November seems to be a month of firsts for ByFaithShe. Our first FB live, our first giveaway, our first downloadable ebook, and now our first male contributor. When you read his bio, you'll see why he's fearlessly stepped into our all-female world. Bronson is my family's teaching pastor. We've gleaned much sitting under his teaching. It is with great pleasure, I introduce him to you today.
By occupation, I preach. By trade, I’m a recovering has-been football player. Currently, I’m the figure head of a house full of females. But I’m a first-time blogger. But after church a few weeks ago, I was asked if I would write out my message. It had been a difficult, and somewhat emotional, message to preach, so I was hesitant to do it. But since preachers only work one day a week, I figured I had some time. In the days that followed, I was blown away by those who were experiencing precisely what Luke shares in Acts 15 and 16. And the Lord burdened me to blog it out.
When I graduated from college, I was offered an excellent opportunity in the corporate world. I graduated unsure what I wanted to do, but a second interview landed this awesome job. The way it came together, it looked like this was exactly where God wanted me. But over the next few years, I questioned the opportunity.
After the industry collapsed, I was left unemployed. I applied for a few coaching jobs, and immediately a door opened. I felt confident it was God’s plan. But days before school started that door closed as well. And it’s a long story, but ultimately we were called into full-time ministry. All of a sudden, it was clear where three years of closed doors had been leading us.
Every one of us has had God close a door in our life—a relationship, an occupation, an opportunity— at a point that seemed so right to us. At the moment, when that happens, it’s easy to ask, “Why?”
- Why did that job not work out? It provided for our family.
- Why did that relationship end? We were in love, or we had our future planned, or she/he was so attractive.
- Why did a loved one get sick? They were the rock of our family. We prayed to you, God, for healing.
As we question God, we cling to statements like, “If God closes a door, He’ll open a window.” We want the assurance of an immediate replacement in our life. We don’t really live believing that Christ ALONE is enough. The reality is that there may not be a window, another door might not open. So what is true about the doors God closes (or opens) in our life?
In Acts 15:36-41, a door unexpectedly closed for Paul in his ministry relationship with Barnabus. But that didn’t stop Paul from trusting. God might have closed a door, BUT that didn’t mean God was done working. It was never about Paul and Barnabas. And as hard as it may be to hear, it’s not about us.
It’s always about God, and whatever door God has closed in your life it doesn’t mean He’s done working in your life. God closed numerous doors with Paul, but Paul continued to trust. God rewarded Paul's trust as seen in Acts 16:1-5 where a new companion was provided and churches were strengthened.
God WILL close doors in your life. They may be doors you want to be open. But He’ll never close a door He wants open. And the question for you is simple:
- Do you trust Him through it all?
- Do you believe that He alone is good enough whether another door opens or not?
God closed the door for Paul with Barnabas. He opened the door for Timothy to travel with Paul. Paul had no companion more devoted and more involved than Timothy.
- Are you staring at a door God has closed, questioning His leading in your life?
- Or are you trusting and obeying him no matter where He leads you from there?
The relationship door wasn’t the only door God closed. Acts 16:6-8 shows us Paul attempted to travel into Asia, but God closed the door. Paul and his companions moved west, but the Spirit of Jesus said, “No!” They are obedient to the mission, but at every turn the door is closed.
Have you ever found yourself there, not in Asia, but where Paul is? Have you ever been in a season where you’re obedient, your “Yes!” is on the table. But just as you think the pieces are coming together, you’re left at a bigger dead end than when it started?
Sometimes I hear people say that God closes doors to get our attention, but in my opening story, God already had my attention. I had planned to work for the Lord, coach for the Lord, do whatever for the Lord. I had good intentions, but what is actually true, is that sometimes the Lord intervenes in man’s best intentions.
It can leave us more confused than before, but we have to live believing He’s enough and be obedient to His way. Paul’s decision to move past the closed doors led to one of the most important turning points in history, the gospel left Asia and made its way to Europe for the very first time.
The truth of it all is that you might have the best plans, or might not have any plan, but God always has a plan. In fact, He has one very simple plan - our life, for HIS glory. Sometimes we live thinking it’s His life for OUR glory, but the whole reason we get breath in our lungs, movement in our body, and a chance to face today is to bring the King of kings glory.
And that means that sometimes He closes a door because there is a different area He plans for us. Sometimes He closes a door because THAT is how He plans to use us. And I have to be completely honest with you:
- Sometimes God is going to close a door and open another one. I think we pray for that and we expect that, and we trust Him for that.
- But sometimes He isn’t going to open another door, because it may be that His plan for you isn’t riches, that it isn’t success, that it’s not to be on top of the world, but to have the world fall in on you.
And the question you have to be able to answer, is if that ends up being the case, will Jesus Christ be enough? I know that can be really hard to hear, but it’s a reality for so many. Many who might have been told, “It’s just a matter of time, bigger, better, richer, healthier times, are just around the corner.” But it doesn't pan out. While it’s tough to hear, if that’s you today, you’re not alone.
In John 3:30, John the Baptist wrote, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John simply desired that Jesus would be in the spotlight, not him. He understood that God’s plan for him was to play a minor role, for God’s bigger glory.
I think that we believe our purpose is to have God play a minor role in our bigger glory. John also understood that a closed door didn’t always mean a bigger or better opportunity would rise. After Herod had John arrested and put in prison there wouldn’t be a better door that opened for John here on earth. It was the end for him.
It’s why the question you have to ask yourself, “Will Jesus be enough?” If another door opens, if healing comes, if the money is there. Even if God doesn’t open another door, if the money isn’t there, if an answer doesn’t come. Is He still enough? And the answer is 100% Yes, yes He is!!!!
When you have cancer, when you lose your job, when your house is damaged, when you walk through a divorce, when you’re sick, and when your family is scared. Whether every door opens or every door closes Jesus is still Jesus, and He will always be enough for you!
2 Corinthians 4:17 - For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
If God opens another door great. If he opens it tomorrow…awesome, in a month, praise Him, in a year, I’ll still trust Him. But if God closes a door, and another one never opens…if the whole house falls down on you, our foundation in Christ will never crack, because Jesus Is Enough.
I don’t know about you, but while it can seem scary there is no greater assurance. I know I can’t make it on my own. I know that by myself I am not enough. A weekend of kindergarten soccer pushes me to the edge, but thankful Jesus is enough. No matter what you’re going through, that moment is just a speck compared to eternity.
Trust Him and BELIEVE that He is enough.