Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sitting Before A Door

                Have you ever come to a door on your walk? You are walking along, doing the things that you know to do, and all of a sudden a door appears? You know in the back of your mind, in the depths of your
heart that God has been preparing you for this door, but instead of walking through it, you stop right in front of it. Something in you hesitates. Instead of walking through the door, you sit down in front of it and begin to pray. That is exactly what has taken place in my walk this week. A door has appeared. A door that I am pretty sure the Lord has put there, but because I know me, instead of walking through it, I sit down and begin to pray.
                “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
                As I sat before this door this morning, I prayed to my Lord and my God about whether or not I should walk through it. Was this door really from Him? Or was I the one who made the door appear? It is my heart’s desire to be His, fully and completely His. It is my heart’s desire to be so full of Christ that I disappear. It is my desire that when I talk to people, when I write my blogs and the books He puts on my heart, that nothing of me is present. But I have to stop and ask myself every time I sit down to write, or speak- is this of me or is this of Him? Like the door that is before me, is this of me or is this of Him? Are the desires in my heart there because He put them there, or are they of my own making?
                “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) The Lord showed me many years ago that if I delight myself in Him, if I allow Him to be my all, then He will place in me His desires for my life. He will place in me the desires He has and the purposes that He has for me. But if I choose to delight myself in me, then these desires are not from Him but are of my own making. So, I ask myself, as I sit before this door, is this of me or is this of Him?
                So many times in my walk I have had to be humbled, and I thank Him for the humbling. (I don’t always like the way He humbles me, but I know it must be done!) When this door appeared, the first thought that came to my mind was “I am not able to do this!” I know that in me there is nothing worthy and nothing good, but I also know and am confident that who He is in me is greater than anything I can or ever will be. But the question I have been asking the Lord this morning is “Is this door about me, or is it from you?”
As I was praying and speaking the scripture in Philippians 2:3, I did a heart check. The door that is before me is a door I have wanted to walk through. So many things have taken place in the last year, and the Lord is showing me how these events have happened so that I can be right where I am- sitting in front of this door. But, why do I want to walk through it? It is not so much that I don’t want to walk through it, because I do- but why do I want to walk through it? It is for my own self and my own glory, or is it for Him and His glory? I believe we all, when faced with these doors and windows of opportunity need to take a moment to sit down and pray before we walk through them. We need to do a heart check and seek His will before we go any farther.
                Paul tells us to “let nothing be done through selfish ambition”. Nothing means nada, zilch, zip, zero; nothing- not one thing is supposed to be done that is done through any kind of self will. Nothing in my life, in my actions, in my words, nothing is supposed to be done with me in mind. I am to be doing everything for Him and through Him alone. It is not about me- never, and will never be about me.  Then Paul tells us that all our doings and sayings should not be done through selfish ambition. In the King James Version, the word used in place of selfish ambition, is strife, “let nothing be done through strife.”
Both of these words have the same meaning. Strife and selfish ambition is a desire to put our own selves forward. It is a desire to be seen, heard and known. It is a self-seeking desire that grows from a prideful heart. (The Lord knows I have pride!) Selfish ambition, strife, self-centeredness is a result of our will against the will of our God. If I desire to walk through this door for any other reason than His glory, then I am walking in selfish ambition, strife, self-centeredness and pride, and that is not God’s will for me.
                So how then do I know if I this door is for me to walk through? I am pretty sure it is. I believe the Lord has given me confirmation, but I do not want to walk through it until He deals with the pride that may follow me through. My pride is sometimes like a shadow, it follows me around, I don’t always notice it, but it is there, just waiting to get ahead. Every one of us is faced with a door, an opportunity that we believe the Lord has prepared us for. Whether it is a ministry opportunity, a place for you to serve Him, whatever your door is, stop for a moment, sit and pray before you walk through it. Ask yourself why you want to walk through the door? Is the desire yours or is it His desire working in you?

                If we walk through that door in with any mind other than humble submission to His will, then we are walking in selfish ambition and conceit. If our opinions of our selves and our talents are greater than our opinion of our God, then we are walking in selfish ambition. If we think that we can do it without Him, then we are selfish and self-centered. Jesus tells us that if we desire to come after Him, if we desire to be His, then we must deny ourselves and take up our crosses. (Matthew 16:24) We must lay down any and all things that are of our own making and take up all the He is. Jesus is humble, and He was a servant to the will of the Father, we must be the same.
                I do not know if this door will open, or where it will lead. But I do know that if I walk through it then it has to be Him turning the doorknob and Him opening it for me. I cannot go through this door if I am seeking to glorify myself or any part of me. It must be Him and Him alone. I can no longer allow me to get in the way. No matter what it is that we do, no matter where it is that He leads us, if we are in it then we are not in His will. The door that is before me is not based off of my abilities, or my talents, it is a door that says to me, “Empty yourself of you and follow Me.” It is a door that says, “It is not about you- it is about Me.”  The doors and windows before us are opportunities to glorify Him, to fulfill the purposes He has pre-planned and predestined us for. (Ephesians 2:10) But if anything in me seeks my desires before Him, then I need to sit and pray before I walk any farther.

                Father God, these doors and windows that you have placed before us are from You. They are the ways in which we need to walk, but Father, I pray that nothing in me be about me, that it only is You and You only working through me for Your glory. These desires in my heart, if they are of me, then I pray for purging, I pray for pruning until all that is left is You, Your heart, Your hope, Your love, Your grace, Your desires being fulfilled in me. May all that I do, may all that I say, may all that I am bring glory, honor and praise to You only. In Jesus Christ’s name I do pray. Amen and Amen.