So you got the Bible and you know it says a bunch of stuff, but how do you know when to apply it? Just cause the Bible says to evangelize, doesn’t mean we’re supposed to do evangelize all the time, non-stop, with no sleep. How can you evangelize in your sleep? Unless you’re me. True story… one time I dreamt that I witnessed to Dave Mustaine of the metal band Megadeth, and a few years later he got saved. Yeah, I can even save people in my sleep.
So when trying to discern God’s will, many times we are really asking the question, “When do I carry out one of the particular commands found in scripture?”
Remember our equation for doing God’s Will?
Knowing God’s Word + Believing God’s Word + Applying God’s Word = Doing God’s Will
The Bible says to take care of the poor. So if I see a commercial with starving people in Africa does that mean God wants me to go over there and feed them?
What you are seeing are open doors… opportunities. But just because you see an open door doesn’t mean that you’re the one to go through it.
Why is that? Because you have other open doors you’re supposed to be going through.
So now you have all these doors in front of you. How did they get there? You have to ask yourself, “Did God open them all for me?”
There are two other reasons for open doors:
Coincidence. Some of these doors are simply unrelated to you. Just because they’re running a sale on assault rifles doesn’t mean that God wants you to buy guns.
And guess who else can open doors? Satan. And what do we call it when he opens doors?
Just because someone forgot their wallet, doesn’t mean God is giving you their money. Just because someone likes you, doesn’t mean you’re supposed to have an affair. Just because someone gave you a gift card to Applebee’s doesn’t mean you should eat there. Those temptations are doors opened by Satan.
So what do we do?
We need to first realize that there are open doors all around us. Then each person needs to figure out which ones are opened by God specifically for them.
Some of these doors are totally obvious. You see your friend crying – go and minister to them. You see your mom washing the dishes – help her. You see your brother listening to a James Taylor album – burn it, bury the ashes, then curse the ground.
It’s a mindset that you have to develop over time. Being aware. Thinking proactively.
But you must pair this awareness with something else: love. Your love for others will manifest itself with looking for open doors.
For example, if you get a flat tire, you need to start thinking, “Why did God let this happen?” Maybe you’re supposed to minister to the tow truck driver. Maybe you’re supposed to minister to the repairman. Maybe you’re supposed to set an example to your kids on how to deal with a problem.
It’s a little easier to think about when you’re talking about people. As you interact with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors… listen… watch. What are they saying? Do they need help? Will we notice the open door to do God’s Will?
The easiest place to start is with your family, because hopefully those are the people you love most. So if the two crucial elements of finding open doors are love and awareness, the love part is covered.
Do they need encouragement? Do they need help with their chores? Are they stressed out about anything?
If you can notice doors with your family, hopefully you’ll start seeing these doors elsewhere, except of course at Applebee’s.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Love. Viewing people with love will help you notice the open doors of God’s Will much more.
Take time to pray: Ask God to help you listen and watch events with His Will in mind so that when He opens a door you’ll be able to notice it and go through it.