Open Door Opportunities

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:7,8

I absolutely love learning before inspiring speakers, partly because it is my desire to breathe life into people that way and to me there is something profound about hearing stories and testimonies that speak of God’s amazing heart for us. I remember Joyce Meyer once saying we will have all tests but not everyone will have a testimony, it depends if we learn from what we experience. Some people just have the moanies! So if someone is speaking about their stories, you know they have received enough redemption at least to share what God has done and have some kind of awareness that they are broken people God has touched. I was very privileged to sit under the teachings of John Ortberg last week at a leadership conference. It felt like I was breathing deeply for the first time in ages.

He was teaching on the passage above and talking about open doors, how God is the God of open doors. It is by His grace that we are given them. He spoke about open doors being opportunities and not guarantees, that God is more concerned about the person I become than the circumstances I inhabit. It is very easy for me to get caught up in my circumstances, especially when they are difficult, than to keep my eyes on Him and trust that He has it all worked out for my good. Pastor Ortberg also said that no open door will mean life is easy on the other side. My favorite statement he made was that every moment comes with an open door and we can choose whether or not we will make a heavenward investment. This talk reminded me that we are blessed to be a blessing. An open door is never just about me but what we choose can be an investment for heaven and our doors can count for eternity.

I am learning a lot about generosity these days, there are always open doors to do that. Anne Frank said, ” No one has ever become poor by giving.” Generosity is an open door choice. Ask God for more awareness of the open door opportunities and how you can go and bless others with your time, love, talent, gifts, finances, presence, ears or whatever is needed. I guarantee that you will be blessed in the process and God guarantees that you will be blessed for eternity. The smallest blessing is significant to the tapestry of heaven.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

John Ortberg author of Soul Keeping &  If you Want to Walk on Water, You Have Got to Get Out of the Boat along with other titles.  http://www.johnortberg.com/

 

God’s Mouth Guard

I wanted to expound a bit on my last post entitled ‘Rotten Words’ as it seems that this subject is one God wants to highlight at this time. There are scriptures and teachings galore about this subject so let’s go where God is. It may be that God is just trying to tell me something haha but in my process of exploration, I hope that I can encourage someone to take stock of how they are using their tongue. I have heard many careless words lately, even spoken them myself and I know that without God taming our tongues, it is nearly impossible to do on our own. I do believe we can create good habits of thought and speech and that goes a long way but if God does not get to the root and bring healing to the heart as we submit to Him, it will not be a permanent change. ‘You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.’ Matthew 12:34

OUCH! Yes Jesus was talking to the Pharisees here but can we agree that when we speak mean words, evil or curses over someone that we are no better? Did you know that the enemy is getting us to partner with him when our words are not loving and life-giving? When someone slanders another, Victoria Boyson says, ” they’ve been targeted by the enemy and satan has infected them with his agenda against a brother leading them to cause strife.” She goes on to remind us of the seven sins which the Lord hates and intensely abhors the most, those He considers to be an abomination: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies and one who spreads strife among brothers.’ Proverbs 6:16-19

Ok, do we get the picture yet? Not quite? A.W. Tozer said, “So, it becomes the devil’s business to keep the Christian’s spirit imprisoned. He knows that the believing and justified Christian has been raised up out of the grave of his sins and trespasses. From that point on, Satan works that much harder to keep us bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in our own grave clothes. He knows that if we continue in this kind of bondage…we are not much better off than when we were spiritually dead.’ John Eldredge says in Waking the Dead, “Sadly, many of these accusations will actually be spoken by Christians.” He is saying when Christians forget about warfare and our enemy, they make agreements to suggestions and don’t know whose voice is stirring them to say certain things. “The enemy will always try to get you to do to someone what he is doing to them. ” For example if someone has a spirit of rejection and you are being tempted to do that exact thing to them, this is not God’s voice.

I don’t know about you but this kind of teaching gets me praying for God to put a filter on my thoughts and my mouth, or a muzzle if need be. Personally I have found lately that the temptation to compare myself to others leads me into this kind of place to possibly cause strife.  A poster I saw recently said Never compare your journey with someone elses. Your journey is your journey. Not a competition. This hit me straight between the eyes this week as I struggled with thinking that I was lesser than because I saw gifts around me that I was comparing to mine and feeling like I wasn’t measuring up. Then despite me, as I spoke to a friend, these words came from God’s lips through mine as she was facing the same kind of issue, “You pray in your own voice because it is the only one that you have and God has given it to you for you and others.”

The tempation to cause strife comes out of these situations by first of all not giving credit to how God has created us and then if we feel less than someone else, it could create an agreement with the enemy because we do not bless that person in their gifts. In turn, this could possibly grow a root of resentment toward them or we could have an impossible expectation that we will never ‘measure up’ and then almost kill ourselves trying to be someone we are not. In a world where we could be anyone, let’s be ourselves. So you can see how our words can be damaging outwardly and inwardly. I know you are not perfect and as you often see neither am I , but what is one thing that you could do today that would help you to take stock of the things you let loose from your lips.  I am going to try in my morning prayer time with my husband to start there and ask God to place a guard over my mouth for the day. Here is instruction from God’s word, ‘Set a guard over my mouth, LORD, keep watch over the door of my lips.’ Psalm 141:3

http://boyson.org/articles/protectyoursoul/protectyoursoul.html