Adversaries and the Open Door

As Paul closes his first letter to the believers in Corinth, he shares with them a timeless truth. In every place where God opens a door for the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, many adversaries will strive to impede its progress (16:9).

It should be no surprise then that Paul opens his second letter with a plea for prayer as he describes the difficult journey he endured in his carrying the gospel to Asia. Paul speaks of the times as being so trying, that they were near death and sometimes would have even preferred to die (2 Cor. 1).

Deutsch: Karte Senegal

Deutsch: Karte Senegal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 3:25 pm in Jacksonville, Florida. Matt, Gayle, Ezra, Thea, and Hosanna are now leaving for Senegal, and they are very excited… without the impediment of misconceptions. They realize that God has opened a great door for the gospel, but are also aware of their need for much prayer,  because the adversary will be very busy.

Matt departs from us with these words of grace… “Dear Partners in the Gospel, Please pray for us. …Thank you again for being a part of our journey as we begin this new chapter in Senegal. All Senegal for Christ!

Matt reminded us Sunday that all Christians are called to make sacrifices; many will be called upon to suffer, but no believer is called to sit on the sideline. Staying off the sideline means being alert, available, and engaged where God is pouring His gospel into the lives of people. But remember, when you choose to be an obedient vessel for His service, many adversaries will be at work also. We need not be caught off guard, for the adversaries loathe the life-giving gospel of God’s Son.

And should we wonder “Why does God allow adversity to come with His open doors of opportunity?” Paul tells us that it is so that our confidence will not be in ourselves, but in Him alone (2 Cor. 1:9).”

How do we recognize the adversaries? Aren’t they made evident through their attacks on the gospel both externally and internally? Externally through persecution and suffering. Internally through our flesh. Externally, there will be adversaries attempting to close the open door. Internally, we will war with our fleshly and selfish desires. But if we’re willing to be that selfless vessel of mercy and grace, then the good work that He begins will be seen through to completion.

This includes praying for our missionaries. As senders, it is our gospel responsibility to keep them faithfully in our prayers. Even though the adversaries will seek to hinder our petitions to the Father through busy schedules or just laziness, we must remember our front line warriors are counting on our perseverance. Remember Paul’s and Matt’s words, “Please pray for us.”

Father, I pray for my friends. Would You always be their Strong Tower, even now as they now make their way toward a great door that only You could have opened. Would You limit the ability of adversity, but when it comes, make Yourself so real to this family that they find the needed comfort and peace to stand firm in Christ. May they also always know they have an army of prayers keeping them lifted into Your presence. Let them, and each of us also, be broken vessels pouring forth the aroma of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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4 Responses to Adversaries and the Open Door

  1. Pingback: ChristianBlessings Lifts the Boyds « Resting in His Grace

  2. Praying this prayer with you today. Thanks for being an intercessor for God’s missionaries!

  3. Freedomborn says:

    It is very True Mike as you said, when we stand up for God’s Truth we will have opposition and there will even be those who hate us. Jesus said what He experienced we will too and as you also shared Mike, this may mean some of us will be Martyred as well . But it is not God who afflicts us ( see below ) even Paul said it was Satan and it is through those who are motivated by their evil flesh, which as Christians we are to put to death by The Spirit so we can be perfected in Love and then having asked for God’s wisdom we no longer depend on worldly wisdom, reasoning, and logic and Jesus our only Teacher, teaches us all things needed and even mysteries are disclosed.

    When we Love the Lord with all our being and others too, no one will have to tell us to share His Truth, or consider others first, or to pray and to help the poor, when we are shown the need we will want to if we are indwelt by The Holy Spirit , and our words and actions will show if we are.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    We reap what we sow, when a man/woman thinks they know it all in the flesh, and they consider others inferior, or unimportant, these are the people God will use to show them they are the foolish ones, how does He do this, through the confirmation of His inspired written word and genuine signs and wonders. it will be shown they are the ones in error not those they put down, yes they can still reject or ignore The Scriptures and even the Truths in Creation but that does not change God’s Truth .

    We see this confirmed as we remember the world renown Scientists who claim that we evolved, God’s word shows clearly that would have been impossible and so does His creation.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne.

  4. If we do not go to foreign fields ourselves, we have a definite responsibility to support and pray for those who do. May each blood-bought, adopted child of the living God be faithful to ‘go’ to their own community, and to support and pray for those who go beyond. Lord, keep us faithful.

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