The bathroom door in the entryway of Glen Eyrie Castle, Colorado Springs, CO

Don’t close the doors God opens

What do you do with an open door? Maybe the answer to that question is more revealing than we think, but usually my first inclination when I see an open door is to close it. In Kansas, an open door usually means two things: you don’t have allergies or you don’t care about your electricity bill.

But what about doors that should stay open? Am I wise enough to leave doors open when they should stay open? Because most of the time I’m going around closing doors, what if they’re the ones that I shouldn’t be closing?

The bathroom door in the entryway of Glen Eyrie Castle, Colorado Springs, CO

The bathroom door in the entryway of Glen Eyrie Castle, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verses are Galatians 5:13-14.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

One aspect of following Christ that I’m still trying to wrap my head around, even after all these years, is the freedom we have. God’s grace covers our sins, so we don’t have to live under the law thanks to what Jesus did for us.

But just because we’re free to do anything doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do everything. Some things are harmful. And while doing those things won’t bring our salvation crashing down, it can stop our growth and get us in a lot of trouble. Just because you are a Christ-follower doesn’t make you immune to the consequences of bad choices.

But that’s not what really strikes me about this verse. Yes, it’s important to remember that God didn’t save us just so we could twist off and live a life that shames Him, but more than that, because of our salvation, we’ve been given an opportunity to serve.

How many times do we look at our new life in Christ as an opportunity to help other people? So many times I think we see our personal relationship with Jesus as an opportunity to save ourselves, and that’s true. We should want to save ourselves, but what’s your motivation for reaching safety for yourself first?

In a crashing plane, why do you put the oxygen mask on your face first? Because you’re worth saving? Or so you can effectively help the person sitting next to you?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that God opens many many doors in my life so that I can help others in His name. And I’m really sad to admit that in some of those instances, I’ve shut those doors, mainly out of fear of rejection or failure (fear doesn’t come from God, remember).

Yes, shutting doors to preserve and protect your electricity bill is a good idea, but don’t shut the doors God leaves open. Otherwise you’re missing an opportunity for a blessing–not only to receive a blessing but to be a blessing. Walking through a door God opens gives you the chance for God to bless you and for you to help someone else realize how much God loves them. Have you ever thought about it that way?

It’s important to accept Christ. That’s the first step, but it is just a first step in the process that is living for Christ. Choosing to follow Christ is a one-time decision that leads to lifetime of choices to either obey or disobey. Choosing one or the other won’t compromise your salvation, but only one will result in a satisfied, healthy life.

God didn’t save us so that we could sit back and live an easy life. Life with Jesus isn’t easy. Living as a part of this world isn’t easy. We don’t belong here, and the people of the world who don’t know Jesus don’t understand us. It’s our job as Christ-followers to be ambassadors for Him, to help the people who don’t know Him yet see that living life with Jesus is the greatest decision any person can make.

God opens doors for us to do just that in our lives every single day, but whether we take the opportunities He provides for us is up to us.

So what door has God opened in your life? What opportunity has He laid at your feet? You have the choice. The ball is in your court. Are you going to close the door because you’re afraid of what might be on the other side? Or are you courageous enough to trust God for your insufficiencies and walk through it?

Sheep grazing in the distance along Hadrian's Wall, Northern England

Jump at God’s opportunities

Have you ever noticed that sometimes opportunities crop up in our lives out of the blue? You aren’t expecting them. They sort of just land in your lap. They show up in the form of people, in promotions, in your job itself.

Sometimes opportunities can be difficult to identify. For me, most of the time, opportunity appears as one more responsibility. And it’s true you have to be wise about which opportunities you choose to pursue, but there are instances in life when God opens a door in front of you, and it is obviously from Him. It’s those moments you need to be prepared for.

Sheep grazing in the distance along Hadrian's Wall, Northern England

Sheep grazing in the distance along Hadrian’s Wall, Northern England

Today’s verses are Genesis 12:1-4.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

Have you ever walked away from an open door? I have. Lots of times. God has dropped opportunities in my lap, and I’ve passed them by for one reason or another. Fear or anxiety. Uncertainty or insecurity. Laziness is one too. Sometimes it’s because I wasn’t paying close enough attention to recognize it in the first place.

Put yourself in Abram’s shoes. In case you didn’t know, Abram and Abraham are the same person. Later in Abram’s life, God would change his name. This passage is from where he first appears in Scripture.

A lot of time I think we forget that people in the Bible didn’t have the Bible to read. So when God appeared to Abram or spoke to him or however He chose to communicate, Abram couldn’t go reference it in Scripture. It hadn’t been written yet.

But whatever God did or said, Abram made the choice to believe Him. And not only did Abram believe, he acted.

I want to be more like that. When God gives me an opportunity, I don’t want to question it. I want to jump on it.  Because God isn’t going to give us an open door for no reason. No, it might not lead the way we want it to. No, it might not take us the direction we expected. It’ll take a lot of courage. It’ll take a lot of faith. It probably won’t be easy because you’ll have to do something you’ve never done before. But if it’s a path God has opened for us, it’s worth traveling.

Are your eyes open? Are you paying attention to what God is doing in your life? Don’t miss the opportunities He gives you. And don’t ignore them because you’re afraid of them or because you aren’t sure you’re talented enough (that’s what God is for). Just do it. Just go. Let God work out the details. He’ll do a better job of it than you will anyway.