The "Easy Street" Myth!
When it comes to winning people to Christ, ministering to people and seeing a church grow, I have a newsflash for you: There is no “easy street” in your town. You will find a good number of arrogant avenues and I'm-too-busy boulevards; but if you expect the Lord's work to be easy, you are living in naiveté. The reality of serving the Lord in the twenty-first century is, as it was in the first century, an ongoing series of difficulties.
This does not mean that it can't be done, but it does require that we get can attitude adjustment that is based on reality.
Here are three samples of the attitude that will get us going in the right direction:
1. If you have men who will only come if they know there's a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come even if there is no road! (David Livingstone)
2. When "C.T." proposed to me the first year I was in China I said, "No, Sir! I have not come out here to be married! I have come out here to be a martyr!" (Mrs. C.T. Studd)
3. I cared not how or where I lived or what hardships I went through so that I could gain souls for Christ. (David Brainerd)
You and I simply need to be "sold out" to the Lord and "sold" on what the Lord has commissioned us to do.
1. Difficulties should not sidetrack us! The fact that you live in a very liberal area, near a large university or where a false religion is dominant should not deter you. Liberalism, humanism, atheism, etc., do not satisfy. The liberals actually create a vacuum, an emptiness, in the human soul. They may resist you; but if you will set the table well, some of them will come to feed their hungry hearts.
2. Defeat is not a measurement to be trusted! You will not win everybody, but as you stay at it you can win somebody. When people do not answer the door or tell you they are not interested, that sounds a lot like defeat.
However, you will be wise if you treat your defeats as if they were postponements. I've seen many people who seemed to be set like concrete, and just as hard, eventually melt under the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
If you did not win anyone today, don't discount yourself a failure. Just keep sowing the seed!
3. Discouragement is not a scriptural virtue. If you allow discouragement to lodge within you, it will destroy your testimony. It is a certifiable mark of carnality to capitulate it. Grab hold of a great passage of Scripture like I Corinthians 15. Read it, absorb it, memorize portions of it and claim it as your antidote to the Devil's schemes to upset you.
If you have your ear to the ground today even in Christian circles, you hear a lot of folks who are asking about "easy street." They don't seem to understand that work ethic that is essential to the success they seek. Seeing victory in the work has never been "easy" but it has always been doable.
Here are keys you need:
There is an eternal God in Heaven.
He is the Creator.
He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to be crucified and rise from the dead to purchase salvation for us.
Christ is on the right hand of the Father advocating for us while the Holy Spirit of God labors with us here as we give out the Gospel.
Heaven is real, Hell is hot and sinners need to be saved.
The Bible is true, the Gospel works, the church is God's idea, we are His ambassadors and Jesus is coming back again someday.
Take these truths to the streets and you will be on the right road. Amen!
As I leave the Sword offices, I drive out onto Bridge Avenue which connects to Main Street which leads to Broad Street and on to Middle Tennessee Boulevard, which is where you will find our Bellwood Baptist Church.
It is only two miles from the Sword to the church, but there are thousands of people in the vicinity. Pick out any street and I assure you it is not "easy street"; but "easy" or not, the Lord's orders are to "go".
If we go, He promises to go with us (Matt. 28:19-20), so let's not get hung up on "easy". Let's just "go" for it. Amen!