Years ago Focus on the Family invited me to be interviewed for their magazine Physician. A short time later my phone rang. The woman on the other end was inviting me to write a chapter for a dermatology textbook. Why me? How did they get my name? I wondered. At first blush it sounded like a great opportunity. Doors like that do not open often. It would be a great feather in my professional cap. But....
I decided to pray about it, and the Lord showed me it was a diversion to keep me distracted from what He wanted me to do - to be well prepared and prayed up for the magazine interview. I declined the book offer.
Robert Stearns, author of The Hole in the Gospel, had a similar experience. World Vision had offered him the top job in their organization. It meant giving up a generous salary and large home for a much more modest lifestyle. Then right before his decision he was offered a very lucrative position with another company. Which door did God want him to walk through?
Choosing the right door can be tricky. As we mature in our faith and move closer to the Lord, He calls us to step out into new arenas that stretch us beyond our natural abilities. It is when we are walking out on that limb that the enemy of our souls often slips in another branch that is tempting. It might look good, smell good and offer more worldly perks. But good or even great opportunities are not always God's best for us. Sometimes His best is wrapped in a plain, brown wrapper.
What determines which door we select? Is it more money? Prestige? A quick fix to our problem? Waiting on God is not always easy, but it is always the best solution to our problem.
What are the signs that an open door is not God's choice?
If we find ourselves saying, "I'm tempted to take that offer." Listen to what you are actually saying - tempted. You've already identified the origin of the door - the enemy's temptation. Don't give in to it.
Are there conditions behind that door that would mean compromising a godly lifestyle?
Are there strings attached? Who is pulling them?
Does the offer cause you to focus on self, rather than desiring God's heart above all else?
Listen to what Jesus said: "I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me (John 5:30, AMP).
When we realize that our lives belong to the Lord, and have that foremost in the center of our heart as we pray for wisdom, God will show us which door He is presenting to us. Ask for His confirmation before making the final decision. His choice is always worth waiting for.
The best part is God's door brings joy and peace - something money cannot buy!
- Listen to how you describe that open door to others - what motives do you detect in the words you use?
- Will you be unequally yoked if you say yes to that offer?
- Are you willing to wait for God's best?
- Do you sense God calling you to that door, or are you just feeling tempted?
- Do you have peace about this door?