An Open Door (Part 2)
As we look toward the six challenges of the Advance 2020 plan, we need to picture them as an open door that Jesus is calling us to walk through. He told the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3:7-8 that “I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”
Is that true for us? Has God placed an “open door” for us to pass through, not in our own strength, but His? Can we see the thousands of new homes and neighborhoods rapidly growing up around us as our “open door” that Jesus has placed before us?
Here is what we know. If God has set it before us:
- He has a purpose in doing so.
- He will bless us, not for having strength but for having faith to go through it.
- He is evaluating, not our strategy, but our faith in following Him.
I felt impressed in a series of messages a couple of summers ago that God was about to call us to something that, if He was not in it… if He was not giving us strength to accomplish it… we would fail.
Soon after, I began to learn about the plans for expansion and growth in the community around us and started seeing the “fields that are ripe unto harvest” as one development after the other came online. We are looking at a total expansion of over 21,000 new homes in the next several years within a ten-mile radius of our campus.
Doing the math, that could mean over 40,000 people coming to St Johns County. Amazingly, this is the second time in our history as a church that unprecedented growth came and changed the community around us. We walked through the “open door” the first time.
And now, the door has opened yet again. The challenge is how to engage a growing and very different population base and embrace them with God’s love. It will require the discomfort that every open door involves: the call to leave our comfort zone to reach new people.
Churches all around us choose to “close their doors” to the open door the Lord provides. They close it through fear, through unbelief and through an unwillingness to change.
We have to decide for ourselves if we will go through the open door that God has given us. And then, decide if we will make the sacrifices and adjustments necessary to take the opportunity.
The door is open. Jesus did it. He is the One who calls us. He is the One who will strengthen us.
But in obedience, we must be the ones to say YES to the open door.
I pray that we will.
FOR MEDITATION: Behold, I stand at the door and knock…. Revelation 3:20
FOR REFLECTION: How is the Lord “knocking” at your door today? Is He calling you to a new adventure… a new direction in life? Is He calling you to go to a neighbor across the street… or a nation across the world? Listen carefully. You’ll hear His quiet but insistent knocking. Will you follow Him through that door today?