“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an OPEN DOOR, and no man can shut it …” (Revelation 3:7).
As I mentioned in our previous posts, we have often heard it said, and we’ve said it ourselves, “God opens doors that no man can shut and He shuts doors that no man can open.” There is a lot of truth to that statement and, of course, it has a biblical foundation. I think there is something that is also true.
God often opens doors He intends for us to walk through and we refuse to do so!
The phrase “OPEN DOOR” is symbolic of the boundless opportunities and unlimited chances “to do something worthwhile; of grand openings into new and unknown adventures of significant living; of heretofore unimagined chances to do good, to make our lives count for eternity.”
Most of us want to “do good” and we definitely want our lives to “count for eternity.” Within most of our hearts beats a sincere desire to do something great for God and good for mankind.
It’s there because God put it there!
As I mentioned in our last post, you just have to wonder how many people have not been reached, how many churches have not been planted, mission works have not been started, orphanages have not opened, and the list goes on. Not because God didn’t OPEN DOORS of opportunity to do so, but because we have refused to walk through the OPEN DOOR. I am going to guess there have been many missed opportunities because of our fears, our doubts, our insecurities, and our desire for that which is familiar, comfortable, and convenient!
Here’s the bottom line: God OPENS DOORS of opportunities for His people that, if walked through, will result in Him be glorified and the good of others. Unfortunately, with nearly every OPEN DOOR that is a corresponding RISK or two.
Therein, lies the problem!
Most of us, especially those of us who were born and raised in America are not accustomed to taking risks. In fact, the vast majority of our lives we have be sheltered and protected from anything that could possibly hurt or harm us. We have also been “spoiled” with the comforts and conveniences that are readily available. We have grown familiar with the “American Dream” and the pursuit of it as if the eleventh commandment was “Thou shalt pursue the American Dream.”
Let me say this one more time, if we are going to go through the OPEN DOOR of God’s opportunities we are most assuredly going to have to take a RISK or two, or possibly more!
Here’s the deal: We get to choose whether we want to follow Jesus, but we don’t get to choose what it looks like to follow Jesus, what it will cost us, or where we will end up. Unfortunately, most of us want to follow Jesus, while at the same time we want to live nice, safe, comfortable lives that are “normal.” You know. Nice house (or condo), car (or two), white picket fence (or security gate), and the latest tech toys. Now, that presents a real problem—because it doesn’t work. Not according to God’s word. We can’t simply ERASE RISK from the equation! Following Jesus means embracing a selfless, “crazy” (in the eyes of most), often dangerous, God-obsessed life, and that’s something most people refuse to do.
In other words, to follow Jesus, we need to become a bit radical!
We need to refuse to do what others are doing. We need to reject “conventional behavior.” We need to abandon normal. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s the only way. Take a moment and try to think of a person in the Bible who believed in and followed God while living a safe, comfortable, and so-called “normal” life. How’s it going? Can you think of one?
If not, try Hebrews chapter 11. Possibly you’ll find one there!!! 🙂
As your mind starts traveling from Genesis to Revelation, you’ll think of: Abraham, who was asked by God to move his family, but wasn’t told where he was going. Noah, who was asked to build a boat when it wasn’t raining. Moses, who, though he was a fugitive from Egypt, marched into Egypt and demanded that Pharaoh let his people go because God told him to do so. Joshua, whom God asked to march around the city walls and blow a trumpet, expecting the walls to fall down. Rahab, the prostitute who risked her life to do the right thing. A teen boy named David who faced the giant named Goliath. The disciples left it all (father, family, friends, future ambitions and financial security) to follow the One who had no where to lay His head, and all them but one was martyred. Paul left a really good job in the ministry as a Pharisee to follow Christ and paid dearly for it. And the beat goes on!
How about church history? Take a moment and think about the men and women who have had a huge impact around the world. I’ll name just a few: Savonarola, John Hus, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, David Brainerd, William Booth, Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd, Adoniram Judson, and again the list goes on. We revere these men, but follow in their footsteps, NOT A CHANCE!
Just about everyone who said yes to God had to embrace RISK, a bit of “crazy” (in the eyes of man). They had to leave “safe” behind because following God was dangerous. They became radicals who were willing to walk through the OPEN DOORS in spite of the RISK!
How about you today? The DOOR IS OPEN, come on in!!!