August 4, 2019
In our first Scripture reading (Luke 11:5-10 NLT) Jesus encourages us to be persistent in asking for a door to be opened. Our second Scripture reading points out that we should only pass through doors that God opens and Jesus, the Good Shepherd leads us through (John 10:1-11 ESV). Sometimes we try to go through a door that is locked, and get frustrated because God won’t open it to us.
When God locks a door, it needs to be locked. When he blocks a path, it needs to be blocked. In our third Scripture reading (Acts 16:11-34 NLT) when he stuck Paul and Silas in prison, God had a plan for the prison jailer. As Paul and Silas sang, God shook the prison, and "All the doors immediately flew open" (Acts 16:26).
There God goes again, blasting open the most secure doors in town. When the jailer realized what had happened, he assumed all the prisoners had escaped. He drew his sword to take his life. When Paul told him otherwise, the jailer brought the two missionaries out and asked, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). Paul told him to believe. He did, and he and all his family were baptized. The jailer washed their wounds, and Jesus washed his sins. God shut the door of the jail cell so that he could open the heart of the jailer.
God uses closed doors to advance his cause. He closed the womb of a young Sarah so he could display his power to the elderly one. He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so he could open shackles through Moses the liberator. He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so he could use Daniel in Babylon. And Jesus. Yes, even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When he requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane so he could say yes to us at the door of heaven.
(The last 3 paragraphs are based on an excerpt from Max Lucado's “God's Story, Your Story”)
Therefore, it should not shake your faith when your prayers are not immediately answered. Never think that God ‘can’t’ open the door you want opened. If God says “no” or says “wait”, we must trust Him and seek to carry out His will.
Everyone here knows I like “Alice in Wonderland”. There is a conversation in that book, written by Lewis Carroll, between Alice and a doorknob, before she drinks the potion that shrinks her in size. It goes like this:
Alice: I simply must get through!
Doorknob: Sorry, you’re much too big. Simply impassible.
Alice: You mean impossible?
Doorknob: No, impassible. Nothing’s impossible.
The Bible confirms that last statement in Matthew 19:26, which states “with God all things are possible."
Indeed, all things are possible. And yet not all things are in our best interest, in the best interest of others, or for the glory of God. Sometimes we pray for something that will ultimately work against God’s plan for us, which is always for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Remember, God can see the end result, whereas we cannot.
And then there are some doors should never be opened… Ed and I have been watching a Netflix show called “Stranger Things”. In it is an inter-dimensional doorway known as “The Gate”, which is a portal to another dimension called the “Upside Down”. This doorway is located in the underground subsystem of Hawkins National Laboratory. It was unintentionally opened by a young girl called “Eleven” during an experiment in which she made contact with the Demogorgon, and inter-dimensional creature.
While this is a fictional show of course, there are some things in it that bear a distinct resemblance to Biblical reality. The world of the “Upside Down” is akin to that of the bottomless pit mentioned in Revelation 9, which will be opened to release demonic creatures, and their leader, the fallen angel named Abaddon (which means Destroyer), during the Great Tribulation. It is also very much like the dimension which I labeled ‘the negative universe’ in my physics theory that was published by Mensa over a decade ago.
Selfish desires and evil intent, are not the ingredients of prayers that will open good doors, but rather open up those who are not praying in the power of the Holy Spirit to possible demonic activity, and only lead to grief and despair. But if what you are praying for is indeed within God’s plan, is for your good and that of others, and will bring glory to God, then rest assured the answer is coming! It might not be today, it might not be in the way you are imagining, but it is coming. Be patient, keep praying, and trust in God. The answer might be far greater than you even thought was possible. I remember when we were trying to sell our home in Morris for a year and a half. Showing after showing, but not one offer. We prayed, but nothing happened. We finally took it back off the market. Little did we know at the time that the day was coming when Rev. Leah was going to call me up and offer me a second church, being sure to add, “They have a parsonage.” I gladly accepted, and we put our house back on the market. We had a buyer three days later. So don’t give up. Your answer is coming. You just haven’t seen it yet… Amen.
"Even If" (MercyMe) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y
"Haven't Seen It Yet" (Danny Gokey) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1eMZiOJ0a0