Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Open Door

Re-Posted from "Meditations of a Charismatic Calvinist Who Does Not Speak in Tongues"

One of the common ways to try to determine God's will is to look for open doors. There is a danger in this. It can lead us to do only what we regard as reasonable and sensible (Proverbs 3:5,6). Scripture mentions the fact of open doors (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12) and calls for prayer for open doors (Colossians 4:3), but nowhere does it make these the chief criteria for determining God's will. Now God does use circumstances to direct us. Take, for example, the story of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). He was reading Isaiah 53 when a man mysteriously came up to him and used the passage to preach to him Jesus. However, for this to happen Philip had to leave an open door in Samaria to follow God's leading to go out into the desert. Sometimes it is not God's will for us to do what makes sense to us.

I remember cases in my own life when God caused circumstances to come together to make a point. When I had first come back to following God, I was considering chickening out and not going to a meeting I had been invited to because I felt if I was a Christian I would never have any fun. I was sitting eating in the cafeteria by my college dorm when a group of people I did not know sat down at my table. They were laughing and joking and having a good time, when I noticed one of them was wearing a large cross. I thought it was probably just a piece of jewelry, but I was encouraged to go to the meeting anyway. After the meeting the same group of people came up and said that they should have said something when they sat down at my table. I have had other such experiences, but I have also had cases where nothing seemed to come together and I had no idea where God was leading me. Circumstances are relevant, but they should not be made the final judge for determining God's will.

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