One morning when I was having devotions, I was reminded along with the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:9 that God has given a great open door for us to reach the world with the Gospel of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. I have been a missionary for almost 40 years and have seen God do many wonderful things throughout the world. I have been able to travel to six continents and many countries around the world. I have seen God do great and mighty things. Just this past year God allowed me to be involved in starting six churches, and to see thousands of people saved and many baptized. Now, I’m asking God to open an even greater door for us in the year 2013. I want to challenge you to ask God to open a greater door for all of us as we take the Gospel into all the world! For us to take advantage of the great open door, there are some things for which we need to ask God.
First, we need to ask God for His Holy Spirit power! After Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, He knew we could not do it in our own power, so He gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to do the work. I have witnessed to people from many different religions, cultures and backgrounds, and I realize it’s not what I am doing but what the Holy Spirit of God is doing!
Second, we need to pray and ask God for more laborers! Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38) After seeing so many people saved around the world, one of the greatest needs are people to help these new converts grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. So many times my heart has been broken because there was no one left behind to gather these converts so they could be brought together to be discipled and form them into a church.
Third, we must ask God for wisdom in helping to train the nationals to reach their own people. I have had the honor of working with national pastors around the world and am amazed at their sacrifice and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. All they need is an opportunity for more training.
Fourth, we must ask God for help in overcoming the many adversaries that we will face. Getting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ into all the world is the greatest enemy of the kingdom of the Devil. The Devil has many workers, and sad to say, they are more often committed than most Christians. If we are going to use the great door of opportunity, then we must become more committed in going with the Gospel.
Fifth, we must remember the end result! The end result is that God wants to be worshiped from every kindred, tongue, people and nation. (Revelation 14:6) We are very good at teaching our people to witness and work, but are weak at teaching our people to worship God. Sad to say that the goal of many of our people is to have beautiful buildings, social programs and a big church attendance, and forget that God wants to be worshiped by every creature in the world. Let’s all pray that God will not only give us open doors, but that we will take advantage of them for His honor and glory.
Dr. Steven Heidenreich