Tag Archives: Discernment

Open doors

 

There are three types of doors that we encounter in life:

  • Some are wide open.
  • Some are closed shut.
  • Some are slightly ajar.

 

We talk about “open doors” as being opportunities that we should pursue. We even pray for God to “open a door” so we can pursue some endeavor that seems advantageous to us, for example to buy a certain house or get a desired promotion or something else we desire.

 

Some of the wide open doors lead us down the good path God intends. But just because a door is open doesn’t mean it’s his design for us to go through it. Some wide open doors lead us down a path of woe. Some will say, “If you feel at peace, go through the open door.” But our hearts deceive us and we’re best advised to seek wisdom from God’s Word, his Holy Spirit, and mature believers before making a decision to proceed.

 

Sometimes we keep knocking and pushing at a shut door, thinking it must be his will to open it for us. Try as you might to open it, it will not budge until God opens it. So many things seem right in our eyes, we can’t imagine why God would allow a door to remain shut.┬áThe ones that are shut tightly are not meant to be opened, at least not at this time, and perhaps never. He keeps it shut for our protection and to advance his perfect will.

 

Some doors are not completely shut; instead they stand slightly ajar. And if we apply enough of our own effort we can force them open, even if it isn’t God’s timing or will. He allows us – if we insist in having our way – to open doors that we shouldn’t. We might choose a job that isn’t intended for us, a house that is really too expensive, a purchase that robs us of the opportunity to use our money for something more valuable, or a relationship that leads to disaster. If you’ve ever succeeded in opening these doors, you know they are best left alone.

 

There is one door that may be shut or slightly ajar that we should always pray to be opened. In fact, if someone asks how they could pray for you, this might be a good response:

 

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Colossians 4:3-4

 

As we review our to-do list for the day, our very best prayer may be this one for ourselves, that God would intentionally open doors for us to share his message. It might be an open door to share the gospel. Or it might be an open door to build or strengthen a relationship bridge that could later bear the weight of God’s message. Or it may be an open door to simply express God’s gracious love in a practical way – today.

 

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Verses 5-6)

 

I wonder what doors God intends to reveal to each of us this very day. Look for them. Pray for him to open the ones that advance his message.

 

ASK for discernment and wisdom

 

 

Imagine reading an intriguing mystery, a complex novel, or a detailed how-to book. Now imagine having the author of that book right at your side so you could ask questions any time you wanted! That’s probably the best way I can imagine to read the bible. Before you read and as you read, ASK GOD to reveal what He desires you to know.

 

Ask God? The thought might conjure up a vision of young Oliver in the movie of the same name, cringing as he walked to the front of the workhouse meal room and asking, “Please sir, could I have more?” “More?!” Screamed the foreman who proceeded to belittle and threaten young Oliver who had been put up to the task by his cruel fellow inmates. It makes for an exciting movie scene, but it is not an accurate of our great God who loves to reveal Himself and his plan to us.
While teaching his followers how they should best live, Jesus said,”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:7-12
As you read the bible, ask God your Father in heaven. He desires to give good gifts to those who ask him. Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. I’ve never known this to be more true than when God’s children ask, seek and knock to find and receive understanding and discerning wisdom. God’s Word is about the revelation of who he is and what His plan is for us.

 

Look toward 2015 as a year of adventure as you let God’s Word unfold before your eyes. Ask him to reveal himself. Seek after the treasures of understanding and wisdom he offers. Knock at the door of mystery and have it opened before you!

 

“Liar liar, pants on fire.”

 

It will probably never happen, but if it did it certainly would make discernment an easy task! In the meantime, let’s depend on God’s Word to show us truth, be certain which side of the truth we are on, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. . . just in case.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8