Subscribe via RSS Feed

When God Tells You Only Part of the Facts

Most of us have been in situations where God was leading but when He did not give all the answers we needed. Key elements were missing. Perhaps He put a person in our life whom we later found unreliable and the relationship ended painfully. As pastors, He may have sent us to particular churches only to have doors slammed in our face. Worse still, some may have married the partner He sent only to find fighting and jealousy awaiting them. Please know that I am not suggesting God is responsible for sin; nor am I speaking of situations which resulted from our own foolish decisions. I speak of God allowing situations in which we have the opportunity to prove our reliability.

We have all been in crisis situations.

Let me illustrate: Bruce Olson, one of the greatest, most successful missionaries of modern times, obeyed God implicitly, and as a single, young man went alone to the jungles of South America. God had called him to take the gospel to Columbia’s stone-age Motiloni Indians. Bruce’s decision was not a small one; the Motiloni tribe murdered every stranger who came among them—including Indians from other tribes. Before leaving home Bruce carefully made arrangements to be met at the airport, to be housed, and be assisted in his missionary preparations. When he arrived in South America, none of that happened. No one met him. Nothing was provided. Instead, he soon found himself as a vagabond on the streets of a strange and dangerous city. In a short time, Bruce was penniless, without food and no place to go. Finally, he sought refuge with men whom he discovered were gangsters.

Image: Ivars Utinans

Bruce arrived in Motiloni territory several years later after fording jungle rivers alone, fighting snakes and poisonous insects, and crossing the towering Andes on foot. His welcome by the tribe was their shooting him with an arrow, imprisoning, and nearly starving him to death. In pain and isolated with the most backward people on earth, Bruce had long hours to reconsider what he had done. He had to deal with the memory of his parents ridiculing his stupid “call of God”, accusing him of being a fool, and of wasting his youth on religious fanaticism. Now alone and sick, the question pounded his heart: “Why had not God rescued him or forewarned him of these troubles before he left home? Why! Why!” Just when his ministry was beginning to take root, Bruce was captured by Communist guerillas and kept nearly a year with his hands tied behind his back tied to a jungle tree.

When God left you without answers and did not come to your rescue, did you panic or did you trust Him?

While our circumstance may not be as intense as Bruce Olson’s, we have all been in crisis situations. That being so, let me ask some important questions: When God left you without answers and did not come to your rescue, did you panic or did you trust Him? Did you get angry at God and abandon your ministry? During that painful process, did you realize that God actually had two, projects in mind: The one He told you about—His plan to use you—and the other (unannounced) one, His plan to change you. God knows that your preparation is as important as your willingness to go. One without the other is dangerous. Because of that, God does not call anyone to represent Him and leave them as they are. Everyone has to be changed. Some of the greatest saints in Scripture walked alone through the “valley of the shadow of death”.

God does not call anyone to represent Him and leave them as they are. Everyone has to be changed.

Before going further, let me emphasize this point: God never causes someone else to sin so He can teach us a lesson. Never! Where sin is active, God is innocent. As in the case of Bruce Olson who obeyed God and was tragically abused, all that was necessary was for his parents or the Motiloni to activate their own hellish dispositions. Under no circumstances did God make the savages commit sin so He could “get Bruce’s attention” or make him more humble. But, God is sovereign! He can do anything. No, He cannot. God cannot lie. Titus 1:2. The sovereignty of God will never violate the Covenant of God.

Before God finished Bruce Olson’s preparation, he was well-prepared for the work ahead: Here are some of Bruce’s accomplishments with the Motiloni: The Tribe has been converted to Christ, has made peace with their bitterest enemies, and have evangelized 18 other tribes. Today, there are more than 28 Medical Stations and 50 Motilone-Bari Health Centers in the jungle staffed with native doctors. They have established 45 Bilingual Schools, publish a newspaper in their own tongue, operate 42 Agricultural Centers, and have more than 250 Motilone graduate-missionaries actively preaching the gospel in 22 different Latin American tongues. The Tribe now has a representative in Columbia’s National State Assembly and another is the Director of the Office Of Indian Affairs for the National Government in Northeast Columbia. In 1999, when Colombian earthquakes left 180,000 homeless, a Motilone Medical Team of native physicians and nurses gave assistance to more than 5,000 victims. This “fanatical” young man whose parent’s accused him of being a fool, has been given Honorary Doctorate Degrees and addressed the United Nations.

Chas Carrin


From Charles Carrin Ministries monthly newsletter, Gentle Conquest (January 2020). Used with permission.

Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2022

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?