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3-6-23 - Missionaries Need Our Prayers

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2023 4:07 am

3-6-23 - Missionaries Need Our Prayers

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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March 12, 2023 4:07 am

2023 Missions Conference - Session 3

March 6, 2023 – Message from Pastor Lewis McClendon

Main Scripture:  Nehemiah 2:9-10


We are praying for the Lord to stir in our hearts through this missions conference, and not just for foreign missions, but local as well, and just continuing to see the pray, give, go as the theme of our conference, and to begin praying for our missionaries and to begin to giving if we're currently not, and then ultimately to go to surrender.

If you're being called to missions. At this time, I have an introduction of a video. It is the Solomon family to the country of Chile, and Jonathan and Olivia are out of Cherry Street Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, and Pastor Dennis Jennings is the pastor, the sending pastor there. They have two videos that they're going to show. One is a ministry presentation video that they would show as if they were in conference, and that will be followed up by a secondary video as if they were here in person speaking to us tonight.

So they're going to show that video at this time. Hi, I'm John. And I'm Olivia. I'm Isaiah.

I'm Malia. And we're the Solomons, intern missionaries to Chile. Chile is a country of extremes. It is the longest country on the globe, with the driest desert in the world in the north, and Tierra del Fuego being the cold home to the southernmost city on earth.

The Andes Mountains run along the eastern border, opposing the rocky shore to the west, with the frigid waters from the Humboldt Current lapping upon its shore. You can see the power and majesty of God in the rugged beauty of this extreme land. But that is not why God has called us to this incredible country.

While many surveys and websites will tell you that Chile is a Christian country, claiming that many are Catholic, the truth is that most of the population will tell you in a moment of honesty that they do not believe in God at all. I was blessed to have been raised in a Christian home with parents who serve the Lord every week in our local church. We had missionaries come into my church all the time, and I always thought I could never do that. I always thought I was too introverted and too shy to go to a foreign land and tell people about Jesus. John and I hadn't been dating for very long, and I was in college pursuing an English education degree when I spoke to his parents about their ministry in Santiago. They told me about an outreach they were doing about how they were teaching the Chilean people English using the Gospel of Mark.

As an English education major that really struck my heart, and that was the first time I thought, wow, I could do that. Following that conversation, I prayed for several weeks, and God kept bringing to mind all the ways that he had prepared me to go to a Spanish-speaking country as a missionary. Not only that, but he was calling me to the country of Chile. God began calling me to full-time ministry at a young age.

As the years went on, I began to struggle against that call, wanting to mix it with whatever I wanted to do, whether that was a firefighter or maybe a soccer player at the time. But when it came time to pick a college, I knew God wanted me to go to Baptist Bible College, and I knew he wanted me to be a missionary, and so I surrendered to that calling. And I told God I would go anywhere he wanted me to go and do anything he wanted me to do, but I didn't know where that would be. And so as missionaries came through and spoke at church or in chapel at BBC or in some of my classes, I wanted to talk to them, interview them, ask them questions, take them out to lunch, and I hoped that God would lay one of their countries on my heart. But it wasn't until I started dating Olivia, and it wasn't long after I started dating her, that God called me to the country of Chile. One evening, we sat down to share with each other about what God had been doing in our hearts and how he was calling us to the mission field. We were elated to find out that he had called us both to the same country, Chile. We're excited to be serving alongside my parents, veteran missionaries Joel and Wendy Solomon in the capital city of Santiago, Chile.

They've been missionaries for 30 years, 17 of which have been in Chile. While we're there, we're going to be going to language school, acclimating to the culture, and ministering to the people as soon as we can. We plan on starting Bible studies, growing the children's ministry, and discipling new believers. Please, partner with us by praying for us. Pray for us as we get used to the new culture, as we learn the language, as we start ministering to the people. Pray for us as we raise the funds we need to live in Chile. And please give, so that we can go, so that they can hear the gospel. You can make an eternal difference in the lives of the Chilean people, as we take the light of the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Thank you for watching our video. As you just heard, when we arrive, we're going to start by learning the culture and the language. I grew up in Colombia, South America, as a missionary kid, so I know Spanish. But the Spanish in Chile is very different than the Spanish in Colombia. In Colombia, they speak very clearly, and they like to enunciate, and it's a very pure Spanish, grammatically correct.

