Have you ever been at a Crossroad in life? We all have. In fact right now in our world, after the #parisattacks, nations are at crossroads. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions! The French President told his fellow countrymen a few days ago, “We are at war!” And rightly so!
Other nations are adjusting their approach to the growing threat of ISIS. And just a day or two ago, 20 or more governors have decided against bringing Syrian refugees into their state. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
In fact right now, Congress wants to halt the process of bringing Syrian refugees into the United States. This is not a debate about whether they are right or wrong; I’m just trying to point out – that life is sometimes filled with hard choices and difficult circumstances to navigate.
The valley of decisions – You may be facing one today:
- Should I go back to school?
- Should I change careers?
- Should I confront that person in love or seek reconciliation?
- Who should I marry? Is he/she the right person?
- Where should I live?
- Is this the church God wants me to take roots in and grow?
- Or is there a better fit elsewhere?
- Does God want me to persevere in this job, relationship, even though it feels like a dead end?
- Is there a future for me here, or is He calling me elsewhere?
In order get clear directions from God, it will depend on how we position ourselves to hear His voice, respond to His promptings and receive wise counseling. In order to walk through doors, we must embrace the mystery it sometimes brings and be willing to take risks when there are no specifics of where to go or what to do.
The book of Acts outlines a lifestyle or way of living that makes it easy, or I should say, easier for us to hear and follow God:
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
- A lifestyle of daily worship
- A lifestyle of daily prayer
- A lifestyle of regular fasting
Worship helps us by bringing heaven’s perspective into our world. We create an atmosphere of faith, and divine clarity. The bible says, “When David entered the temple and began to worship -he understood…” Psalm 73:17
Every major decision Jesus made when he was on the earth, was made after a significant time in prayer. I believe that His prayer life was the catalyst to great decision making and supernatural breakthroughs.
Allow me to share with your 5 simple strategies to help you walk through God’s open doors.
Follow as He leads
“Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” (See context by reading 1, 2, 3, & 4).
He said, “You do not know the way you should go.” Despite our claim to know the way to take, God says, sorry, you just don’t know. In fact, “the road that seems good to a man often leads to destruction.” God says, let me take the wheel; let me take the driver’s seat. Let me show you the way you need to take – “because you have never been down this road before. Let go of the wheel. Get out of the driver’s seat. Walking through opened doors is like a dance between you and God – you need to let Him lead.
Listen for His voice as you go
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
If it is specifics you are waiting for, you may never walk through opened doors. Sometimes all we can do is to get up and take steps of faith, not knowing the specifics. Like Paul, He got up every day, went out preaching the gospels.
When doors to preach in Asia were closed, he tried to go into Bithynia. When that too was closed, he attempted to go down to Troas. See, he wasn’t sitting around waiting for the writing in the sky; he was taking steps of faith even though he didn’t know the specifics.
It was at this time “a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, he sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” That was his Isaiah 31:21 experience.
Know His timing and His season
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” When it comes to opened doors, we have to understand the “timing of God.” I hope through this lesson you will be reassured that “your times are in God’s hands.” If God started a work in your life, He will be faithful to complete.
When we study the life of David, we understand this principle. Opened doors always come in a threefold pattern. There is the birthing of a dream. When David was 17 years old he was anointed and given a prophetic promise. But this did not happen until he was 37 years old.
Between 17 and 37 David had to go through testing and preparation to equip him for the fulfilling of the dream. This period in David’s life was marked with suffering, setbacks and sadness. This is what most preachers would call the death of a dream.
But “in the fullness of time” God raised him up and made him King. That phrase “fullness of time” describes the way God brings about opened doors. It is always in His time. He, who birthed a dream in you, will prepare you during the seeming death of the dream, and in the fullness of His time fulfill the dream.
Take leaps of faith even when you can’t see or hear Him
“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.”
It takes a lot of faith to just walk around the walls of a fortified city and with a shout see the walls of that city fall before your very eyes. The bible repeatedly calls us to “live, walk by faith,” because without faith, it is impossible to please God.
When it comes to walking through opened doors, sometimes there are no clear directions. Or sometimes, the task ahead is so ridiculously daunting, we are almost left paralyzed. In those times we need to walk by faith.
The Ram’s Horn
God at one time came to Abraham and told him to take his son – Isaac and sacrifice him. To that, most of us would say, “Get you behind me Satan.” But Abraham took the boy, tied him up, laid him on the altar, lifted his hand to slay the boy – than God spoke again, “don’t kill the boy.”
In the thicket nearby God had provided a ram. Seeing this, Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh. Abraham concluded that “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
So every time a ram’s horn was blasted in Israel, they remembered the place call Jehovah Jireh. Every time a sound of the ram’s horn was blasted, it was a declaration that God will provide, He will deliver, and He will win. This was Israel’s faith declaration as they walked around the walls. Every step was a step or a declaration of faith – that just as He provided for Abraham – He will provide for us.
Listen to wise counsel
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.” Who do you first turn to for advice?
- Do you lean heavily on your own understanding?
- Do you lean heavily on mentors?
- Do you lean solely on Jesus?
- Lean toward the Perfect Middle
What we need is the perfect middle. A strategy that will help us draw strength, power and wisdom from Jesus, the mentors he put in our lives, and the wisdom we’ve learned from past experiences. Here they are:
- Seek Him First. Talk to Jesus first and don’t stop talking to him until you get the break through you need. Lean heavily on him.
- Find safety in the multitude of counselors. Talk to mentors, trusted friends and confidants while you continue talking to Jesus. Heavily lean on him, but seek advice.
- Apply the wisdom you’ve gained from past experiences – especially if you’ve learned from them. But, don’t stop there, take steps #1 and 2 into serious consideration. Do not lean on you own understand – lean on Him.
It is not a matter of if God will speak to you; it is a matter of how you position yourself to listen. Matter of fact, God is always speaking; unfortunately we do not have the right posture to capture what He is saying.
Habakkuk 2:1 says, “I will take my stand at my watch-post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning.”
The early church folks made daily worship, prayer and regular times of fasting, a lifestyle. As a result, they got clear directions and walked through many supernatural doors.
- What stand have you taken?
- What attitude of heart have you taken?
- Are you willing to let Him take the wheel of your life?
- Are you willing to trust Him as you go?
- Are you willing to wait for your season and your time?
- Are you willing to take leaps of faith?
- Are you willing to humble yourself to receive wise counsel?
I hope you are – who knows what awaits you on the other side of your open door!