I Have Set Before You an Open Door

Text: Revelation 3:7-13

“Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” ­­­–Revelation 3:8

When I was a kid, a door was very useful. It could be used as a stealth covering to hide behind when I wanted to jump out and scare my sister. It could be used as a hanger for my dartboard, or a barricade to keep the rest of the world out when I needed refuge. I even broke a few doors in my day, most notably, the closet door at church that I crashed through playing ping-pong while trying to impress my future wife!

A door is a passage from one place to another. We are often the product of the doors we chose to walk through in the past. Doors have shaped the person we have become today. A door can represent a change or transition in one’s life—often the symbol of a new beginning. Choosing the right doors to walk through is a life-long constituent of our journey on this earth.

Oftentimes closed doors serve as a redirection for a greater purpose in life. God will close doors to bring us to the doors He intends to open for our benefit and the benefit of others.

To the believers in Philadelphia, God identifies himself as the “holy one” who “opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens” (Revelation 3:7). He tells them “I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” Philadelphia was a gateway to the East. The church there had been planted with the deliberate intention that it might become a missionary city for the gospel to advance throughout Asia Minor. Jesus assured them He had opened the door for greater influence of His kingdom, and they must go through that door in faith.

An open door isn’t always comfortable. God didn’t say, “I have set before you a hammock.” An open door doesn’t always have clarity. God didn’t say, “I have set before you all the details.” He simply said, “I have set before you an open door.” An open door requires obedience, not having all the answers.

What doors might God be leading you to in 2018? Perhaps it is a door of new beginnings, of favorable promotion, or of some kind of exciting life transition. Maybe the door requires confronting some existing uncomfortable tension—such as reconciling a wounded relationship, dealing with issues of forgiveness, pride, anger, or contention. Maybe the door will necessitate a big leap of faith on your part, beckoning you to follow God into unchartered territory. An open door may bring opportunity as well as adversity (1 Corinthians 16:9). Are you prepared for that?

No matter the shape or context of the door, it’s important we remember that disobedience always leaves Jesus on the other side of the door. Jesus never says to go through a door because you are ready; He says, “Go, because I am with you.”

At the end of the day, we shouldn’t aspire open doors for mere personal happiness—we should aspire open doors to truly live a life that is pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6), and to be with Him in the place He calls us. His fellowship behind each and every door is what should drive this existence that we call life (Revelation 3:20).

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, to be with you is our deepest plea. To have your presence and your fellowship is what we long for most this New Year. Grant us the favor of walking through doors that help us draw nearer to you, that grow our faith, and enable us to bring glory to your kingdom by serving others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Questions for Reflection and/or Family Discussion:

  1. What word would you use to describe this past year?
  2. In what ways are you the product of doors you have walked through in the past?
  3. What doors of opportunity would you like to see open in the New Year?
  4. Where do you think God may stretch your faith this coming year?
  5. Is there an uncomfortable tension in your life the Holy Spirit is leading you to confront? What does obedience look like right now? Is there anything that needs to be confessed or owned in order to bring closure to an old chapter, and healthy transition into the new?

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