God of Both the Closed and Open Doors
Read: Philippians 16:6-10; Revelation 3:6-8
Is it only me or were others raised with the challenge? "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." That little saying seems to bounce around in my brain all the time, and this week was no exception. My husband and I were picking out a tool he needed, and we were planning on purchasing it on line; so, I began filling out the form. It almost never fails that my first submission of this kind doesn't go through; so, when that happened, I wasn't surprised. Time to try again. I checked my numbers. I never did learn to type them with the correct fingering; so, I thought I could have an error there. They were fine. Maybe the date on the credit card expiration was wrong? No, MMYY was the format that was called for and the one I used. Okay, I then just went out of the page altogether and went back in to redo the information. Still, no success. Even after the sixth or seventh try. What to do? Try, try again? No. Instead, it was time to make the purchase through another means other than the computer. No need to try and break down what was, for me at this time, a closed door. The result? Success and a new tool!
I am thankful that the Bible reminds those of us who belong to Jesus, that God both opens and closes doors of ministry, Revelation 3:6-8. We like those in the Church in Philadelphia often have only a little strength; however, God be praised. It is His power that will accomplish all that He wills in and through us, Zechariah 4:6.
Are we looking for an open door of ministry? Paul gave us the example of what to do. He asked the Colossians to pray for an open door for the Word, Colossians 4:3. The apostle who wrote so much of the New Testament knew the importance of asking God for an open door. That loved one who means so much to us? Let's keep praying for the Lord to swing open a door or crack it a bit so we can speak His Word to them. After all, He is the One Who also opens hearts, Acts 16:14. In Acts 14:27, Paul and Silas met with the church to speak about the door of ministry to preach the Word to the Gentiles that had opened.
One thing I sometimes forget is that the same One Who opens doors also closes them. His timing is often not mine. What to do when trying again is once again met with a closed door? Let's glimpse at an incident from Acts 16:6-10 and discover what Paul and his companions did. In the early verses of Acts 16, Timothy joined with Paul and Silas. It is evident that they weren't wholly certain where the Lord wanted them to share the Gospel. As they were going to minister, God closed doors for them twice. They were forbidden by the Lord to go two places that seemed good to them. They were not allowed to share the Word, having come upon closed doors. God was directing them by what He didn't permit.
Then in Troas, Paul received a vision. A man of Macedonia was urging them to come and help the people there. They took this as an open door and went there to preach the Gospel. As far as we know, Paul and his companions were never told the reason for either their closed or open doors. They simply stopped when God directed and went forward when He pointed out the path for them. One more thing about a door that is presently closed. God might change that and open it for us later. In the meantime, with His help, let's walk through the doors He is opening and not try to kick down those that are presently closed.