And in Chile, it is nothing like that at all. They speak very quickly, and they kind of slur their words, and they mash them together, and they'll drop letters off the ends of the words, and sometimes off even the middle of the words. And it can be very difficult to learn. They also have a slang word for everything, which I'm going to have to learn, because some of them I'm going to be allowed to say, and some of them I'm not going to be allowed to say. So even I'm going to have to go to some language school along with my wife and both of my boys. They're going to go to language school as well when we first arrive. We plan on starting Bible studies in our home and inviting our neighbors. And that is going to be one of our first priorities, actually, is inviting our neighbors into our home and reaching them with the gospel. We're so excited that just within the last week, we have secured housing in a neighborhood in Santiago. And this is something we've been praying about.

It's in a neighborhood called Mionoa, and it is absolutely a God thing that He has provided this home for us. And we are so excited for the day that we can fill it with Chileans, fill it with our neighbors, and reach them with the gospel. Please join us in praying for our neighbors already. We have begun praying that God will already be working in their hearts so that when we invite them, they'll say yes. And when we present them with the gospel, those seeds that we plant will come to fruition very, very quickly, and they will get saved. We are also going to be scouting locations for when we plant our first church.

Chile is such a long country, and it is so very diverse in climates, and there are towns and cities all throughout. In the north, my dad was actually traveling through one of those towns. They were up north visiting one of the missionaries that sent out of their church.

And he came across a shopkeeper in one of these towns. And he was so very excited to find out that my dad was a pastor, that he was a missionary. And he excitedly told my dad, please, please tell me that you're here to start a church in my city.

Tell me that's why you're here. I've been praying that God would send somebody, somebody here to my town to plant a church. My dad had to explain, though, that it's a 25-hour drive from the capital city through desolate, treacherous terrain. And he just couldn't accomplish that at this time. God had called him to the capital city of Santiago to start a church.

And as far as I know, that man could still be waiting for someone. In the south, they're very focused on crafting along with tourism. They have some incredible rivers to fish.

And people come from all over the world to fish some of the famous rivers in Chile. But they also focus a lot on crafting, on quilting, on crocheting, and my wife crochets. And she has even made a llama that we have on our table. And she makes blankets and scarves and things like that.

And she can use that talent, she can use that skill to be able to connect with women there in the south especially. God calls us to plant a church there. And then those friendships can help with a Bible study and as we try and establish and grow a church plant there, that's where God would call us. If God calls us to the coastal cities, there are a couple of cities just about an hour and a half drive from the capital city. They're just west of the capital city of Santiago. And one of them is called Vina and the other is called Valparaiso.

Everyone calls it Valpo. And those two cities are growing together because they just keep expanding and expanding and expanding. The population keeps growing and they're almost becoming one city now. And there have been missionaries there in the past. And they have had churches started there in the past. But those missionaries have grown old and some of them have passed away and others have had to retire because of health reasons. And they're no longer there in those cities. And those churches could use some help and more churches could be planted in those cities. Maybe God would call us there. Even if God calls us to stay in the capital city of Santiago, it is a sprawling, modern, mega metropolis of 8 million people. And if we started two dozen churches, even that would not be enough to reach them all with the gospel of Christ. And so many people from all over the country come into Santiago.

It is the center of their education, their universities are there, and of all of their international business. And so many people from all over the country will come into Santiago for business or for learning. And then hopefully they can get saved and then take the gospel back to their home cities, wherever in Chile that is. So God might have us stay in Santiago to plant our first church. Please pray for us as we scout these different locations and as we pray for God's will as to where He would have us start our first church when that time comes. We also ask that you pray for our boys, Isaiah and Benaiah. Isaiah is a teenager and right now especially, friends are so important to him. And he's leaving all of them to go to another country.

Benaiah also, this is going to be a huge adjustment for him. And everything they've ever known is in the States, is in Missouri really, where they have grown up their whole lives. And so we do ask that you pray for them. Pray for their adjustment in Santiago. Pray that they will learn the language quickly, that they will be able to pick it up. We also ask that you pray that they make good friends there.

Benaiah makes friends everywhere he goes. He's so excited to make Chilean friends. And that Isaiah would also find a good friend there in Santiago that will help him adjust to the language and the culture.

It would make such a big difference. Finally, before we go, I'd love to share with you three things that every missionary needs to be able to arrive on the field and then to be able to stay there. There are three key things.

The first is your encouragement. Every missionary needs encouragement. Ministry is hard. And especially when they're on the other side of the globe or in a different country, wherever God has called them, it's easy for Satan to whisper in their ear and insert in their lives that they're all alone and that nobody is with them and that nobody is reading their letters or cares what they're doing and they're not making a difference. And it can be so very lonely. And ministry is already very difficult. And then leaving everything you know in your family and friends and your support system to go to another country and another culture can make it very difficult as well. So missionaries need your encouragement.

