Monday's Ministry Morsel
Sunday, March 12th began our Home Mission week of prayer. I hope you will intercede daily for those who are on mission across our world. This is mission week as well for our students and it is also mission week for us IF we know the Lord Jesus as Savior. Every day we enter a mission field. Question is what do we do when we are there?
Many, if not most in the church can often feel overwhelmed by the sheer scope of ministry; world wide or otherwise. Sometimes to the point that they do very little if anything to impact their 'world' for Christ. By their 'world', I mean those in their own strategic circle of influence; the place where they live, play, work & serve.
Many can easily resort to blaming their irresponsibility on the conditions of the world being so bad or having never been worse so they simply refuse to engage their surroundings with the gospel. That defeated attitude plays right into the hands of the enemy. When doubt of ever making any real difference begins to creep into the mind the tendency is to pull back instead of leaning into Him and pushing forward in faith. Sadly, some retreat into and remain in a defensive mode instead of being on the offensive and storming the gates of hell under the counsel and with the courage the Spirit of God supplies.
I was enlightened a few days ago by a statement in the book, 'every member evangelism for today' by Roy Fish and J.E. Conant. (I would highly recommend everyone read it) It read,"world conditions can never become so complicated, nor can the condition of the church become so bad, that this command (i.e. Matthew 28:19-20) cannot be obeyed when the church yields to the power of the Holy Spirit, as it did in the early days of the church. When we begin to go in obedience to the divine command and in the fullness of the divine power, lost people of the world will begin to come. We can never expect the world to come to us; we must go to them."
I jotted down these words under that statement as a reminder--"When we begin to go as we are commanded, we will begin to see more come to Christ--not until."
In order to do that consistently we must prepare ourselves daily for the task of influencing our circle of influence for Christ. That means simply that we put on the armor of God daily because we are in a fight with the adversary who is currently claiming far too many thru eternal death. The members of the body are in large part fleeing because the church is not tapping into her power supply.
The armor of God begins with prayer. It is and remains one of our offensive weapons. The other is the sword of the Spirit, which according to Ephesians 6:17 is the word of God. IF you and I want to live victorious daily, we must begin every day with prayer and the word of God. The other weapons of our warfare are defensive--the helmet of salvation--the breastplate of righteousness--the belt of truth--the shield of faith--the sandals of peace. Those are important as well but prayer and the word of God are imperative to our success!!
The armor that Paul refers to in Ephesians 6 could have been a description of the suit of armor that his guards wore daily. The interesting thing about this armor is that there is no protection when you are in retreat. When you flee you make yourself vulnerable to the assault of the Adversary, the devil. The protection that God supplies comes as we are willing to face the enemy, to stand firm and focused in the good fight of faith.
When Jesus blessed Peter for his confession of faith in Matthew 16:17-19, Jesus said of His church; "upon this rock (Jesus) I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." What many fail to understand in that text is that the church is designed to be on the offensive charging the gates of the enemy and delivering souls from death in the power of the Holy Spirit. The church is NOT designed to be bottled up in her places of worship fearing what may happen next! What is more encouraging is that the Head of the church (Christ) promised that we, the church, the body of Christ would prevail.
Therefore, under the Lordship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit there is absolutely no way the church can lose or be defeated in the ministry of taking the gospel to the world. That includes you, where you are right now if you are in the body of Christ. However, apart from His Lordship and the Spirit's leadership, there is absolutely no way the church, (that includes you if you are redeemed), can win and experience victory in ministry.
As a part of the body, are you living in defeat? Are you fleeing in retreat? OR are you clinging daily to the offensive weapons of our warfare--prayer and the word of God and facing what the enemy throws at you from the victory that you are supplied in Jesus?
Do not be confused by the doctrines of men that twist the Great Command to say--"Come out of the community into our church and hear the gospel preached." THAT IS NOT AND HAS NEVER BEEN THE COMMAND OF CHRIST TO HIS DISCIPLES!
We have our marching orders--"as you go, make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19-20) And as you hear those marching orders receive them and do so in your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world. (Acts 1:8) Minister to each simultaneously, as the Spirit leads you this week TO GO!
May the Lord bless His work in you and thru you this week for His glory!
1 Corinthians 15:58