“These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens’: ‘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 3:7-8
For the past twelve years, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa has hosted a missions day at the start of the New Year. It’s a time when our congregation gets to meet the missionaries whom we as a fellowship support through prayer and finances. From there, we head out to Murrieta, California, to host our yearly missions conference, a weeklong retreat where the missionaries are fed both spiritually and physically with teaching and fellowship, good food, warm weather (most of the time), and rest. It is always a wonderful, refreshing respite from the norm and so encouraging for us in the States to hear about the good things God is doing throughout the world.
Each Church Is Different
Now, maybe you have never thought about this, but both national and international churches have different personalities, callings, and visions. Quite often, these have to do with the leadership and the calling upon the senior pastor’s life, and since God has called me to an outward-looking ministry, He has called our church to do the same. God has opened doors for us, and we as a congregation need to discern how God wants to use us to step through these open doors and bring the Gospel to people all over the world. But a focus on missions isn’t just for our church in Southern California; it is for every church that desires to fulfill the Great Commission: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Walking Through Open Doors
If you spend too much time sitting in front of the TV watching the news or scrolling through social media, you might be tempted to think that God is not doing anything. The world is getting darker, problems are becoming insurmountable, and it’s easy to dwell on the negative. But if we do that, we miss the fact that God is at work. So how do we move forward? How do we walk through these open doors? Four ways:
Number one, God’s people move forward through prayer. That’s where the real work begins. As I look at the opportunities presented to us, I get overwhelmed. But God is so faithful to remind me to come to Him and ask, “Lord, what do You want to do? Direct us, provide for us, and send us.” Whether it’s a community group, a small group of friends, or your personal prayer life, pray for open doors and that God would give what is needed to step through.
Second, we need resources. Everything costs, right? So this is part of the prayer: “Lord, the gold and the silver are Yours. Everything belongs to You. Open the windows of heaven and pour out upon us the resources needed so we can continue to take the Gospel into all the world.”
Third, we don’t just need finances, we need people! God works through men and women. God sends people, so whether you are a teenager or a senior citizen, God wants to use you and work through your life. In some cases, He might even want to send you. So come to Missions Sunday. Prayerfully consider attending the missions conference (register at missions.cccm.com) or you can participate in the conference live at calvarychapel.com or watch the archived messages when they become available on calvarychapel.com. Maybe the Lord will reveal that He is calling you and will stir your heart for a particular place.
I was 32 when I began doing regular overseas outreach. But even if you’re 62, it doesn’t matter. Age isn’t really a factor—mission work isn’t just for the young. Nor is it only for the preacher/teacher. When you bring the gospel into a place, there are all different kinds of giftings necessary. Now, not everybody is supposed to go, but some are. If you’re not being called out, then send others and support them through prayer and financial help.
The fourth and the final thing, which is the underlying factor in all of this, is faith. We need to take steps of faith. But what does that look like? For many, conviction comes first. God calls you to do something for which you feel completely inadequate. If you were to take a pencil and try to calculate it all out, you’d come up short every time. Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that when they get all their ducks in a row, then they’ll move forward, when an ideal situation comes together, then it’s time to go. But you know what? It hardly ever works like that. When God calls you out, He wants you to be entirely dependent on Him. So when you have the sense that God is saying, “Take the step,” you need to walk through the open door. He will be with you. He will meet you there and will show you the next step.
God wants to send you through doors that will lead to more fruitfulness in your personal life as a believer. So be sensitive and look for those open doors.
Join us in person or live.cccm.com on Sunday morning, December 31, 2017, at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for Missions Sunday. Service times are at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.