We need your encouragement. The second thing that every missionary needs to be able to arrive on the field and then stay there long term is money. We all understand that it takes money to be able to live. It takes money for rent. It takes money for clothing. Especially when you've got a teenage boy that eats you at a house and home and is always growing. And Benaiah is always wearing holes in the knees of his jeans and everything like that.

He has so much energy. These things, they take money. And you understand that. And we all know that. And the third thing that every missionary needs to be able to arrive on the field that God has called them to and then stay long term is prayer. Prayer is so very important. Prayer genuinely makes a difference. You might think that your small word of encouragement, just that quick sentence, that verse that you send to the missionary couldn't really make a difference. But it does. Especially when you partner it with prayer. You get God Almighty involved. And you might think that just the little bit of money that you give, there's no way that it could make a difference.

But it can. Especially when you partner it with prayer. Because then God makes sure that those arrive at the perfect moment. And He expounds and expands everything that you do.

And as you get involved in the ministry that He has called these missionaries to. And He will grow it exponentially. Please, please pray for us. We need your encouragement. We need your financial support. And we need your prayers.

Thank you very much. And just wonderful to hear from the Solomons. They're currently in a missions conference in South Carolina.

And they couldn't be with us, but we're thankful that they were able to send the video. And just those three things, encouragement, funds and prayer. And we can all be a part of that as we partner together in Faith Promise Giving. And also if you have an interest in our missions care team, tomorrow night Tina Smith is going to give a presentation.

What they do, they have a table set up out there in the foyer that we would encourage you to stop by. Because our missionaries need that. They need us on this side holding the rope as they go. Knowing that they have people there for them. Encouraging them. Praying for them.

And ultimately that we will stand behind them and give the funds that they need to make it to the field and stay on the field. At this time I'm going to have Brother Lewis, Pastor Lewis come and preach for us this evening. And if you've been blessed this evening, let's give him a round of applause. Well I told you that we would be covering all the aspects of missions in this mission conference. And the messages I'll be preaching. Yesterday we spent time talking about your responsibility when it comes to giving. And then last night we talked about a church. All together having a policy of just saying we want to partner with God and reach the world as God has called us to do. And tonight we are going to talk about prayer.

And the fact that missionaries do need our prayers. And we're going to be in the book of Nehemiah tonight. We're going to be reading a lot of verses of Nehemiah. So if you'd open your Bibles to Nehemiah, we're going to start in Nehemiah chapter number 2. Nehemiah chapter number 2. And please stand as you get ready to read these first few verses of the message tonight out of the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah chapter 2 verse 9 and 10. Then I came to the governors beyond the river and gave them the king's letters.

Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. Father in heaven, I do pray that tonight you will put a burden on our hearts to do what's been said so many times in this conference and was just said by the Solomons about their desperate need for prayer. And I pray to you it will burden us to do that tonight. In Jesus' name.

Amen. I don't know about you, but I can remember when this verse really sunk into my heart. It was just a Wednesday night service at church. Our pastor was preaching a message and he read this verse. And when he read this verse where it says, it grieved them exceedingly that there was a man of God to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. My thought went to missionaries. That many times when missionaries go places, there are people there that want to fight against what they're trying to do. Every missionary you support faces constant opposition that necessitates our constant prayer. Now the Apostle Paul was very aware of the prayer that he needed. In fact, in the New Testament there were five times when the Apostle Paul requested prayer.

Let me read these to you. Romans chapter 15 and verse 30. Now I beseech your brethren for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake and for the love of the Spirit that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. Paul said I cannot reach the people God has called me to on my behalf. I need your prayer. Ephesians chapter 6 verse 18 and 19.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints and for me. That utterance may be given unto me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel. Paul specifically asked the Ephesians to pray that when he spoke he would speak clearly. He would communicate the Gospel without any fear. Paul was speaking to people who hated the Gospel. It was always harder to give the Gospel to people that hate what you're saying. But Paul was doing that and he prayed for boldness to continue.

Colossians chapter 4 verse 3 and 4. With all praying also for us that God would open to us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in bonds and I may make it manifest as I ought to speak. Pray that God will open doors. And to me this is an amazing prayer because this prayer is written in prison. When he asked for this prayer he's in prison and he didn't ask for an open door to get him out of prison. We do know that he did want out but he didn't ask for in this request to open the prison. He had to open the prison to get him out but just an open door an opportunity to be able to speak the Gospel.

