Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' ‘I will not' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
When asked to do something we do not like, our first reaction is often negative. In 1981 I went to visit a church that had just lost its pastor. Joseph Ton was "asked" to leave the church by the government. I had to preach in that church that same evening. I saw sadness and confusion and many empty seats ... because of fear. I started by asking a question. "Has Joseph Ton left?" They answered, "Yes." Then I asked another question, "Has the God of this congregation left along with Joseph?" My question fell like thunder. They all answered, "No." "Then let us give Him glory," I continued.
A week later, the church committee called me on the telephone to make an appointment with me to meet with them. I realized straight away that they wanted to ask me to become their pastor. I told them that I was not interested and that I could tell them "No" over the phone. "But we still want to visit you." Of course I could not refuse that request.
The church was fasting and praying for our meeting. The members of the committee came and we talked for a long time. All of a sudden I heard myself say "yes" to their request to become their pastor. When I realized it was not me saying yes - it was from God, peace filled my heart. "Father, not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth" (Psalm 86).
"Here I am ... I desire to do your will, oh my God" (Psalm 40:8).
Nicolae Gheorghita is from Romania. He became well-known as one of pastors of the largest Baptist Churches in Europe. Despite his status, his messages are characterized by their simplicity and servitude.
Copyright [C] 1995 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Click here to sign up for a free monthly newsletter from Open Doors about persecuted Christians.
Day by Day with the Persecuted Church
compiled by Jan Pit with a forward by Brother Andrew (paperback, revised 2000)
Compelling wisdom from the pen of actual believers living amidst persecution, you'll be connected to the suffering, courage, and depth of life that exists in the harshest places in the world. Each of these 365 thought-provoking devotions will deepen your understanding of Christian persecution and provoke you to pray for our brothers and sisters with a new found depth.