Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:6-10 (NIV)
The doors seem closed to you, don’t they? Yes, they do. You are a little discouraged that the doors that you’ve tried have not opened to you? Yes, I am a little discouraged and probably more than just a little. You have even begun to wonder if there is something wrong with you? Yes, I have. I have been hurt and wounded by shut doors when I expected them to be wide open. Instead of a warm and healthy greeting, I have been ignored, set aside and forgotten. All I wanted to do was freely give of my time, talent and resources. Who ever says no to that unless they think that there is something wrong with the gift or the giver? Doesn’t that have to be it?
Do you know why the doors that you’ve tried seemed to be shut to you? No, not really, I don’t have a clue. They seem to be shut to you because they really are shut. You haven’t been wrong about that. Why have they been shut? That’s a good question for which you have believed a wrong answer that has wounded and hurt you. What’s that? You just told me. You’ve believed that doors are shut because something is wrong with you. Isn’t that a logical conclusion? It may be logical, but it’s also wrong. It is? Yes, it is. Let me ask you some questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. Who do you think has kept the doors shut that you have tried to open? Would you feel better or worse if I told you that it was me who was keeping doors shut that you have wanted to open? Why would you be keeping doors shut for me? Why do you think? I’m guessing that you don’t want me to go through those doors. You must have something else in mind for me. Those are really good guesses, only they aren’t really guesses, are they? No, I suppose that they are not. You know that I have something else in mind for you don’t you? Yes, I do.
I want you to be encouraged. You need to know that I have a purpose and plan for your life. I don’t want you to open a wrong door and settle for less than what I have planned for you to do for me. What do you want me to do? I will lead you to where you need to go. I will show you what I want you to do. Don’t run ahead or lag behind me. Keep in step with me. Listen to me leading and guiding you through life. Soon enough you will need to be ready to open a door to go and do what I will ask you to do for me. Alright, I will watch and wait for you to open that door for me.
Holy Spirit, help me to understand when you are opening a door that you want me to walk through. Help me to recognize a shut door so that I will not try to break through it. Thank you for guiding my life so I can follow you. Amen
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