Maybe we should be less concerned about open heavens and more concerned about open doors. Open doors are for people on the move, crossing borders, moving out and into enemy territory.
Open doors come through prayer.
Paul writing from a Roman Jail doesn’t pray to be released from prison but instead asks his Colossian friends to, “Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:3-6)
Open doors can be found behind closed doors.
When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he makes it clear that the gospel had spread because others were praying for open doors: “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is for Christ. Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the message fearlessly” (Philippians 1.12-14). What appeared on the surface to be a “closed door” for Paul (his imprisonment) had actually turned into an “open door” for him to preach Christ among the authorities and guards who held him. It also gave confidence for his brothers to preach Christ fearlessly on the outside.
Throughout your life you will continue to have seasons of limitations but instead of seeing it as an enemy you could view it as an opportunity for the gospel and to declare a fresh revelation of God.
We need open doors. But often we miss them.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan shows us that our neighbour who we are called to love is anyone who is there. The Samaritan cared for the Jew simply because the Jewish man was there. He wasn’t going looking for a Jew to care for. It was an open door. So the question we are left with is this, ‘Who should we reach?’ And the answer is this: ‘Who is there?’
The Apostle says, “We need to speak clearly the mystery (truth once hidden)”. Paul is saying we need to speak their language and start from where they are at.
For example, remember Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well? He centred the conversation on the woman’s challenges and needs. He didn’t dominate the conversation with his ABC gospel message, He guided the conversation.
We need to do this and match our words with wisdom, why offend by our actions if it will prevent those we are reaching from listening.
Do we know what will offend?
If you are involved in children evangelism within an Indian culture and wonder why when the children had been so excited to come to your kids club that the day after they actually don’t then it shows you haven’t used wisdom. Your invitation will offend the Indian culture where it is the father who needs to give the blessing for the activities of his children. The invitation should have been given to him.
That may be obvious and within your culture there are sub-cultures that are maybe a little more hard to discover, but you must find them. We need to know who we are reaching.
Let’s pray for open doors today no matter where we are.