It was more important to Paul to be a faithful man than a free man. And he wanted God to open his mouth while he was in jail and open door for that. First Thessalonians 5 25. Brethren pray for us. And then second Thessalonians 3 one through two. Finally brethren pray for us that the word of God may have free course and be glorified even as it is with you. And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men for all men have not faith. So this is the same thing we're looking at in the life of Nehemiah. Paul is facing some wicked and unreasonable men. He says please pray because these people are trying to stop what we're trying to do.

When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem he immediately faced his opposition. Their names were Sanballat and my wife and I always chuckle at Sanballat because I told her, I said the next child that we have that's a boy we're going to name Sanballat. I know he's a bad guy. I just like that name. So all we have is the three kids.

We didn't have any other kids after that. But I've always just liked that name. But the enemies are Sanballat, Tobiah and later in verse 19 we'll get to Geshem. These three men were in opposition of what he was trying to do.

They were exceedingly grieved that Nehemiah had come. Now names will change and faces will change but opposition will never change. He knows the names of those and our missionaries know the names of the people that are fighting them. Missionaries who've been on the field very long could easily give you the names of the people that oppose them, the names of the government or government officials that oppose them, the names of some religious people of other religions that are opposing them.

They could tell you exactly who these people are that are opposing or what they're trying to do. Surrender to God's will is not a surrender to an easy life. No matter where you are, people are going to be in opposition to what you are trying to do because Satan is real. And Satan is going to fight everything that God does. I mean when you surrender your life to the Lord, you have surrendered your life to diverting people off the broad way that leads to destruction. That's what you're giving your life to do. You're going to take those people off the road leading to hell and you're going to take them onto the road that takes them to heaven and Satan doesn't like that.

He doesn't like that you're doing that. So surrender to God's will is not a surrender to an easy life. It's a life that sees many people come to Christ.

Surrender to God's will recognizes that there will be people who will actively oppose you. One relatively new way that governments are now opposing our missionaries is through the visa process. I remember the days where you could get into any non-communist country very easily. There was no big hoops you had to jump through. You didn't have to go through a lot of applications and having so much money and all this kind of stuff like you have today.

Everything is totally different. Getting into a country easily is just not true anymore. And you'll notice when you read your letters, especially of new missionaries getting ready to go on the fields, the word visa is showing up more and more and more. Getting a visa is getting more difficult. Missionaries cannot get a visa to many African countries and some veterans cannot stay in the country because the government is now making it harder for missionaries. In several European countries, a short-term visa can be acquired. But unless a missionary wants to stay longer than five years, he has to get citizenship in that country. So you can go to a European country, some European countries, and you can be there for five years. But it's hard to be a missionary when you know you've got to leave in five years because you want to be there long-term to plant churches and all of that. And so they become citizens of that country, but then they find out the downside.

In several European countries, when you get your visa, the country owns your children. And here's what that means. Once you're a citizen, they don't like discipline. They don't like what we consider to be discipline for our kids. In fact, I've been in restaurants in countries with missionaries whose kids were acting up and they were just kind of grinning and bearing it. And then said later, I had to do that.

If I had disciplined my child in that restaurant, he could have reported me for doing that. If a child goes to school and says that their parents spanked them, or if the child goes to school and says, my parents maybe go to church and I didn't want to come to church, the state can come in and take your kid. And they're now a ward of that state. That's some of the things that our missionaries are going through now in this visa, very difficult visa process today. Missionaries are learning to not even say that they're a missionary because countries don't want missionaries. They don't need missionaries. They don't want you.

They don't need you. So they're not even using the term missionary when they're on the foreign field. They're just saying, I'm a pastor.

They're not even saying the word missionary. As soon as Nehemiah arrived, Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem tried every way they could to think, every way they could think to stop Nehemiah and the Jews from rebuilding the wall. And I want you to know that everything that was happening then is happening now. And God told us it would be that way. God is clear in His word that His servants will always face opposition. 2 Timothy 3, 2. Yea, and all that will live God in Christ Jesus.

What's the next word? Shall suffer persecution. Shall suffer persecution. 1 Corinthians 16, 9, For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. There will always be many adversaries. Whether there are a few people, a few believers in your church, or lots of believers that are in the church, there are still going to be many adversaries. Just because God has called a person to be a missionary doesn't mean it's going to go smoothly.

It's going to be difficult, especially by people who want to stop you from doing what you're doing. But the Bible clearly told us that we would face opposition. I like how it's worded in 1 Timothy 4.12.

