Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Shut Door

Originally posted on December 13, 2004

God is surrounded by mystery. Yes, God has revealed Himself to us, and as a result we can understand certain aspects of who He is. We cannot understand God in His entirety, there is no way our finite minds could understand God in His entirety. God’s ways are not our ways, so there will always be a mystery about God.

When we ignore this reality and construct a box to put God into we miss out on the opportunity to experience God at work in our lives. One way this is seen is the common belief that God opens “doors” to reveal His will to us. By doing this we miss out on experiencing so much of what God wants to do through our lives.

Many times in the Bible God didn’t open doors for people to go through. One might even conclude that God revealed His will and then locked the door. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh to demand that Israel be sent free. Moses went, but the task was not easy. Obstacle after obstacle was put in Moses’ way. There were Pharaoh’s hard heart, Israel’s unbelief, and Egypt’s dependance on Israel’s cheap labor. Given our thinking Moses would have given up after the miracle of turning water into blood didn’t convince Pharaoh. It was Moses commitment to God’s will that he, along with all the Israelites and Egyptians, eventually experienced God’s power.

Here is another example. God crowns Saul as king, but the Philistines are in control of Israel. Saul’s first duty is to gather an army to kick the Philistines out. An army of 3,000 is raised. 2,000 stay with Saul and 1,000 go with Jonathan. Jonathan takes his 1,000 men and begins to attack Philistine outposts. The result is that Jonathan and his men experience success. Jonathan’s men had so much success that the Philistines send in 30,000 men along with horses and chariots. Israel had 3,000 men and two swords and no spears. Out manned and out gunned all but 600 men run into the hills and in the process the door was slammed shut in the face of Jonathan. This is when we say, “I guess it is not God’s will for me to fight the Philistines.” If you read the account in 1 Samuel 14 you discover that was the reaction of King Saul, but Jonathan took his sword and his armor bearer and took the fight to the Philistines. God didn’t open a door for Jonathan, but He did give Jonathan an understanding of what His will was, and as a result the Israelites and the Philistines experienced God’s power.

James 1:12 reads; God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (NLT). An open door is no more an indication of God’s will than a closed one. We experience God’s blessing when we do what we know God’s will is, even when all the circumstances are against us. We have been taught to give up too soon, and the result has been that we have missed the blessings God has wanted to give us.

Stop waiting for God to open the door before you take a step of faith. Start moving toward the wall and trust God to get you to where you need to go. It is this act of faith that will lead us to experience God’s power first hand.


Anonymous said...

How does this apply to the Storm Lake ministry?

--Hawkeye Gold

Paul said...

I don't think it applies to the ministry, I think it is the ministry. Many people would look at Storm Lake as a closed door, no hope, and that is why we need to be faithful until the end. As Erwin McManus said, "If you go for the right reasons, God will get you to the right place." By being faithful here, God will get me to the place He wants me to be, whether that is here or some place else.

Min.Dre said...

This among many other signs from God is why I am stepping out of my comfort zone now and trusting God to lead me. I am stepping into what I believe is God's will. He will direct me otherwise if it's not, but I am taking that step first and trusting in Him. I was normally taught to wait on God to reveal his will in my life, but I realized that this is not true faith. You may believe he will act but what does it say about your faith in God when you take the step towards his will. you believe that he has you in his hands the whole way. No matter what may come. This I believe he has and is doing in my life and every step I take I praise God for giving me the strength to do so.

Accept the Differences

Most of us understand that people are different and those differences are a good thing. The world would be a boring place if everyone beli...