Monday, April 24, 2017

Open Doors, a Minor Key to God's Will

He groped along the wall for an exit from the strange house. Starting his search at midnight contributed to his desperation.  Maybe I am wandering in the wrong hall.
Christians equate finding an open door to discovering God’s will. In a strange place, surrounded by uncertainty we pray for a way out. Or cloaked in doubt we ask for a sure sign. We are hopeful that even if a door is closed, God will provide a window. The Bible applies open doors differently.
Opens doors represent real gospel opportunities, not possible life options.  
Act 14:27  When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 
Col 4:2  Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; hat I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
1 Corinthians 16:9 For a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
2 Corinthians 2:12 Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord.
Rev 3:7  "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: 'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 
God’s will unfolds while walking on His path, not searching for His portal.
Psalm 16:11  You will make known to me the path of life
Psalm 25:4  Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.
Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.  Psalm 119:35  Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. The Bible is the only perfect GPS.
Isaiah 2:3  And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths."  God is the only perfect teacher.
The New Testament also describes life as walking.  2 Corinthians 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight. Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Ephesians 4:1  . . . walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.  Ephesians 5:2 . . . walk in love
Proverbs 3:6   In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your path
straight. Proverbs 4:26  Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. 
Pay attention to your steps; you will reach God's destination

Monday, April 3, 2017

God’s Positioning System Welcomes Detours

(Review of Detour by Tony Evans)

Detour.  The word reminds you of time wasted.  And fuel, if you are driving. Tony Evans explains how spiritual life detours may be time best spent. And energizing to your soul.  The divine GPS finds detours when we don’t think they are necessary.
Evans defines the human condition. “There’s a plotnessness that exists in many lives today. Often we move from one scene, one circumstance, to the next without purpose. We wander from high school to college, from college to our first job. Then we’re just dying to have kids. Next we’re dying to get them out of the house. Then we’re dying to retire, only to find out that we’re just dying-never having known why we were alive in the first place.” A God-ordained destiny awaits but we miss it.
Joseph, the familiar patriarch of Israel, had a world-changing destiny he could not achieve without taking detours.  Evans helps us understand why God brings detours into our life with episodes from Joseph’s life.  It is remarkable how many similarities exist between this man of history and men of the present.  “God knows the wisdom of detours and so He uses them frequently on our behalf, forcing us down a path that is ultimately wiser-although at the time it may not appear that way.” 
The language is simple and the well-placed illustrations are germane.  The illustrations deepen the meaning of the stories. 
Each chapter title utilizes a ‘P’ word which often appears contrived. 
The chapter on God’s providence clarifies that complicated issue.  
The book will be of use to those who wonder how their current situation could be beneficial.  And all who know someone who seems to be wandering aimlessly. “You rarely find someone alone on a detour.”