I find it so interesting that when I’m aware God is teaching me something He keeps showing me in different ways. The same topic just keeps coming up. Recently I’ve been learning about being flexible and watching for God. Sometimes that involves doing something and sometimes it means being quiet,just trusting and watching for God in my life. Yesterday the following was in the women’s ministry newsletter from my church, written by my senior pastor, Quentin Stieff. How could he know what I’m learning about?
We could all tell stories about how God opened and closed doors in our lives. Because God is always at work, we need to look to him with expectancy and great flexibility. Rather than being disappointed, we are filled with anticipation over his next move!
An episode in the book of Acts illustrates this principle:
After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
9One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER ONE OPENS
The Lord is 100% committed to getting out the message of his love in Jesus Christ. Sometimes, when his followers share this message of love and hope, not all of the listeners want to hear it. Eventually, Paul got chased out of the synagogue. But guess what? After that door closed, God opened up another door… right next door!
When Paul was forced to leave the synagogue, some of the Christians may have become discouraged, thinking, “Well there goes any chance of sharing the gospel. That door is closed.”
But God is not limited at all in the ways he can bring people to faith. So, God worked in an unexpected way. If Paul couldn’t go to the synagogue, God would bring the synagogue to Paul! He did this by providing a house for his preaching right next door. And then, he drew the synagogue ruler to faith in Christ.
For the advancement of the kingdom, what is more important? To have the synagogue for a teaching location? Or to have the synagogue ruler become a Christian? That’s a no-brainer, for sure.
So, never despair. When one door closes, God opens another one. Perhaps right next door.