Knowing when to move on to other fields of mission work is vital for maintaining effective momentum in the Lord’s work. Paul and Barnabas had been speaking in the synagogue over several weeks in Antioch of Pisidia, but there came a time when the “Jews were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him” (Acts 13:45). Paul then explains that it was “necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you”, but they “thrust it aside” (13:46). This caused Paul and Barnabas to turn from the Jewish mission field to the Gentiles as the next field of opportunity for preaching the gospel.
How much time and resources do we waste trying to force persons to believe where God is not at work? We must realize that it is God alone who opens the heart (see Luke 24:45; Acts 16:14). I will expand on this thought more tomorrow, but for now, we must honestly examine our efforts in ministry and missions work. If we do not see God working in preparing the soil in hearts, why are we expending energy trying to force spiritual results in rocky soil?
This has been a hard lesson for us to learn. Many years have been spent going to one country (I will not name), and we have reached a dead-end, mainly because money is their objective, not God’s truth. It is heart-breaking, but at the same time we see God redirecting us by the Holy Spirit to other fields where He has prepared the soil and the spiritual reception and growth is amazing. Make sure your mission agenda is flexible and that you are willing to go where God is at work.
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