When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
Who in his right mind would begin a letter whose main purpose was to establish his credentials as a minister of the gospel with a confession? Who would share about a blown opportunity in the process of revealing the secret of his success? Who would admit to his own personal anxiety as keeping him from walking through a door the Lord had opened for him? Those are things you try and forget when talking about your successes and establishing some authority.
“Who? Who?” asks the owl of truth.
I’ll tell you who — and if I could somehow shout these next words in print I would, so I will borrow a trick from John Irving in his novel Prayer for Owen Meany and put it all in caps:
SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO MAKE PERFECTLY CLEAR FROM THE START, THAT SUCCESS IN THE MINISTRY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH GOD!
That’s who. Someone who wants to leave no doubt about where the power comes from for followers of Christ. It’s all about power, and it’s all about the Holy Spirit, and it’s all about us just being there, or as we like to say, “Showing up.” Matters not what shape or condition we are in.
Now this is not the way you start your story if you are trying to impress someone with yourself. This is not the way you begin a motivational seminar. This is not the way you start a college football season by following up a brilliant win with a freshman quarterback with a more mediocre loss and your freshman quarterback looking more like … well … a freshman. (Brigham Young 30; USC 27). And yet this is the way Paul starts his teaching on his credentials for the ministry, with a loss, a personal anxiety, and a blown opportunity. And this is the way we start, too, with a clear understanding of our limitations, but a confidence in someone other than ourselves. You have to know where the Spirit is if you’re going to carry on in spite of yourself.
The Catch Ministry’s 21 Day Challenge
Where the Spirit is ….
2 Corinthians, Chapter 2:12-Chapter 4:12
September 16, 2019
“For Your Consideration Questions”
2 Corinthians Chapter 2:12-13
12.Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,
13.I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.
Those brief words gather up a tremendous experience in Paul’s life. He had gone to Troas from Ephesus, as he tells us here, to preach the gospel of Christ, which was his great joy, in part because it was such a tremendous thing to see the power of God let loose among men and women to set them free.
So here he is in Troas to do what is his heart’s desire. The door is open in the marketplace, people were responding and wanting to know more. Yet, as he tells us here, he is unable to take advantage of it. He is anxious about what was going on in Corinth. Too troubled and anxious, he left to find Titus.
For your consideration:
- Do you think you could have shared as honestly as Paul did about his frustration — the sick to his stomach kind of anxious frustration – so much so that he skipped a booked date in the marketplace consisting of a huge group of people looking for life’s answers? Why or why not?
- Paul was, after all, a man. Do you think Paul may have had a tinge of guilt for leaving a ministry to fulfill his anxiousness by locating Titus? Do you think God was disappointed in Paul for not fulfilling his responsibility to to preach the gospel of Christ. I mean, after all, Paul had found that the Lord had opened a door for him.
- Have you ever knowingly walked past an open door to share the gospel?
- Did you feel guilty for leaving? Why or why not?
- Was God disappointed in you? Why or why not?
Stay turn for Day Two of our 21 Day Challenges tomorrow, Tuesday September 17, which can be found at CatchJohnFischer.com and on YouTube.
You will find the next verse astonishing!