your hometown church. Exercise your gifts to the maximum right now where you are.
- Get a world perspective – Take the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course by the U. S. Center for World Missions. This course is the most eye-opening way to see the progression of what God has done and is presently doing in missions and how you can hop on board.
- Attend a Missionary Training Camp with the Elijah Company – This training is short and intense. It may not be everything a person needs but as one trainee put it, “It has given me the steps to take to get to the field.” It is comparable to going into a dark room and having someone switch on the lights for a few seconds. You don’t have enough time to study the room in detail, but you know the general layout. You know what to avoid and what to pursue. For information, see elijahcompany.org. If Elijah Company is not an alternative, then find another with a similar emphasis.
- Get certified in missions – What we mean by certified is that you find out what are some of the essentials a person needs in order to be a missionary. These are things like spiritual disciplines such as prayer, devotions and study, good personal relationships, cultural adaptability, emotional wholeness and understanding of spiritual warfare. Make sure that these essentials are developed before you go.
- Ask the leaders in your church to hear from the Lord on your behalf – It was the leaders of the church in Antioch in Acts 13:1-3 who were together ministering to the Lord, when the Holy Spirit spoke and said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have for them.” We must believe that the Holy Spirit is still speaking and saying, “Set apart for me ____ for the work I have.” He is the Lord of the harvest. He commands, controls, inspires and sends. A few chapters later in another instance the leaders said something that is equally relevant, “If it seems good to you and to the Holy Spirit…” When we sense a call to missions we cannot be independent. We are interdependent in the body of Christ. When leaders of a church step away from a prayer time, having heard from the Lord regarding an individual, then that person can pursue his call with vigor and undaunted certainty and say, “This is the Lord, He is with me.“
- Develop a sending team – Each person going out should have a team of 10-20 individuals who are intimately involved with the mission like a flight crew of a fighter jet. We are told that as many as 50 individuals may be on the flight crew of one fighter jet. These individuals know everything about that aircraft, every cable, gage and capacity. They know its mission, when it goes out and when it should return. They know the pilot, how he flies, what he likes, dislikes and his tendencies. This, ideally, is the kind of sending base we need. With the sending of many thousands of missionaries, the church is going to be stretched to care for and support each one. It is my opinion that once the leadership has confirmed the call, the responsibility to support should be delegated to a sending team.
- Develop a fervent prayer life – This should actually be the first step and never stop until the last. It is praying to the Lord of the harvest. The Lord does not need anything. He does not need workers to accomplish His work. He could do it on His own. He has no needs. The call for workers is the privilege that we have of cooperating in His divine plan for all ages. He desires to have us involved. Pray that He would send. To receive weekly encouragement and training in prayer, send a blank e-mail to
This may not be the only way to go out in the Spirit and power, but it may be a good alternative for some who are contemplating the call to missions. There may also be some people on the field who need to retrace their steps and develop some of the things we mentioned.
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
For information on Elijah Company, Inc. ministries and training, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-226-3507.