One thing that is very important in making our work successful in the place to which we are assigned is to recognize that we are not there by chance. If we believe that we are in the place where we are working in accordance with Christ's appointment, we shall not leave a stone unturned in our endeavor to see our work through to a successful conclusion.
Often young workers become discouraged because the work seems so difficult that they see no prospect of success in the place where they are located. They cast about for a reason for lack of success in the work assigned them, and conclude that the trouble is with the place to which they have been sent. They compare the field to which they have been assigned to places where other ministers are getting excellent results. They decide that the reason for their lack of success and for the success of others is in the nature of the place where each one happens to be working.
No doubt there are differences in the places to which the various workers are assigned. Even in nature some soils are more productive than others. And our most successful workers do better in some places than in others. But when we are sent to a place to labor for the Master, we must always keep in mind that we are not there by chance. We are not in the place simply by our own best judgment, but we have been assigned to the work in that particular field by the appointed representatives of our denomination. Men of God have spent time in prayer and careful consideration concerning the best interest of the cause of God. After prayer and serious consideration of the best interests of the cause of Christ they have finally decided to send the worker to a definite place to work for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God.
Believe God Is Back of Decision
We must believe that God is in such a decision by the brethren. We are backed up by their best judgment and prayers as we go to the place assigned us to labor for Christ. If we go with that conviction we shall find in our experience what Paul speaks of in Philippians I:12: "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." What seemed insurmountable obstacles to a successful outcome of his labors for Christ, proved to be "rather unto the futherance of the gospel."
A strong conviction that we are in the place where we are laboring, by God's appointment, should contribute greatly to the successful outcome of our work for Him. We then must conclude that God did not send us to the place for no purpose, but that He has honest souls there who will accept the truth. God makes no mistakes. That ought to spur us on to redouble our efforts.
Christ speaks of workers as fishers of men. A fisherman who fails to catch any fish with the bait he is using and by the method he employs, oftentimes changes his bait and method for something else that may gain the desired results.
Even if a person is assigned to a place where it is considered impossible to attain success, judged by past failures, he may by prayer, study, and the use of different methods, finally succeed. In any case, success will not be achieved in a hard place by some easier methods than those that were tried by others in the past. We shall need to redouble our efforts. Somebody must clear the stones out of the stony ground if he succeeds where others have failed. Oftentimes a plot of stony ground proves to be an unusually good investment. When the stones are gathered out of the stony ground, and used to make fences around the acres whence they were taken, they prove both a defense and a blessing, instead of a handicap. Thus the hard place to which a worker is assigned may prove to be a place where a more substantial work may be established than that built up under more favorable conditions. To prevent failure most earnest prayer will be called for in the hard places. More study must be given to the methods that can be adapted to the place. A deeper consecration may be required in order to bring success out of apparent failure.
We may learn in hard places what methods can be relied on to bring success. We shall be much more successful in the more favorable fields of labor because of what we have gained in the more difficult places. We must be convinced above all else that there is something to be accomplished in the place to which we have been assigned or God would not have sent us to that place.
Do not be satisfied to leave a place with the expression, "Well, we have given them the warning; we have done our duty." If a house is on fire and you are, perhaps, the first person to discover it, just warning people of the fire is not enough. You must try to get people out of the burning building to a place of safety.
It is poor consolation, on leaving a town in which we have held a series of meetings with no results, to say, "Well, we have given them the warning." Our work is not simply to warn people of the dangers that lie ahead and tell them of the great fire that will engulf the earth, but we are especially commissioned to "rescue the perishing," and we should never rest satisfied until every effort, backed up by earnest prayer, has been put forth to save men from "the fire that never shall be quenched."