11, Think it not strains concerning the what kind of trial, the easy trial, you know, the little bit of a problem. No, it says it would be fiery trials. And every one of your missionaries are going to see those fiery trials.

Every one of them. That's why we need to pray. Satan's goal is to get missionaries to quit. And he knows some missionaries will interpret opposition as a sign that maybe they made the wrong decision. Because in their minds, they thought, when I go to this country, people are going to be glad that I showed up.

And they're going to say, finally, it's going to be like the Solomon said. Here's a man who said, oh, I hope you're here to build a church. But that rarely happens. And people are not there to welcome you. And when the problems come, they think, well, when we were called to be a missionary and God was going to reach us, we just thought that thousands would come and thousands haven't come. Some missionaries mistakenly think that if they're suffering opposition and fiery trials, surely they've made a mistake and it's time to go home. And I've counseled with many missionaries making the decision whether to stay or go. Sometimes we've helped them stay and sometimes they've left anyway.

But there's so much pressure on missionaries to quit. But the good news about Nehemiah and the reason we want to talk about Nehemiah tonight is Nehemiah did not let opposition stop him. Now, I love the Bible because the Bible has both sides, doesn't it? It tells us when people mess up and tells us when they were successful. It tells us this person was tempted and they fell to that temptation. But this person was tempted and he didn't fall to temptation.

And here we're going to read about a guy that is facing severe opposition that successfully navigates through that opposition. So I like talking about Nehemiah. He knew that God had called him to rebuild the wall. And one big important thing was he had personally experienced the good hand of the Lord as he planned to go to Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2 verse 8, And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which have pertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter in. And the king granted me according to the good hand of God upon me.

See, he remembered that. He remembered that the good hand of God was upon him and that God had paved the way for him to get there. And God had supplied so many things and we try to help missionaries with that. Look at all that God did to bring you here. You went through Bible college.

You went through an internship. You made it through deputation. There is hope. You will live through deputation.

And you're now on the field. Look at all that God has done. And we try to give him the focus on what God has done and he remembered that.

Nehemiah remembered the good hand of God was upon me just to get me here. Our missionaries need prayers for the opposition that they will face. And every person in this church should pray for their missionaries for three reasons. I'm going to give you three reasons from the book of Nehemiah why you should be praying for your missionaries on a regular basis.

First reason. Our missionaries need our prayers to have the strength to stand firm in the face of opposition. Missionaries need the strength to stand firm. Nehemiah chapter 2 and verse 19. And when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant and Ammonite and Geshem the Arabian heard of it, they laughed us to scorn, despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do?

Will ye rebel against the king? So they started off doing their best to discourage them. Did you see what they did in that verse? They laughed them to scorn. It means they ridiculed them. He despised them. It means he looked down on them with contempt. And then he lied about them. He falsely charged them. He said things that were not true. I don't know how many times I've dealt with missionaries on that about people saying things about them that were not true. He said they were rebelling against the king.

When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he had letters from the king authorizing him to be there. So this was a blatant lie. But Satan doesn't mind lying, does he?

We know that. And he'll use the people to lie about missionaries. I remember opposition like this that a missionary faced in Burkina Faso.

Karen and I had gone to Burkina Faso to see a couple that were down there. And we just happened to arrive at a time when this missionary was trying to build a church building on piece of property. Now, at Burkina Faso, you don't get to own property. All you get to do is pay taxes on property. And they had gone to the mayor of the town. They knew where the town was expanding. And they knew a good place that they could have a church where the town was expanding. So they went to the mayor, and they said, we would like to pay taxes on this property. And the mayor says, okay, you can pay taxes on this property.

Well, as soon as the Muslims found out they were paying taxes on the property, they started doing everything to stop them from being able to build a church. The first thing they built was what they called a hanger. A hanger is simply a small structure.

It's a concrete block, about three concrete blocks high, going around four poles on the ends and some palm forms on the top. And that became a hanger. But in the Muslim religion, once you build a hanger that is holy ground, then it can only be used for Muslim purposes. So they built that hanger to stop it.

But the missionaries said, I'm going to press on because I'm paying taxes on that property. And so they brought in a truck with sand in it so they could have some sand to start building. The Muslims did everything they could not to get the sand to be dropped. They told the driver they were going to kill him if he dropped the sand on the property, but he dropped it on the property anyway.

But then they went in and they spread the sand all over the piece of land so that it was totally unusable for sand to be able to build. And so he had applied for a hearing with the National Guard. He had applied for a hearing to say, hey, these people did this.

