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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
My dear husband uttered those words recently as he and I were talking with a sister in Christ about the uncertain place in which we now find ourselves.
As I listened to Kevin’s words, my heart went out to him.
I knew those words were heart wrenched and coming from a place of concern over what lies ahead of us.
Not that any of us ever know what the future holds, but I can’t remember a time when ours has ever looked so uncertain and unknown.
After the above conversation, I was walking into a grocery store, and I noticed that I was getting uncomfortably close to the automatic glass front door, and it still wasn’t opening. In my impatience, I began to wonder if the store was closed or if the door was operational. Just as it looked like I would crash headlong into the closed door, it opened, almost as if it had been on some sort of delay. Whatever the mechanical explanation for the unusual hesitation, I soon knew that the real reason it occurred was that the precious Holy Spirit was providing an object lesson to build on Kevin’s words that were still fresh in my mind.
As I walked along, the still, small voice of our Lord began to whisper,
“Child, the door did not need to open until you got to it.”
I realized that if the door had opened before my next step, it would have served no purpose to me.
I couldn’t walk through it until I got there, anyway.
In my desire for things to be all neatly laid out in front of me with no hiccups or hesitations or plan alterations, I wanted that door to be standing wide open far before it actually needed to. Even though I was not close enough to walk through it, I wanted to know that it was open.
Silly me. I am always trying to figure out God’s mind, trying to contemplate not just His next step, but next several steps in front of me. I want a flashlight to shine up around the next bend in the road, up the staircase in front of me—I want to see the door and know that it is open and that I will have no problem walking through it.
Silly me, indeed. I should know by now that God does not work the way I think He should. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so far apart are His thoughts and mine. (Isaiah 55:8,9) I cannot put Him into a box or neatly-wrapped package that will suit my preferences. Why would He open a door when we are not even close enough to walk through it yet? What good would that do? God has His own timetable, and His plans stretch from the beginning to the end of our lives.
God is in control of the doors in each one of our lives. He sees every door in our future.
“And the key of the house of David will I lay upon His shoulder; so He shall open, and none shall shut, and He shall shut, and none shall open.” Isaiah 22:22
“These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:7,8
God determines whether or not a door should open or close, and if it is a door we are to walk through, He decides WHEN that door needs to open.
He directs our steps leading up to that door, and when we catch up with Him and get there, He is the only One who can open it.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.” Psalm 37:23
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
If we saw everything ahead of us and knew how and when God would provide and take care of us, why would we need faith?
For as long back as I can remember, we sang the song, “Living By Faith” in church.
I sang it right along with everyone else, but I don’t think I have ever really understood what it truly means until now. I wanted to share the words here today for anyone who may find themselves in an unfamiliar place with safety nets removed and no visible plan or open door ahead of them.
This, my friend, is what living by faith really means.
May the dear Lord encourage the heart of each person who reads this.
I am praying for you now.
Living By Faith
James Wells (verses 1,2,&3 & Chorus)
Robert E. Winsett (Verse 4)
I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Our Lord will return for His loved ones someday,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.