Faith. Hope. Love. Sounds almost cliché to suggest you should carry three of the most warm and fuzzy words in the world into a new opportunity. But you can only carry what you possess.
... brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. ~1 Thessalonians 4:1 NIV
God's doors only open at his pleasure. To receive what he has for us we must exist in a specific, spiritual space - a space where we live to please him and are willing to do it more and more. But the atmosphere is not always warm and fuzzy in this space. It could feel like a war zone.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.~1 Thessalonians 5:8 NIV
Pleasing God more and more requires a faith that trusts in the Sovereign God while at the same time protects that vulnerability heaving up and down inside your chest. It mandates that you bring with you a sacrificial love that protects your heart from isolation and through isolation. It commands hope from heaven align your mind with the mind of Christ despite it all. The church folk at Thessalonica understood the cost of an open door.
This newly-created church was very special to the Apostle Paul. After being there for only three weeks, he had to leave because the opposition of the Jews was so great. The church continued to carry the banner of Christ in his absence and suffered greatly for it. But who knew this would be the key to their open door? (Yeah... God did.)
You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. ~1 Thessalonians 1:6-8a NIV
Heaven put a spotlight on their faith, but only once they demonstrated they were equipped to walk in the light.
Remember... God's doors only open at his pleasure. So, before you start searching for your moment in the sun, make sure the roots of your faith, hope, and love go deep.
An open door doesn't mean you have all the answers. In fact, you'll probably have more questions than answers. That's why taking your faith in Christ Jesus, your hope through the Holy Spirit, and your love for a faithful Father is so crucial to your success. As they used to say back in the day, "You gotta stick with the one that brung ya'.". You've made it this far because God is with you and God is pleased with you. Now, you take all the warmth and fuzziness of his love with you through that open door and get what's yours.
When you keep your faith, hope, and love intact, God's grace becomes portable. Don't leave home without it.
Little faith, little power. Much faith, much power. Your spiritual tank doesn't have to be topped off for the journey, but you certainly need to be willing to pay the cost and fill it up as you go.
The future you have for us can't run on empty. As we walk over the thresholds of our open doors, help us to keep our faith, our hope, and our love intact so you grace may abound. Prepare us to give you the more you're asking for.
In Jesus' name. amen.
Thanks for hanging out with me these past few weeks as we explored "The Open Door." Next week, we start a new series titled,
Redeeming the Time YOU'VE Lost
See you then!
Oh, by the way... I'd love to know how GOD n Me has blessed your life!
Be sure to post in the comments or send me a message through the "Contact Us" page!
RETURNS IN SEPTEMBER!
WRITER | MENTOR | TEACHER
LOVER OF CHOCOLATE |
PURPOSED TO EMPOWER |
30+ YEARS IN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP |
PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL
Phillipa also the Founder of ilooklikeLOVE, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization providing diaper assistance to families in need and opportunities for mothers to empower themselves.
Look for her upcoming book,
GOD n You: Finding Your Place in Forever.