testing “open doors” that look like a blessing

12 02 2008

The devil wants to get us out of the will of God, and he will sometimes offer us something that looks like a blessing but is not in the path that we should be walking.  Sometimes this may be in the form of a job offer where you would make more money.  Or you may be offered a place of ministry at a church that looks more “successful” than where you are now.  We must be careful in such things, though — just because “a door is open”, it doesn’t mean that God is leading you to follow it.

This happened to me one time, where I got a great job offer in a city a few hours away.  I would’ve made about double my salary at that time, and I would’ve learned more skills as a computer programmer that would’ve made me more valuable.  Some friends told me they would’ve accepted it, because it was a lot of money.  But I had prayed about it, and I knew that I wasn’t supposed to take it.  I would’ve had to leave my ministry at church and the ministry I was involved in outside of the church.  God had “planted me” at that church and at the job I was at, and I’m not supposed to leave those until He leads me away.

Remember that your life is not your own.  Being in America, we tend to think about our freedoms, that we can do whatever we want, but when you accept Jesus as Lord, that means He is in control of your life.  We should be doing what He tells us to do, even if it means making less money or being less popular or doing something you don’t really want to do.

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2 responses

14 02 2008
MzMobo

I’ve had an experience like this recently. I’ve not been involved in any ministry in church in quite some time. This was very hard for me even though the Holy Spirit has spoken to me pointedly and said not to despise where he had me. At a very difficult time for me an opportunity arose. I was struggling in dealing with our leadership weekend at church. I honestly contemplated staying home. It truly wasn’t with a bratty attitude, but I was feeling very unwanted and unloved (in spite of aforementioned conversation with the Holy Spirit). A week and a half before the festivities were to take place, I was asked by our ministry director to consider teaching a class of young girls, and I did.

Three very specific things happened that made me think “this must be God.” Circumstances were lining up and I’d even had a couple of specific things I’d prayed happen, so I agreed to go in on a Wednesday night and meet the girls. I was going to go in (after all, how can anyone go wrong giving Jesus to young girls?) and pray that the Lord would give me his heart for them.

The one thing I was missing was a peace to guard my heart. By Sunday evening I was very ill at ease, by Monday night, I knew I wouldn’t get passed the first Wednesday night, and by Tuesday night, I told her I just could not do it. I was blessed because the MPact girls director at our church is a woman of the Spirit and understood without question. The minute I resigned to the fact that I wasn’t the one to teach those girls I began praying for the right teacher to rise up. That Sunday night at the ministry fair a lady in our church walked up to the ministry director and said she wanted that class of girls.

Within days the Lord lead me to another area of ministry but it’s still in the works, so I’ll wait until the season is right to share it. However, no matter where he leads me, I know that had I not followed the leading of the Holy Spirit I would have robbed those girls of their loving teacher and robbed that precious woman of that class and we all would have suffered for it. There is always a bigger picture and it’s truly not all about me!

14 02 2008
Beppo

MzMobo, thanks for your testimony on this. Some say the Lord works in mysterious ways, and while that can be debated from different angles, it does sometimes seem mysterious to us because we don’t see the big picture. There are always more details to our circumstances than we know.

I’d like to share something that happened to me along these lines. A few years ago our youth group at church was going on a missions trip to Mexico. I had been on only one missions trip before, and I really wanted to go. I wanted to help others, and I knew it would be good for me, too. But the Holy Spirit told me to not go, and I had no idea why. I kept praying about it, because I was confused, but I did not feel a peace about going. So I didn’t, and some people didn’t understand why I didn’t go.

I still don’t know all the reasons, but I do know that I was asked to speak that Wednesday night in youth while some of the people were on the missions trip. I had prepared a lesson, but as soon as I got on stage to speak, God told me to scrap my lesson and to share from my heart. (And that was scary for me, because I was so nervous!) But I know that God was in it, and so I think the message was for someone.

And so God had other plans for me instead of going. Of course, at the time, I wished He would’ve explained it all to me, but then I wouldn’t have needed to stretch my faith in trusting His leading. Looking back now with hindsight, I can see how He was helping develop my faith and to teach me things about following Him.

We should always trust where the Holy Spirit is leading us, even if it seems to be against what our own logic and reasoning tell us. (Just remember that His leading will be in line with the Bible.)

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