It's Saturday! Time for a guest post.
Today's comes to us from Matt Appling, a pastor at Levi's House in Kansas City who blogs over at The Church of No People, where there's always something interesting going on. Says Matt of his blog: "On Sundays I preach. They’re usually pretty good messages. This blog is full of all the messages that didn’t make it. Messages that would make people second guess why I’m their pastor. So I put them here, in the church where no one’s around to read them. The message changes when a pastor has nothing to lose!"
I don’t get too excited about things.
My family says I’m the “stoic” one of the group, but then again, they’re all kind of manic. Except my wife. I have to prod and pry and sometimes poke, just to get a rise out of her about anything, but that usually results in her just being annoyed at me. She’s the only one less excitable than I am.
That’s why I don’t like to go through doors.
Not regular doors, mind you. Those are okay. I have several in my house, and they do a good job. They’re all very rectangular, with right angles and do a fine job of connecting the rooms in my house. I go through dozens of doors every day.
I’m talking about those proverbial “doors” that God opens.
A couple of weeks ago, I met a new friend who moved to Kansas City. He wasn’t sure that he was supposed to move, so he asked God to indicate to him that a door was open. He said he wanted a house within twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours later, he miraculously had a house lined up.
I was jealous. When has God ever opened a door like that for me? (Yeah, I know, really great Christian attitude I’ve got there.)
The last door that opened like that for me was not only wide open, but God picked me up and tossed me through the door like Will Smith on “Fresh Prince.” The door was definitely open to start a new house church ministry. It wasn’t even a door that I was waiting to open, but there it was.
But soon after that, we sensed that another door was open to evolve the ministry. In hindsight, the door wasn’t so much “open” as it was “cracked,” and we were trying to force it open and squeeze through. And God firmly slammed the door on us. It was humbling…and by “humbling,” I mean “humiliating.” It was a lot like being in public and pushing on a door that’s clearly labeled “pull.”
And don’t tell me that every time God closes a door, He opens a window. Anyone who says God does something “every” time has not spent much time with God.
So since then, I’ve been afraid to go through doors. I’m waiting for God to slam it in my face. I’ve become a lot like Gideon. God may tell me He’s opening a door, and I’ll say “Where? I want a sign. I want a blinking neon ‘open’ sign on that door. A big one.” And God will give me a sign. Then I’ll say, “I want another sign.” It just seems like if a guy can ask God to give him a house in twenty-four hours, I should be able to have my signs.
Right now, I’ve gotten my first sign. I’m waiting for number two. And it better be a good one, or I’m staying put. I’m telling God that I don’t really believe Him when He says He’s opening a door. I’m afraid He’s going to psych me out and slam it in my face. And if He wants me to move, I’m more than willing, but He’s going to have to push me through the door.
Some people might say I’m just being stubborn, or I’m not fulfilling God’s will for my life, because I’m not going through those doors. Maybe I lack faith, because I don’t get super-excited and sell my house and move to another state every time God moves or fidgets in His throne. It seems like every great Christian “success” story starts out that way. But I’ve been working really hard on being content with things until God shoves me through another door.
Which kind of person are you? Are you the kind that says God is moving at the drop of a hat, or are you skeptical, cautious, reluctant to go through the door?
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