Once upon a time a young man, received his pink slip. The government funding was ending for the job he had and enjoyed. The young man had outstanding performance reviews and good relationships. He had also recently married the love his life. With new responsibilities he drove home from the office not frightened but fully confident that God was in control.
Lesson One – When you receive bad news don’t panic remember God is in Control!
After sharing the news that in a few weeks his current job would be finished, the young man and his bride began to pray fervently and fearlessly. They leaned into this passage of Scripture. “Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you.” Matthew 7:7, NCV
If they were being ushered out of this room then surely God had another plan for them. I remember that day clearly and the time of prayer just as clearly. Becky and I were sure that God had a plan for our lives. We had been preparing for that plan since we were children. This isn’t a fairytale. It’s one of our early experiences in our marriage.
We also sized upon situation educationally, financially, experiences, relationally (network is the word some would use here) and what our dream was. Sizing up the situation helped us to begin making good decisions about our situation without fear or panic. I’d like to really credit my wife’s spiritual background here. Growing up in a pastor’s home where her family had lived by faith made her an incredibly strong woman. I’ll always be grateful for Becky’s strong faith.
Lesson Two – Know what God’s Word has to say about your situation and pray boldly according to His Word.
Lesson Three – Train your children while they are young. Don’t be afraid to let them know of the challenges you face. Encourage them to pray with you in family devotional times.
By the end of the week three congregations had called us asking us to come and serve their church. It was not the door that we had hoped would open for us, however. I remember walking in an orange grove in Florida praying for discernment and understanding. When I left the shade of those orange trees there was peace in my heart that God had a different plan for our lives than we had originally thought.
Now the only difficult part was deciding which door to choose? Would it be Door #1, 2 or 3? Not to be cute, but that really was the next decision we had to make. And it was our decision to make in faith. Through a time of prayer and fasting but joy we reached a decision and we’ve never looked back.
Lesson Four – Plan well so that you don’t feel like you have to jump at the first opportunity that comes along. Every opportunity is not God opening a door. Pray carefully according to the dream that you have in your heart. I’m presuming that you want God’s will more than anything else.
On the other side of that open door was great opportunities but there were also conflicts that we didn’t expect.
I will be talking about that this Sunday morning in a Message called Through the Open Door! I hope that you will join us at Woodland for either the 8:30 or 10:00 AM service Sunday morning.
Grace, Peace and Joy!