An Open Door

It was a holiday and I had no specific responsibilities to carry out that day, and so I decided to take a longer than usual ride on my bicycle.  The day was beautiful and I was enjoying the ride and the scenery on a quiet and peaceful day.  I went by a new development that is expanding some ways from my house.  I decided to ride through there to see what was taking place.  It was a beautiful area, and I enjoyed the new scenery. 

I was leaving the development at the gated entrance, and when I got there, there was a car stopped at the exit right at a sign that said – Stop Here and Gate Will Open.  I pulled
up near the car on my bicycle, saw there were people inside, and the car was just sitting there.  I assumed that they were waiting for the gate to open.  I didn’t ask them; I just waited.  The problem was that the gate was already open. 

The sign said – Stop Here and Gate Will Open.  I could see that the gate was open and was locked in the open position by a chain that was around it.  The folks in the car continued to sit there waiting for the gate to open.  Not wanting to embarrass them or get into a discussion about you can go on, the gate’s already open, I finally just eased around the car and went on my way. 

As I reflected on the experience, I thought about how many people want God to lead them and even ask Him to open the gate or open the door of opportunity for them, when all the time the door, the gate in life, is standing wide open.  I think about that church at Philadelphia in the book of Revelation 3:8 when Jesus says to His church, “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut.” 

It’s that way so often.  That God is at work, the door is open, and we just sit there waiting.  Now there are times when we need to wait on God.  There’s no question, but when you ask Him to open the door and it’s standing wide open, it’s probably the opportune time to capture the moment, to walk through the door, to do what God has asked you to do.  Now there are some areas in our lives where that is always the case.  It is a God moment that He wants us to do something.  Let me just suggest two or three.

One – to forgive.  It is always an open door for us to express forgiveness.  In fact, we probably spend too much time thinking about it and are too slow in responding to do what we should do in forgiving and moving on with life.  You know that great verse that says, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Eph. 4:26).  It’s talking about making things right before the day slips away.  You don’t need to wait three weeks in order to make things right with someone with whom there may be a wrong. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said it this way in making things right with a brother that things might be wrong: “Agree with thine adversary quickly” (Matt. 5:25).  He goes on to say you don’t need to let it fester and grow and become so big that you can’t do anything about it.  Make things right, forgive, and you will find that life will be far better.  It’s true in every area of life, and I will trust that the Holy Spirit will speak to you and to me each time we don’t need to sit there waiting on an open door when the door is standing wide open.

Two – to give. In Luke 6:38 Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together ….”  You know the verse.  Now it doesn’t say when you see a great need to give though that’s important.  When you have opportunity to give and you see the opportunity, do it to the best of your ability and God will bless that.  I have talked to people who were praying about tithing.  You really don’t have to spend much time on whether or not you need to go through that door.  God has given to you, and He has instructed us to participate in the giving process in returning to Him. 

Too many of us, I think, are like the sweet lady who was a member of our church.  She lived a couple of blocks from the church and nearly always walked to church.  It was her exercise program.  On the way to church one evening she saw something on the sidewalk, walked over, and it was $2 that somebody had apparently dropped.  She picked up the pair of  dollar bills and walked on to church.  After church, she was telling me about her windfall blessing that had come her way.  I said, “That is fantastic.”  She said, “Well, on the way to church I prayed about what I should do about the $2.  Should I tithe on the $2, or because I wasn’t expecting the $2, maybe I should give half of it to the Lord, or because it was not even mine, maybe I ought to give it all to the Lord?”  I said, “What did you do?”  She said, “I was so confused, I just decided to keep it.”  Well, when you have opportunity to be a giving, gracious person, at every turn in your walk with the Lord, it will bless you far more than it will bless someone else when you give.  The door is open. 

Third – to live. It was John 10:10 when Jesus said I have come to give life and give it more abundantly.  Just watch and you will see people who are stopped in life and don’t get around to really living.  Not living for the Lord.  Not living a full and abundant life.  Not living the joy-filled and eternal life right now.  They’re stopped there at the gate.  Some people never start, and some stop living long before they die.

Today, this day, the door is open for so many blessings in your life.  Don’t sit there at the sign waiting for the gate to open.  It is already open to the great things that God wants to do in your life.  Move forward.

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Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer