“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door which no one is able to shut” (Revelation 3:8)
Picture the scene with me. Something amazing has just happened. You have heard good news about a coming kingdom, a king who has defeated death, who transforms everything about life and who owns eternity. But where you live very few people know this message. In fact, it is viewed with great suspicion by neighbours and as seditious by those in power.
Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus speaks into this situation! He comes filled with his gracious kingly authority to the weak Philadelphian church and encourages them to stick to the path they are on. What they heard and believed is no fantasy; they are living in real relationship with the living God, the victory has been accomplished and the king is coming. This is not a church of deserters unlike some others.
However, that doesn’t mean that there were not temptations to get off the boat and join in with the those they left behind. An open door into the presence of the Father has been presented to them. But the lure of returning to the way things used to be would have been so appealing. After all, life would have been easier, relationships would be simpler, employment prospects better….
When other voices swell around us the competition for our attention can be deafening. We can be easily confused and it messes with our hearts and minds. That is why we must have a firm grasp of the righteousness and royalty of Jesus.
Let’s apply this in two areas related to the ministry God has given to us beginning with the context of East Asia. Perhaps as you read this you are confused about what is happening on various fronts in East Asia. The awful treatment of Muslim peoples and the increased surveillance of churches in China. Natural disasters bringing destruction and further destitution. People or ministry which seemed so fruitful which has collapsed through spiritual and moral unfaithfulness. As we pray lift up your eyes and see “the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David”.
The second area is for our role among the local church in Scotland and the wider UK. Sometimes it can seem that global mission is not on the agenda of the local church. Perhaps it is not in the way that it once was, but this doesn’t mean that it is not on the agenda. We need to be aware of the doors which are open and the doors which are closed and ask the Lord Jesus to show us what he desires from us in partnering with his people to see his name glorified to the ends of the earth.