FROM OBSTACLE TO INSTRUMENT


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

FROM OBSTACLE TO
INSTRUMENT
===========================
What, then, shall we say in
response to these things? If God is for us, who
can be against us? Romans
8:31

Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following
insight
from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted
Church.”

The persecuted church teaches us that everyone is either an
agent of God’s
will, or an instrument of God’s will. Everyone in this world
has only two
choices: they can choose to do God’s will by co-operating with
God, or they
can choose to defy God and do his will
unknowingly.

“Remember, our God is so great even the persecutors serve
him,” said a Chinese
pastor wryly. He was referring to arch-persecutor of the
Chinese church, Mao
Tse Tung, who launched the fiercest anti-Christian
campaign of the 20th
century in the 1960’s. Called the “Cultural Revolution,”
he swept away all
churches, burned all Bibles, and imprisoned all the
pastors.

Yet all he succeeded in doing was pushing the church deep
underground, where
it became embedded in the family structure and Chinese
culture in a way 300
years of evangelism had failed to accomplish. From this
fire emerged the
world’s largest revival – where the church grew from 1
million in 1950 to over
80 million today.

“We say,” smiled the pastor,
“that thanks to Mao – who thought he was
annihilating the church – we have
the greatest revival. He thought he was
killing the church, but all the while
he was doing pre-evangelism. God had the
last laugh. Glory be to God – He
always gets his will done.”

This truth is also showing up in India. Since
1997 violence against Christians
has increased greatly as a result of the
election of Hindu extremists. Yet the
effect of the extremism has been to
drive thousands of low caste Hindus into
the church. The more Hindu
extremists persecute Christians, the more moderate
Hindus are drawn into the
church.

It is a glorious truth the persecuted awaken us to. Everyone ends
up
furthering the will of God! Even those who put obstacles in the way of
the
church serve God, because God just turns the obstacle into an instrument.
This
means that we must not despair when we think conditions for the
flourishing of
our Christian lives or our churches are less than perfect.
Take your worst
enemy or the one feature of your life, society or church that
causes you most
despair, then put your mind into gear and think – how would
God work his will
through this obstacle?

Are you childless? Maybe God
is using that to give you a greater ministry,
impossible with the
responsibility of family? Are you powerless? Maybe God
wants to show his
glory and make you marvel? We may not get an answer, but it
is a thrill to
try, because we know everyone is either a willing agent or an
unwitting
instrument of the will of God.

He’s too great, and he loves the world too
much, for it to be any other way!
God takes the obstacle, and makes it the
instrument!

RESPONSE: Today I will be an agent to accomplish God’s will
realizing He can
make me an instrument.

PRAYER: Lord, make me an
instrument of Your will and work as I choose to
cooperate with You.

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