Open Doors and the Will of God
How many times, as a ministry wife, have you been asked a variation of this question: “What is the will of God for my life?”
We counsel people on this consistently, but if you are anything like me, you can still find yourself thinking, analyzing your situation, or questioning your next move—until you think yourself into a rut.
This past year, for me, has been filled with seasons where I needed to hear from God for big transitions happening in my life. In a moment when I felt completely defeated and unable to make a decision that I felt peace about, the Lord led me to a story in Acts 16.
Here we find Paul and Silas locked in a jail after casting a demon out of girl who could tell fortunes through demonic inspiration. After Paul and Silas prayed for her deliverance, her owners weren’t too happy because a well of income had run dry. They caused a scene and demanded that Paul and Silas be imprisoned.
In the middle of the night, as Paul and Silas were worshiping in their jail cell, an earthquake occurred and their shackles and prison doors opened. It would be easy, at least for me, in that moment to think, “Wow, I was just praying and worshiping, and God has just provided a way out of here!” It’s an open door to an apparent, desperate, and obvious need. They could have left in a split second without thinking twice. It’s hard to imagine that I wouldn’t have.
But they stayed right where they were. Now, that seems to us to be just plain irresponsible. If they die there, they can’t continue their call, right? What were they thinking? It’s like watching a movie and yelling at the character on the screen to do what you know they need to! Like, “Get out of there!”
However, Paul made no sudden moves. He and Silas saw the jailer was about to kill himself because he thought all the prisoners had escaped. The jailer knew that whether he took his own life or not, his fate would be death if he lost all the prisoners. Paul yelled out, “Don’t hurt yourself! We are all here.”
The jailer was amazed—and you know how the story goes. The jailer and his whole family come to know the Lord and are all baptized before the sun is up.
Then I noticed something in the text I have never paid attention to before. I guess I never really thought through how this story ends. The order from the officers came and then . . . Paul and Silas are released. But didn’t they already have an open door?...read more
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