By Lindy Pate
I recently had the opportunity to speak at church in Dallas, TX. The sermon was on 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2. “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer.”
The timing was perfect as I was two weeks away from returning to Papua New Guinea and I was nervous. In some ways, I did not want to return to Papua New Guinea, but I was willing to return. In that tension between my desire and my choice to obey God’s call, fear and anxiety had a place to run rampant. I was ready to tell people at church all about the need to be rescued from wicked and evil people.
During the service, I listened to the reading of scripture and to the start of the sermon. I realized that I had missed something. I had taken my eyes off the reason for obeying and focused on the perceived ‘threats’ that came with obeying. Why was I going? To spread the Lord’s message. What is the main goal? For God to be glorified.
I love the story of Peter walking on the water. The thing is, he starts to go down when he takes his eyes off the goal. God, help me to keep my eyes on you.
We are in the midst of exciting times here in Papua New Guinea. Two New Testament translation projects finished the last of their consultant checking this year! God is at work!
After speaking at that church in Dallas, I had people praying for me, and it worked. The crippling anxiety stopped, and I had the smoothest and most peaceful transition I’ve experienced. So, in the words of Paul, I ask you to pray for all of us. We need the prayers of verse 1 as well as verse 2. Without the answer to the prayers of verse 2, we can’t be about the business of verse 1. It doesn’t matter that you are far away; prayer works.
Lindy is a Bible translator.