There is a grave danger in following human models or traditions that are not solidly rooted in biblical principles. In themselves, they may not be wrong, but if they inhibit the movement of God’s work in any way rather than accelerate it, we succumb to a less effective method of doing God’s work, diminishing our fruitfulness in HIS ministry, and misdirecting those we serve.
I will never forget a life changing moment in our ministry some years ago. Tim and I were doing one-on-one training of some in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We had separated into our separate rooms to continue writing our observations on Scripture. I was nearly finished with First Corinthians when I read Chapter 16:8-9. “But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” I got up from my table and ran into the room where Tim was and with a very animated voice said, “LOOK AT THIS. Paul was waiting “for a wide door for effective work” in his ministry! We must do the same!”
It was as if the Lord had revealed one of the most important elements for our ministry. Most are in a hurry to go on the mission field and walk through any open door. I thank the Lord for their eager desire. But Paul waited in Ephesus to make sure God provided a door “for effective work!” This brings me back to another portion of the quote from G. D. Watson.
“Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, but most likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and the joy of seeing Him supply your needs day by day out of an unseen Treasury.”
From our experience over the years, when we do not wait on the Lord for this quality of opportunity, we waste the Lord’s time and resources. After hundreds of years, the task is not finished of spreading the gospel to every people group. It will be done, it can be done, but we must seek the Lord for HIS “wide door for effective work!” Don’t follow money, the crowd or tradition. Follow the Lord!
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