Open Doors – I Corinthians 16:9

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When seeking my first place of full time ministry, a pastor asked us to teach in their Christian school. Initially, we were excited, thinking this might be an open door of God’s leading. Unfortunately, this pastor would not trust me to preach in church until I was there for 3 to 4 years and wanted my wife and I to both to teach for a combined annual salary of $6,100. When I told him we couldn’t make ends meet on that amount, he became indignant saying we needed to trust God to provide for our needs. I told him we just couldn’t come. Soon after, we had a better ministry opportunity with enough pay to get by on. We thanked the Lord for this open door and accepted the invitation.

Both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John looked at some opportunities, or “open doors,” as being from the Lord. The Apostle John wrote to the Jewish saints in Philadelphia saying, “…behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). Clearly, in this instance, the Lord was working in circumstances to enhance the ability of these saints to minister. Similarly, the Apostle Paul viewed the open door to minister at Ephesus as an opportunity from the Lord. He wrote, “…a great door and effectual is opened unto me…” (I Corinthians 16:9). This meant there had been enough responsiveness to his preaching that many were saved, and a local church was formed. So, Paul decided to stay because his ministry was being fruitful. But later, Paul decided to move on and “…came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord” (II Corinthians 2:12). Please note that we need to use caution here. Paul had the freedom of choice to stay or to move on in ministry to another location (vs. 13), as we see throughout the Book of Acts. Just because an open door of opportunity is available, this doesn’t mean that we must pursue it to be in the will of God, or to be blessed by Him. Especially in the Dispensation of Grace, open doors mean we that have an opportunity, but God still gives us great liberty to choose where to go and what to do.

Don’t see open doors as only a divine mandate. Realize that grace gives us freedom to make wise decisions.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."