I bet you thought I forgot about my series of blog posts based on my book, Move! (now available at Amazon). I didn’t. I just wanted you to experience the common “waiting” period in the life of faith. Okay, maybe not. I digress. Let me talk about one of the keys to “movement” we don’t see until we experience it ourselves.
Sometimes the door doesn’t open until we walk up to it.
That’s it. That’s the secret. And it’s not really a huge secret. After all, when you walk through doors, they are rarely “pre-opened” for you, right? I mean, Walmart or your favorite restaurant doesn’t just keep the doors open constantly for us even in the best of conditions, do they? And your house/apartment door? Closed or open right now? I’m assuming you’re normal and that door is closed for far more time than it’s ever open.
And that simple principle must be applied to the life of faith and tested against the truth of Scripture.
What does Abraham do? Does he get a son or a call to move to a strange land first? He gets a call and waits 25 years for a son. He stepped out first, then the door (Sarah’s womb) opened.
Did you notice how Moses’ stutter suddenly disappears when he gets to Pharaoh’s court? Remember the plan was to have Aaron relay the message to Pharaoh. See below:
Exodus 4:14–15 (ESV) Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do.
That never happened once. Moses does ALL the talking. Why? Because once Moses walked to the door (throne room of Pharoah), the physical doors opened (his speech impediment disappeared) and you know the rest of the story.
Or how about that little-known story of a second water crossing for the Israelites (see Joshua 3). The one in Joshua’s day (not Moses’). The priests carrying the Ark were commanded to step in the water FIRST while the Jordan was at flood stage BEFORE the waters parted. Forty years earlier Moses waved the staff and God separated the waters. Joshua’s group was commanded to take their faith further and not wait to see the separation but to be instrumental in making it happen.
Sometimes the door doesn’t open until we walk up to it. Sometimes the waters don’t part until we step in them.
And if you’re waiting for the doors to be wide open before you take a step of faith, consider not visiting your neighbor’s house until he leaves his front door open as a sign that you should come. That would be ridiculous. So why put that level of expectation on God? He wants active faith (see James 1). He called Peter to come out of the boat and onto the water. And yes, there are doors ready to be opened when you walk up to them.
I know what you’re thinking. How do I know which doors to pursue? Well, let’s look at Moses one more time. Who are you? What’s in your heart? And what’s in your hand? God had placed Moses in Pharaoh’s family and now he had been wandering the desert where he would lead Israel for 40 years. He definitely wanted to deliver Israel based on his ill-informed murder of the Egyptian slave master 40 years earlier. And all he had in hand was a Shepherd’s staff, which was a picture not only of his gift to herd sheep (a Biblical picture of people) but also a picture of Christ – the Good Shepherd who is our True Moses, leading us out of bondage to sin.
So let me make it simpler. Take a look at how God organized the events of your life and the gifts in your hand and the passions in your heart. Then ask yourself this simple question: How can I use these to HELP people. Because that’s God’s business. Then walk up to that door you’d love to see opened and watch what happens. I’ve seen this in my own life the past two years in astounding ways and I want you to have the same blessing. For years I struggled thinking God wanted me miserable as I served His mission and it’s just not true. There are things in your heart, hand, and past that can be used in your future as you live in the joy of God’s purposes.
So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step now. It might be prayer, it might be a phone call or text to someone, it might be a job application or putting your house up for sale, it might be buying the business or striking up the conversation with that neighbor who needs Christ.
The door is closed because it’s normal to be closed when not in use. We serve the God who opens the doors no man can keep shut (Revelation 3:8).