Wrapping up the week of study on circumstances, Blackaby addressed the popular concept of walking through “open doors” to find God’s will. Many of us do, are doing or have done things that we thought were God’s will for our lives simply because it was the path of least resistance. But we don’t call it that.
We say, God opened this door! I have to go this direction. Phew! I was thinking that I was going to have to do something that might test me, that might try me, that might depress me or make me work hard. But the great God of health and wealth swooped in to save me from that by opening this easy door. (I wonder if Blackaby ever saw my interpretations of his studies, would he recognize them or think I was nuts?)
It doesn’t work that way. I’m more and more convinced that not only doesn’t it work that way but that type of teaching about God is just plain wrong. Look at Revelations 3:7-9:
“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open: ‘I know your deeds. (Look! I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, but you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name. Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying. Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
People that go around saying that God is nothing more than a Jack in the Box to give you a comfy life are fools. As Blackaby says,
Circumstances alone cannot indicate God’s will for your life. If you make a practice of automatically entering every open door, you may find your life far from the path God originally intended.
Blackaby points out that “Oftentimes, a single closed door can lead to many, many open doors.” Oh, this is so true. How many times have I wished for something that didn’t happen, only to be blessed by subsequent events that would not have been possible had I gotten what I wished for!
Often, I find myself wanting to be rid of a negative situation without thinking about what God wants. I must remember that “all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” not just things that I consider good. Perhaps I need to learn whatever God is teaching me in the bad times so that I will be prepared to answer His call later. Who knows?
God knows. Trust Him.
Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.’
Charles Stanley writes this in his book, Advancing Through Adversity:
God’s Plan for Your Life
God has a plan and a purpose for your life as a whole. He is continually in the process of preparing you to be a person with whom He intends to live forever. In day-to-day life, God has a plan and a purpose for everything that becomes a part of your life or that affects your life.
Godâ€™s love for you is far greater than anything you can ask or imagine. He has at His disposal an infinite number of ways of bringing you to new levels of maturity in Christ Jesus. He knows who, and what, to bring into your life at any given moment in order to accomplish His very specific goals in your life.
Sometimes the only way some of us will submit ourselves to Godâ€™s plan is for us to experience anguish, pressure, trials, tribulations, or heartaches. If that is the case, the Lord will use adversity to lead us to a place in the spiritual life where we will turn to Him, trust Him more, be healed in areas where we need healing, and grow in ways we need to grow.
There is an old saying,
God whispers in our pleasure.
God speaks in our conscience.
God shouts in our pain.
And He really gets our attention when the pain is intense and beyond our control.
I have seen the reality of that saying in my life and in the lives of countless people I know.
You cannot know God’s full plan for your life. From time to time, you may have glimpses of what God still has in store for you to become or do. You are finite. God is infinite. He alone can see the full scope of your life and how you fit into His plan for the ages.
Because God is infinite, omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (ever-present and eternal), and totally loving, we can trust Him to know how each experience, circumstance, and relationship in our lives fits into God’s plan. We may not see any purpose for some of the troubles that come our way. But God always sees purpose in everything, and furthermore, He sees an eternal purpose.
Your first response when adversity comes must be to trust God to make a way through the adversity, to trust God to have a perfecting good for you as a result of the adversity, and to trust God that there is an eternal purpose for the adversity.
Stanley, Charles F.: Advancing Through Adversity. electronic ed. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1996