Discernment Part 2: How Will I Respond?

Last time we explored how important it is to utilize discernment when we see open doors / opportunities to pursue.  Today I want to look at how we are to respond to these open doors and why it is so important that we do so.

 

A lot of my readers may be a little too young to remember the game show called “Let’s Make A Deal”.  In the game there are doors to choose from, and behind each door is a prize.  All you need to do is decide which one you would like to open.  The operative here is that you get to choose.  Now apply that to this series and see how you would respond.  You have no idea what the door will reveal, or once it is revealed how to proceed further, yet you are curious to find out.  Do you take a leap of faith, catch your breath and then open the door and walk through or are you afraid of what may be behind the door?  It may require you to step outside of your comfort zone or put you into a situation in which you have no control.  It may ask more of you than you are willing to give.  How do you handle it and how do you respond?

 

First, I want to assure you that God will never send you to a place without equipping you with the ability to do His will.  He is a caring God and He has promised that He is always standing beside us and that He will always provide us with what we need.  We can look to Joshua 1:9 and see that God is always with us and then we can look at 2 Corinthians 9:8 to see that He always provides all our needs.  These are His promises and He keeps His word.

 

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

 

I don’t know about you, but I hold on to these promises and it provides me a peace of mind and it serves as a desire to continue to do His will without fear or doubt.  You might be saying that is all good, but I do not have the skillset needed to do this request.  Yes, you do!  He would never call you to do something and not give you the tools needed to do it.  All of us have special gifts that serve as our purpose to do His will.  We just need to realize what those gifts are and to use them the way that He intended us to use them.  Romans12:6-8 explains the gifts we have.

 

Romans 12:6-8 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:  if prophesy, let us prophesy in  proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

 

Once we can recognize our gifts we need to expound on them and use them to achieve whatever opportunity He provides.  Don’t doubt the gift nor refuse to use it for His will.  He can take a weak character trait and make it a strong tool in His hand for His purpose.  He is in control and it is His plan to follow, so submit and do so.  Hebrews 13:21, Ephesians 4:12 and Philippians 4:19 assures us that He will equip us for whatever purpose He has deemed for us.  Along with this are some great biblical examples of people who faced uncertainty or doubt when called by God. We learn in Exodus 4:10-12 God’s response to Moses’ fear, in Judges 6:15-16 He calmed Gideon’s doubts about his ability, and in Jeremiah 1:9 He calls the young and unsure prophet Jeremiah and proclaims how He will instill in him the words to do His will.

 

Hebrews 13:21 “Make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”

Ephesians 4:12 “For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ.”

Exodus 4:10-12 “Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before or since You have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’  So, the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth?  Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind?  Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be your mouth and teach you what you shall say.’”

Judges 6:15-16 “’Pardon me my Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but how can I save Israel?  My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’  The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.’”

Jeremiah 1:9 “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.’”

 

Once we realize our gifts, and we rely on the skills He provides us, our next step is to open the door and walk through it.  A new set of questions emerge though, don’t they?  What if I am not ready?  What if I make a commitment that would take up too much of my time or take me away from my comfortable life?  I asked to be used but don’t I get to decide what to do to serve you?  What if I do this and I fail or what if I open the wrong door?

 

We need to remember we are here to serve God’s will and not our own desires.  He presents the open door for a reason.  He knows what is best for you as stated in Jeremiah 29:11, so you should trust that.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  

 

We need to keep in mind that all we do is for His glory.  It doesn’t matter if it makes us uncomfortable, or if we need to change our priorities, and we do not get to choose or cherry pick what we are to do.  He is our Creator, our Sovereign Lord and this is His will.  We are to be obedient and just walk on faith.  Regarding the fear of failing, the only way we can fail is to refuse to do what He asks of us.  We must walk blindly and do whatever is presented to us.  We may never know the result or the impact that it made, but the mere act of obedience to Him is our success story.  It is out of love and reverence to Him that we respond and act on the task at hand.  Regarding the wrong door reasoning, once again we need to first use discernment and test the door to see if it matches with scripture, if it does then there is no wrong door.  The only time we enter wrong doors is when we just act on the opportunity and fait to take it to God first and see if it indeed came from Him.  The devil can tempt us with doors as well, so please do not forget that.

 

I understand that the first step is always the most nerve-wracking and the scariest, but once you are determined to be obedient and take that first step, the road becomes easier to continue to walk down.  Who knows where it will lead or who you may encounter, but isn’t it worth it to have the privilege of serving Him?  Toss the fear and the excuses aside and open the door (after confirmation from God) when it appears.  A true Christ follower will take this untraveled route and trust in Him even when we do not understand how it will all come together or work out.  Lean on Proverbs 3:5-6 throughout the journey.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

 

Walk on in faith and stay on the path that He has laid out in front of you.  One day you will look back and count your blessings that He chose you to serve His purpose.  When we get to meet Him on that great day it will be just as foretold in Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant!”.  Oh, what joy it will be to hear those words and what joy that day will bring!  May God Bless you and your journey.

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