A recent Gospel for Asia newsletter wrote about a pastor.
When [he] arrived in the community of about 2,000 people where he now serves, some of the more influential villages were not open to what he had to say. They did not allow him to share the love of Christ with people or visit their homes.
During this difficult time, [he] knew a breakthrough would only come through prayer. He decided to fast and pray for 15 days. As a result, people began listening to his message.
…[He] could have easily give up when he first faced so much opposition, but because he knew the Lord had called him, he committed to stay. Through his prayers and fasting, the lord has softened hearts.
I’m so struck by this pastor’s faithfulness.
- He had a vision for ministry in his community.
- When faced with opposition, he didn’t quit, nor did he bulldoze through…he looked to God through prayer and fasting. (This also indicates he realized it was a spiritual battle.)
- He had absolute confidence that God intended a breakthrough, and that a breakthrough would only come through God.
- He was SO committed to the ministry God called him to, to reaching his community with the love of God, that he was willing to both pray and fast for FIFTEEN days. (When have I ever been so committed to anything?!)
- God responded and (therefore) people listened.
Here is what I wonder, when I read his story:
- What is the community that God wants me to reach? I mean, of course there are my neighbors, but our world is such that my community could look very different from those who live near me. So what is the area of influence which I am supposed to serve? What is God’s vision for my life/ministry/influence?
- Is it possible that I’m not able to really share God’s love with that community because of some spiritual opposition? Maybe I can’t speak, or maybe they can’t hear…but is something hindering the Gospel in that community?
- Do I care enough about the Good News of Jesus and about the community to which I am to share it to pray and fast for a long period of time if that’s what it takes for them to receive the message?
- Do I really believe in God’s calling and His heart for this community? Do I really believe in God’s purposes for my life? Enough to press on in prayer and fasting…waiting on God to do something? Or do I just get discouraged and move on to another community?
- What might happen if I was willing to pray and fast as this pastor did?
Food for thought.