We need to stop them from doing this so we can build our church. And it just so happened that we were there at that time. And he said, would you go with me to this hearing?

Because it might help if you went because they could see that American money is behind this, that you're here from America, you're supporting this, so we do have the money to make this work. And I said, I'd be glad to go. So I went and the missionary went and the national pastor that was going to pastor that church went. And we went to this base where the National Guard was. And when we got there, we went inside the gates of the base and they told us where to stand to wait for the hearing. And then the Muslims showed up. And there was 12 very big, very muscular, very mean-looking men that came for the Muslim side.

And when they came in, they just folded their hands and they looked at us and they just stared at us and they said, we're going to eat you up. Well, a commandant came out and he saw what was going on and he says, okay, we're not going down this road. He says, we're not having any hearing today. We're going to reschedule the hearing for next week. Two people from each side can come.

We're not going to deal with this. And he went back inside. And we were told, no hearing today, you're going to have to leave. And they told the Muslims to leave first. They said, wait until the Muslims leave and then you guys leave. So the Muslims left and they just went to the gate and went right outside the gate and just stood there. And we waited for them to leave and they never left. And they came to us and they said, okay, it's 5 o'clock, it's time to close the gates, you've got to go. And so the three of us puny people went through all those muscular 12 Muslim men and we got in the car to leave and we got in the car and we left and those guys got on 12 motorcycles and started coming after us. And the missionary said, what am I going to do? He says, if they follow me home, they're going to know where I live and my family's not going to be safe anymore.

What am I going to do? And I'd had training in this, I've been to missionary training camps and I've had training in identifying and losing people following you. And so I said, just do everything I tell you to do.

And we identified everybody that was following us and we lost all of them. But that's opposition, isn't it? Can you imagine that when you guys try to build here? I mean, building and safety is bad enough, isn't it?

Just what they require us is here. But here is the Muslims doing everything they could to stop it. They did get the hearing the next week and the mayor of that town stood strong and they built a church there and it's in operation today.

It's still in operation to this day. But look at the opposition that he had to face with that. He did not back down. Nehemiah did not back down and built a wall. The missionaries you are getting to know in this mission conference are going to face opposition.

The ones that are veterans have already been there, the ones that are going as new, they're going to face opposition. And they need our prayers when they face opposition. Nehemiah stood firm. Look at verse number 20. After all this ridicule, he said, Then I said unto them, The God of heaven, He will prosper us. Therefore we as servants will arise and build, and ye have no apportion nor right nor memorial in Jerusalem.

He just said, I don't care what you say. God is with me. No matter what you say, we are going to arise and build. And we need to pray for our missionaries that when they get discouraged, when they face opposition, that they'll remember that God is with them and will not back down when people try to discourage them because every missionary is going to face great discouragement. Remember what John Solomon said up there in his first prayer request? He said, Encourage me. And he's speaking for all missionaries, saying we need that kind of encouragement.

Number two, second reason. Our missionaries need our prayers to remember to pray when they face opposition. The first thing they need to do is pray. Let's go to Nehemiah chapter 4 to see this. Nehemiah chapter 4 and verse 1. But it came to pass that when Sanballat heard and he built the wall, he was wrought. And he took great indignation and mocked the Jews.

And he spake before his brethren the army of Samaria and said, What do these feeble Jews? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? So here we have another case where they're coming after them again. And when you read these verses, you kind of get a picture of what's happening.

The Jews are building the wall. Sanballat has come with an army. And behind him is this army. Now, who is the army? The army is men fit for battle. They have trained for battle. They have weapons.

They have strong bodies. And now we're talking about the average Jew who's building this wall. So Sanballat is speaking, and behind him is this huge army. And here's what he says to these people. He insults them every way he can insult them. He is furious at what the Jews are being able to do, and so he starts insulting them.

He insulted the workers. He said that they were feeble. They were feeble.

You're not going to be able to do this. They were frail. Compared to the army standing behind him, yes, they did look probably pathetic, lacking in all the strength that those guys had. He insulted the purpose of the wall. Will you fortify yourself? What he's saying, can you build a wall that are going to keep these guys out? Look, these are trained soldiers. That wall you're building, that's not going to keep us out.

So your purpose of being safe is not there. He insulted God. He said, will they sacrifice?

You know what he's saying? He said, you can sacrifice to your God, but Jehovah will not and cannot help you. So he insulted God. He insulted the plan. He said, will they make an end in the day? He was saying the Jews had no idea how difficult it was or how long it would take to build the wall. He said, you guys are going to build a wall. You guys think you're going to build a wall?

