When God says "Go!"

by Stephen Shives

What He opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. Revelation 3:7
here would the world be today if it were not for automatic door openers (and closers?) I can remember mom giving me the third degree, “Did I raise you in a barn?” Now I say the same thing to my own children, hoping to instill some minute level of responsibility.
I’m sure you remember the early model electric doors at the grocer. There was a rubber mat in front of the doorway that contained a switch that activated the opener when you would step on it. I always had to jump on and off the mat three or four extra times before going inside. Our human nature likes being in control of things, doesn’t it?
People often act the same way with God. We want God to open a door for us. We pray, “God if you will open this door, I will…” and then when things begin to fall into place, we suddenly experience a memory loss concerning our end of the bargain. If I could just inject a word of advise here: Don’t think you can manipulate God with empty words and promises. I’ve tried. God is not impressed by the big commitments we make to Him, if we cannot even follow through on the small ones. 1Samuel 15:22 says, “Obedience is greater than sacrifice.”
Many people commonly refer to a new opportunity as an “Open door.” Whether in relationships, business or education, timing often plays a critical role in achieving our goals. A door that opens at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure.
Paul and some of the other disciples discovered this in Acts 16: 6-10. They were doing their best to establish Christianity in Asia, but the door remained consistently shut. However, the result of their persistence was a vision to Paul to go and preach in Macedonia. We learn from scripture, they did not even hesitate, but immediately got ready to go.
I don’t want to paint a pretty picture for you. The result of the apostles’ obedience was imprisonment, persecution, ridicule, and hardship. However, the number of lives that were saved and came to the knowledge of God’s love far outweighed the price they had to pay.
Here’s the thing. The doors that God opens are big. In fact, you have to acknowledge that it must be a door too big for you to open on your own. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be asking Him for help. Yet, it does not relieve us of our responsibility to do what we can. So the question is: When God opens a door for you, will you trust Him enough to go through and remain faithful?
When God opens doors, what you find on the other side does not always look the way you might like it to. It will challenge your faith. It will stretch you out of your comfort zone. Yet, with Him by your side, it will safely lead you through the realms of unknown possibilities.
The choice is yours. A decade from now, will you be saying, “I made it by the skin of my teeth.” Or, “Ten years ago, I stepped out on a limb with the Creator of the universe; and I discovered the joy and exhilaration of living a life of honor and purpose for God!”