In college, I faced a difficult decision. A church, two states away, called me to be their youth pastor. The pastor was excited to have me come, and had arranged to drive to my school and move me south. Quite suddenly, this road that I had been walking felt wrong. I will never know if it was my own fear of the unknown, or God’s gentle direction, but one afternoon I called and told the (rather confused) pastor that I would not be accepting the job.
How do you know if that open door is God’s doing? How do you know if you are supposed to move forward?
This week I’ve been reading the book of Joshua. In Joshua 18: 1-3 we find the Israelites have had the same reticence. They had an open door, but were waiting to walk through.
The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The country was brought under their control, but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance.
So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?
Here are some indicators that showed the Israelites that the open door was from God:
1. God had given them a promise. Long before this, God told Abraham, then He told Moses and the people that they would possess the land. This was not a sudden thing. God had prepared their minds and hearts for this job.
2. God had directed their battle plan to subdue the land. God used the battles they went through to teach them to follow Him. The battles weren’t just about possessing the land, they were about becoming the kind of people they needed to be to serve God in their new position.
3. God had them survey the land and take possession. Through Joshua, God directed them to finish the job. They sent out people to survey the land and divide it accordingly.
Has God brought you to a point of decision? Do you need to determine if THIS open door is His doing? Here are a few questions that might help:
- Has God prepared you for this job mentally? Is this job in line with what you were called to? If not, you might be going the wrong direction.
- Has God prepared your character for this job? Has He taught you to lean on Him? If not, you might have to wait.
- Have you surveyed the situation? Is this location where He has called you? If not, you need to determine if this is a preparation place. Will you learn skills here that will prepare you for what God has called you to?
In general, I have always looked for three confirmations from God – His Word to my heart, a confirmation from Scripture, and an unsolicited word from someone else.
Lord, I pray for the person reading this that needs Your direction. Please make Yourself clear. Give them confirmation through your Word, through others, and most of all, in their heart. Show them whether this direction is Your direction, or if you are preparing them for something even greater. Give them the courage to step out in faith where you have called them. Help them to have Your courage and wisdom as they step into the future You called them to. In Jesus’ name, Amen.