Ryan Stoops   -  

What happens in life when a door opens in front of you? Depending on your curiosity and personality, open doors cause some to flee and others to charge right through them. Interestingly enough, both of these responses could come with great regret. Wisdom tells us that a balanced approach to life’s open doors is to move forward with caution. Coming from a faith perspective, approaching open doors can be a way to test if God is speaking to you about something. Regardless of what we see on the other side of the door, it’s best not to let excitement or fear drive our actions. I’ve personally found that open doors have 1 of 3 possibilities: 1) These are great moments to ask God if He’s up to something and if the open door is an invitation into a new season to be filled with opportunities to advance God’s will. 2) Another option could be that the open door is a chance to stand firm while resisting the enemy’s luring invitations. 3) The last possibility is that open doors are neutral, and God would gladly bless you on either side.

The challenge in life is to know which of these possibilities is correct. A few ways we can more confidently make our choices is by prayer, counsel, and confirmation. Paul exhorts us to pray about everything (Phil. 4:6), Solomon advises us that there is safety in counsel (Prov. 11:14), and the Lord loves to affirm with signs (Mark 16:20). These three graces can make all the difference in the world when we find ourselves standing before an open-door longing for the peace of God in our life.

Recently at our State of the Church service, we shared about a possible open door for the Deer Flat church family to partner with a struggling church in McCall. We were approached several months back by the leadership of the McCall Community Church, asking us to consider what it could look like to work together. We received it with great honor that we would even be considered for such a partnership. Immediately upon being contacted, we began laying it before the Lord in prayer and openly discussed the possibility with our staff and board to determine the best way to serve this church. Our heart was never to presume that we knew what was best for them so we merely responded to their invitation with a short period of pulpit supply while we worked to put together a proposed offer of what we could do. At Deer Flat we know who we are (without apology) and we know that God’s Word is the authority for all that we do and say which is what drove our offer to take the leadership of this church should they be so willing. After receiving our submission, the church members of this congregational church voted to abstain from moving forward as they were not all ready to fully release the leadership of their church at this point. We did what we set out to do, we honored God by being open to the possibility and engaged in every way that was reasonable without being too passive or too aggressive.

This is a bitter-sweet outcome, but we view this as our confirmation that this door has closed. Left with the reminder that often when one door closes another one opens, our pathway forward is a commitment to continue keeping our heads held high while looking for those things that God is both wanting to continue and to do next through our church family. Please keep the McCall Community Church in your prayers and that God would give them a fresh wind and fresh fire for their next season of ministry.