January 01, 2012

When God Closes the Door

There are moments when hope seems to cease, faith struggles with doubt, and faith starts to evaporate. It can be said as the darkest hour, the night, the winter season and many more :) It seems like what you have planned so well ruin with a sudden event or what you long for so long still has not come true. In Old Testament, the Israelites felt it as the desert experience. God had promised them to go to the Promised Land which was rich with honey and milk. Yet because of their lack of faith, 11 days journey became 40 years wondering throughout of the desert! It was very tempting to think that God was not as faithful as He used to say through His promises. It seemed like God called them out of Egypt, set them free from hundreds of years of slavery, promised them very beautiful riches,yet only to make them disappointed in the end. "What a cruel God!" they thought. Yet is God truly like that? What is actually His purpose when it seems like He opened the way at first but closed it later on? What is behind His mind when He makes us waiting for so long?

Firstly, we need to keep in mind that our God is a good God. Bring that truth to soak in deeply in your heart. In circumstance that you may not understand it as 'good', God is still good and His love for you never change. Then why does God seem to close the used-to-be opened door before? There are various possibilities for this. Sometimes we are so in comfort zone when we are in good condition until we do not realize how important it is until it is gone. We may be grateful for His blessings yet true thankfulness is born when there is nothing to thank for. Hence, God is asking your attention more. Some closed door will mean that God does not intend you to go to certain direction. Yet it could either mean that it is not the time yet to go through the door. In both cases, God's deepest purpose is for us to pray more. As the true thankfulness is born when there is nothing to thank for, so does sincere prayer is born as we cry out desperately to God. The darkest hour comes as we pray fervently, yet hear nothing in return. Silence. Will we keep trusting in God through that moment?

God closes doors so that you will stop trusting in man. Closed door helps you to see God stands by your side and He is the only one you need. Does that mean that men cannot help us at all? As long as we can rely on God behind the men, yes we can ask for some help. Yet the main source of the help is truly God himself.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm -Psalm 20:7-8

Sometimes we have to give up all we have in order for God to make a miracle. Remember the child who gave up his five loaves of bread and two fishes to Jesus? It was certainly his only treasure. His lunch. If he gave it, he could not eat. And even the thousands of people there cannot eat that too. Yet this young boy believed sincerely in Jesus who can do anything. He gave up his treasure without understanding why but believes completely in Jesus. And then you know what happens next... Jesus made a miracle. The foods were being multiplied with twelve baskets leftovers. The same thing happened to our father of Faith, Abraham. God asked him to offer his only son, Isaac. As Abraham obeyed Him, God pleased with Him. He knew Abraham loves Him more than anything. Then miracle happened again. God had prepared animal as replacement of Isaac. What is the most dear in your heart? Where your treasure is, there your heart will be. As long as you put your treasure in other place besides God, there is always a possibility of heartache. No safer place than under His wings. He is guarding you right now from that.He is asking your heart and faith completely. Are you longing for a future spouse so badly? Are you longing to make your dreams come true deeply? Give them up to God. Do not let you heart too attached to other thing rather than God. Even good things being misplaced can bring you harm.

God closes doors so that you will wait for His time. He often does it to prepare circumstances. Just like an unripe fruit tastes badly, so does unprepared people given His blessing will rob its beauty. Right things being done in wrong timing becomes wrong things. God concerns more on what happen on your inside rather than your outside. Your character, not your performance. Your holiness, not your momentary happiness. He loves you too much to let the right things become wrong when you still cannot handle it properly. Maturity happens not in overnight. It takes time to develop. Just like the muscles need to be constantly trained, so does our heart and mind need such a training before we can be entrusted with His blessings. Too many blessings become disaster in the hands of unprepared people and He does not want that happen to His beloved children. What things you need to improve before God placed His blessings into your hand? IS it your relationship with Him? Is it your character? Is it your holiness?

Rather than seeing closed door as a calamity, we have to consider it as a blessing. Jesus wait four days until Lazarus had died to visit him. People may thought He was too late. Yet Jesus, our God, knows the time perfectly more than any other human beings. He is never too early nor too late. He came perfectly just in His time so that He could work on His miracle. Every closed door opens another door for God to reveal His glory and save His people. You will never know when God will use what you experience right now to those who will experience the same thing in the future. Never let yourself being trapped in a self-pity attitude. When why does not matter much anymore, you can walk confidently with eyes of faith toward Jesus. Let you mutely saying to God, "I don't understand what are You doing, but keep going on what You do"

"See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut" - Revelation 3:8a

What He opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. If you know that it is God's will but the door is being closed at the moment, keep going. Keep waiting, keep persevering in praying and growing. Surrender what is the most dear to your heart to Him. But if you know that it isn't God's will and the door is being opened, do not go there. Not every opened door is God's opportunity for you. You will know what to do as you grow in intimacy with Him. He reveals his plans and thoughts to those who love Him and seek Him with all their hearts. If He prunes you, it means that He wants you to be fruitful in love and deeds. Do not ask, "Why God?" but ask instead, "What do you want me to learn from this?"

The darkest moment is the biggest turning point in your life.

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