There's no chance in the world that you can build this wall. And he insulted the building materials. The burned stones that were around from the Jerusalem being destroyed, they were picking through that rubble. And he says these stones are too weak to really be able to stand as a wall. In fact, they said to him, this wall, when you get done, is going to be so weak that if a fox jumps on it, it's going to crumble.

Look at Nehemiah 4.3. Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, even that which they build, if a fox go up, he should leave a break down their stone wall. So he insulted everything that could be insulted. He insulted the workers. He insulted the plan. He insulted their God. He insulted their building materials. Everything they were doing, they said, was wrong.

Everything. But here's the good news again about Nehemiah. Insults drove Nehemiah to prayer. Look at Nehemiah 4, verse 6 through 8. Hear, O God, for we are despised, and turn their reproach upon their head, and give them for a pray into the land of captivity, and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee, for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

So built we the wall, and all the wall was joined together, unto the half thereof, for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah knew their insults were really directed against God, because they were doing God's work, and he just didn't take it personally. He just went to God and laid it out before God what was going on. Satan was behind their insults, and Satan is behind every effort to stop the work of God. Ephesians 6, 12 says, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against the spiritual wickedness in high places.

Just remember this. Whatever God is for, Satan is against. It's as simple as that. So if the Bible says yes, he says no. So if God wants a wall to be built, he doesn't want the wall to be built.

So he's always going to come after the work of God. And we need to pray that when those opposing the work of our missionaries, that they pray instead of quitting. How can you pray for your missionaries? Pray this way.

Lord, help. Everything that goes wrong in a missionary's life today will pray before they do anything else. Help them to let problems drive them to their knees. We need to pray that when those opposing the work of our missionaries makes them say, I'm going to keep going no matter what, just like Nehemiah, we're going to build the wall. If our missionaries pray when they are insulted, they will reach the people that God has called them to reach.

Third reason. Our missionaries need our prayers to have spiritual discernment to refuse to cooperate with the enemies of God. Now we're going to go to Nehemiah chapter number six. And just to give some context, in Nehemiah chapter six, the wall is about done. And there's not a whole lot that Sandballot can now do to stop the wall.

So he does something else. Nehemiah chapter six, verse one. Now it came to pass when Sandballot and Tobiah and Geshem the Arabian and the rest of our enemies heard that I builded the wall and that there was no breach left therein, though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates, that Sandballot and Geshem sent unto me saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. And I sent messengers unto them saying, I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down.

Why should the work cease whilst I leave it and come down to you? Yet they have sent unto me four times after this sort, and I answer them after the same manner. So Sandballot tried to get Nehemiah to meet him halfway, to compromise. Now again, by this time you saw in the verses the wall is almost built.

We still have the doors that have to go in on the gates. Sandballot had ridiculed them. He had insulted them. He had intimidated them. He had threatened them.

But the wall was rebuilt anyway. And so Sandballot says to Nehemiah, Come meet me on the plain of Ono. Now to give you perspective, the plain of Ono is halfway between Jerusalem and Samaria. Meet me halfway. That's what he's saying to him.

Let's meet and work out our differences. He couldn't stop the wall, so now he's going to try another tactic. But the good news is, Nehemiah had the spiritual discernment to know this meeting was no good.

He thought to do me mischief. Nehemiah had already told Sandballot that he would have no part in rebuilding the wall. Now let me show you what Nehemiah had said about Sandballot way back when they first met in chapter 2. Nehemiah 2.20. Then answered them and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us. Therefore we his servants will arise and build, and ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem. He had labeled him an enemy of God that was just somebody who was on the side of opposition and he was not going to do anything with him.

So in chapter 6, as the wall is about done, he says, Let's just talk. You know, I've intimidated you. I've insulted you. I've threatened you. But let's just come talk now. He says, No, you are an enemy of God. Only mischief can come from this.

We're not going to have any part of that. Our missionaries need our prayers to have the spiritual discernment when to say yes and when to say no. Because all the time people are coming and saying, Let's do it this way.

Let's try this. But the missionary had to discern, This is what God has called me to do. This is what the word of God says about this.

So we're not going to go off on a tangent here because I know you, I know where you stand, and I know nothing good can come from this. They have that kind of discernment, and our missionaries need that kind of discernment. They are bombarded with quests to have a meeting of the minds with the people that are really an enemy of God. And they need to know these are the enemies. We don't meet with enemies and meet halfway.

