“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.Revelation 3:8 (NKJV)
Our next Skype Crusade is in February. We are endeavoring to help our friends there bus 2,000 people into the venue. Over the last year and a half, we have seen over 1,600 people come to Christ in this predominantly Muslim nation, and received reports of hundreds of dramatic healings that have served to confirm the message of the gospel. If we are able to reach our goal in this next crusade, it is feasible that we could see as many come to Christ in a single night as we have over the last year and a half!
In addition to this, another pastor in India just reached out to ask if I would do an online meeting with a group of 20 pastors. I am thrilled at the opportunity. In fact, to be honest, if we accepted every such invitation, we would be doing nothing else. We rejoice for this open door which we never asked for. This is God’s work, and it has been He who has opened the doors and provided the funds, and we rejoice in what He is doing.
Some years ago, when I was in the traveling ministry, I was constantly facing the challenge of finding enough meetings for our schedule. Though we had many churches we returned to each year, empty spots on the calendar was always a reality. I would work hard, contacting pastors, sending our promotional packets, and doing my due diligence as one called to such a ministry. However, I had subconsciously put all the weight on my own shoulders. God, in His goodness, spoke to me and showed me where I was missing it!
During a time of prayer, I had a revelation. It came as an image to my mind, and I knew exactly what God was saying to me. In the image He showed me, I saw on old shed, like a tool shed a man might have in his backyard or like one might see on a farm. It was made of wood. The door had black hinges on it, and in the vision I saw someone (I knew it was me) trying to open the shed by placing a crowbar between the door and the door jam on the side where the hinges were. I could see the wood beginning to split, and it was evident that one could have accessed what was inside the shed in that manner — but it was certainly unnecessary. On the other side of that door, was a doorknob. I didn’t see it in the vision, but the image showed me in a flash exactly what I had been missing.
The Lord said to me, in so many words, “You are trying to access this door by your hard work. You’re straining each day to do what could be easily done if you would just use the means I have provided for you to access the doors I have set before you. The apostle Paul said it this way:
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)
Instead of bringing God into my need through prayer, I was trying to carry all the responsibility to open doors of ministry through mere human effort. Certainly, God will bless us wherever He can, and His hand was wonderfully upon our ministry, but I was making far more work for myself than was necessary. Besides this, the doors God may lead us to through our times of prayer may be different than the ones we would choose.
Back in those days, I had a directory of churches from the organization with which I was affiliated. I knew some of the pastors of those churches. I assumed some of them would be more likely to open the doors of thier churches to our ministry than ones I didn’t know. One day as I was looking at that directory, I noticed a name on the list I didn’t recognize. I had never met the pastor in my life. His church was in New York state. The funny thing is that I had circles, stars and asterisks all over the names of the pastors above and below him – guys I personally knew – but it was his name that I was drawn to that day. I called him, had a wonderful conversation, and we ended up preaching for him on a number of occasions. He’s still a friend of mine today.
The lesson here is not to try to do the work of the ministry in the arm of the flesh. God gave us His Spirit for a reason, and we need help with a lot more than preaching and praying for the sick. He has given us a Helper to empower and direct us in our labors for Him. If you’ve been struggling, as I was, can I recommend a Friend whose name you need to circle, put starts next to, and have on speed dial! The Holy Spirit is our partner in ministry, and He will empower us in such a way that God is glorified in all we do.
Dr. Randy Bunch is the pastor of Connecting Point Church, located at 409 Center Street in Taft, California, as well as the founder of Connecting Point Communications. He is the author of several books, including his new devotional, The Good, The Beautiful And The True. For more information, go to randylanebunch.org. For more information on the ministries of CPC, you can go to the ministry’s website at connectingpc.org.