Doors opening: stay inside!
When I went to
Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that
the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no
peace of mind, because I did not find my bother
Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on
to Macedonia. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)
When the elevator stops, the automated voice
announces: ‘Doors opening’ and we duly prepare to
step out. Except that sometimes we may not be meant
to get out at this particular floor. What happens,
for example, if you are blessed to have a whole
range of possibilities to choose from? It is
patently not enough to reduce our quest for guidance
to waiting to see whether a particular door opens
up, because several may already have done so for us
– in which case we need to know which one is the
In the quote above, Paul was clearly experiencing an
‘open door’ in Troas. People were hanging onto his
words and paying him well – so why not settle down
and enjoy the luxury limousine? ‘Come and hear
Pastor Paul’ sounds a decidedly better proposition
than ‘Go and visit Prisoner Paul!’
Paul knew, however, that the Lord had called him to
work with Titus. Because Titus wasn’t there, he
forsook the pleasant open door and set off on an
obstacle-strewn pilgrimage to Macedonia.
If the Lord has something richer in mind, may we
have the courage not to settle for second best! When
I first moved to the Paris region, I attended a
traditional local church. It was immensely
unexciting, but I felt a certain loyalty to it,
simply because it was close to where I lived. The
time came when I knew I had to overcome my feelings
and venture further afield. The Lord began
immediately to do the most remarkable things. If I
had allowed a false sense of duty to limit me, many
wonderful things would never have happened.
For Reflection and Prayer
Immediately before we embark on a difficult calling,
a door may open that appears to offer us an easier
course of action. It pays to be careful. Is this
door really of God? Since the same word is used in
both Greek and Hebrew for ‘tempt,’ ‘test’ and ‘try,’
there are several possibilities. When the devil is
tempting us, the Lord may be testing us, and our
souls are being tried. May the Lord give us the
courage to choose the highest way forward rather
than settling for the ‘easiest.’
Lord, set me free from the scars of such abuse.
Show me too where I am guilty of controlling others.
Make me one who steers people closer to You
rather than making them dependent on me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.