2 Corinthians 13 through 14 says, For of such false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, and no marvel, for Satan himself has transformed into an angel of light. So it's not always obvious. Now here it is obvious.

I mean, Sanballat has done so much to mess with the Jews. It's just painfully obvious to him. But a lot of times a messenger of Satan is not painfully obvious. And they can seem like people who mostly believe what we believe and have the same heart that we have, and it's really hard sometimes. I know all of us that have been in ministry very long have really put our faith and trust in somebody that didn't turn out to be what we thought it was going to be because they really weren't who they said they were. And they can really mess things up, especially for a missionary in a foreign field out there all by themselves, to have somebody come in who really isn't on God's side, who really isn't there to see the work of God go forward.

If Satan can't keep a church from being built, he'll find a way to get inside the church and destroy it. So just pray that God gives the missionaries wisdom about who they associate with and the directions they take. Let's hope tonight that you have seen a compelling reason to pray for our missionaries.

I was so glad to see the Solomons video tonight because it just dovetailed in what we're talking about here. Missionaries need prayer. I believe that prayer is one of the best gifts that you can give a missionary because God's power trumps everything. Our missionaries need prayer. They need prayer to stand firm in the face of people who oppose them. They need our prayers to remember that to pray instead of quit when they're being insulted. They need our prayers to have the spiritual discernment to know when to say yes and when to say no.

You may have liked me yesterday morning and last night and up to this point tonight, but I may say a few things now that you won't like so much. We talk about prayer all the time. In that video that you just saw is a couple who's given their life to Chile and have asked you to pray for them. How many of you wrote their prayer requests down? We're all the same. If I were to write it down, it doesn't get done.

That's just the way it is. I'm not going to remember their prayer requests tomorrow if I don't write it down tonight. I remember there was a video and they asked me to pray for them. Lord, bless the Solomons, I saw the video last night, but he was so specific. Even at the end, he wrapped it up and said, these are things I need you to pray for me about.

How many of us took the time to write it down? And so I'm really going to ask you tonight that you will determine that you're going to really pray for your missionaries and pray specifically for them. You have a hallway right over here. Missionary letters are always posted on that hallway and anytime you want, you can come to church 10 minutes early and you can have a pen and a paper and you can walk down there and you can read a letter and just pick one and write down, this is what this missionary asked me to pray for. And that week, pray for that missionary. You have access to all of your missionaries right down that hallway. And I'm asking you to come up with a plan in your mind about how am I going to pray for missionaries?

And if you don't write it down, it doesn't happen. So I'm going to ask you to do something tonight. The skeletons are right here.

Where is Corey or Corey? There they are over here. I'm asking every one of you to go by the missionary booth tonight, their tables. And I don't want you to spend a long time. I just want you to walk up to the husband or the wife, be the one, and just say, give me a specific prayer request and then move on. I want everybody to be able to have the time to get a prayer request from the skeletons and the Wilchers tonight that you will go home and pray about tonight for them.

So don't tell them about all your kidney surgeries. Just go by and say, how can I pray for you? And skeletons and the Wilchers be ready to have some succinct prayer requests that you can give so that somebody can write down so they can pray. And I'm asking you tonight that this becomes a night when you really say, I want to get serious about praying for missionaries.

And like I say, I know you don't like me for saying this. In all honesty, if you didn't write a prayer request down, you are not going to pray for the Solomons because you're not going to remember it. So let's start having a plan that's real and that results in real prayer for our missionaries.

So would you bow your heads and close your eyes now, and you know I always ask you to do this so you can kind of think through what we just talked about tonight. Would you say that you have a serious plan to pray for your missionaries? Are you praying for your missionaries on a regular basis? Do you take part of your time every day to pray for missionaries?

And will you say tonight, I'm going to get serious about it. I'm serious enough to pray for missionaries that tonight when the service is over, I'm going to go by the Skeleton's Table and I'm going to go by the Wiltshire's Table and I'm going to write down a request and I'm going to pray for that request. And I'm asking you to make a decision tonight that you're going to start seriously praying for your missionaries. Father in Heaven, thank you for allowing us to be a part of what you're doing around the world. And a major part of that is praying for our missionaries. Forgive us for not taking praying for our missionaries as seriously as we should. And help this to be a defining night for us that we are now going to start praying for our missionaries. And that tonight when the service is over they will go by a table, they will get a prayer request from each missionary and they'll go home and they'll begin that specific prayers for missionaries tonight. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 06:22:29 / 2023-03-12 06:43:26 / 21

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