I seriously loved Leah’s guest post on Wednesday, where she shared about embracing the promise found in Jeremiah 29:11 and believing God not only has plans for our lives, but that they are always so much better than our own plans! I am such a firm believer in this verse, and I hope you are beginning to be as well!
Yet even when we believe that promise to be true without a shadow of a doubt, it can still feel frustrating and maybe even intimidating, to decipher what those plans are, and what doors God might be opening for us – or closing. We can also find ourselves feeling anxious about how to determine if God is in deed opening a door, or if we are just trying to figure life out on our own and following our own set of plans and dreams (aka, doors). In fact many of you posed that exact frustration in your questions on Wednesday’s postBut sometimes, figuring out what door He is opening is harder than walking through it, so they key is learning to understand how to discern if an opportunity is really an open door from God, or just something we want to do.
So today I want to share with you 4 ways to discern if God is opening a door for something in your life, whether it’s personal or ministry related. Whenever you feel a little holy nudge to take a baby step out of your comfort zone, or to take a huge leap of faith, think about these four tips and reflect on whether or not what you are feeling meets the criteria for being from the Lord.
(1) An open door from God will never cause us to go against something in His Word. God will never lead us towards an opportunity that would require a compromise of what we know to be true or that would disobey His Word in some way. If you really feel called to do something, but the Holy Spirit is convicting your heart and something just doesn’t feel right, then pray for guidance and direction and seek clarity from scripture. We can’t bend scripture to suit our own desires, and if we have to do so in order to support the door we want to walk through, it might not be from God. If after praying for direction, and making sure what you are hearing lines up with scripture, then pray about moving forward in faith with bold courage.
(2) Seek confirmation and you will receive. Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Walking in faith can feel mysterious and scary, especially if we think we are just flying by the seat of our pants and hoping we’re doing the right thing and not just following our own desires. God always wants us to hear His voice so He can confirm His plans and make His will known, but keep in mind that although He certainly won’t reveal all the details, we will know what we need to know right now. God can confirm our calling and what we are feeling led to do through scripture, comments from friends, sermons we hear, music, dreams, books, etc. No matter how you feel God is speaking to your heart, if you see a pattern regarding something you’ve been praying about, most likely those are God-incidences, not coincidences. Ask God to fill your life with God-incidences to help you gain spiritual clarity.
(3) If God seems to have closed a door, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes what we want is not what God wants for us, because He usually has something even better in store. If you feel God has closed a door, spend some time praying for clarity about the direction God might want to steer your towards, and write down a few verses that you can recite to memory to help you trust God with your future. Don’t let the fear of wondering if you heard God right paralyze you from doing anything at all. It is hard to discern God’s perfect paths for us, and exact doors to walk through, but sometimes we just need to take a chance if we feel we have heard God in our spirit. If we take a chance and it turns out a door gets closed, then we haven’t lost anything, but rather gleaned further confirmation about what God might be calling us to do.
(4) Know that any door we feel called to walk through will not be easy – because God wants us to depend on Him. Just because it seems impossible, doesn’t mean it is not from God – in fact, it might be just the opposite. If you think you’ve got it all figured out and don’t need to depend on God, the old phrase “pride goeth before a fall” might become a reality. God doesn’t want our efforts and goals to drive us away from Him, but rather to drive us towards Him, because all things can be done in His strength, not in our own. If you find yourself thinking “there is no way I can possibly do this unless God paves the way”, or “I simply can’t do this in my own strength/confidence/abilities/etc.”, then God probably is calling you to cross the threshold of faith – to stretch, get your feet wet, and move in faith.
God wants nothing more than for His children to trust that He has great plans for them, plans to prosper them and give them hope and an incredible future! Why? Because when we trust Him with our lives, we not only walk through His doors of opportunity, but we experience new beginnings and new blessings and new ways to be shining lights for the Kingdom of Christ.
Next week, we’ll be wrapping up this study by focusing on living our lives as proof of the power of Jesus Christ – but not only in the big, divine, life changing ways, but also in small ways – like walking through every little door of opportunity God provides on a daily basis to impact the lives of someone else and share the truth of our Savior. Even if right now you don’t feel like God is opening any doors, you can remain faithful in your devotion to Him and trust that He has promised to open them in His timing and in His ways.
Let’s have some discussion about this subject of open doors and closed doors from God. If you’ve either walked through a door of opportunity in faith and experienced something incredible, or you’ve had a door closed but later realized it really was God’s protection and redirection, will you share that with us today? I’d love to hear some encouragement on this subject, and I’m sure all your bible study sisters would too!
DON’T FORGET TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE NEXT LIVE WEBCAST!
APRIL 27, 2015
Click here for the webcast page. Visit this page at 8:00pm EST on April 27 and get your questions from Wednesday’s post! We’ll also be taking questions in real time throughout the webcast. You can also still leave a question for us to consider answering HERE.
** The winner of Wednesday’s giveaway YLSC coffee mug was Kathy; notified via email.**