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Is Praying for Open Doors the Equivalent of Playing Clue with God?

photo courtesy of nattavut   Lord, if this is your will, I pray you would open the door. And if it’s not, then please shut the door so no man can open it. Have you ever prayed like that? Don’t worry, I’m not going to make fun of you (because then I would by a hypocrite since I just wrote about not making fun of people in my last post). I just want you to think about the whole “open/shut door” prayer strategy and if it’s really the best way He wants to lead you. When we pray, “God will you please open the door” we usually mean, “God if this works out, I’ll know it was you.” Now, I know that fleeces are in the Bible and I don’t think it’s a sin to put a fleece out, but I do think its problematic when our relationship with our Father is overly dependent on open and shut doors. I know many people like the saying, the Lord works in mysterious ways, but let’s remember that God’s ways have been clearly revealed to us in His Word and by His Spirit. He wants us to know His will for our lives, not constantly stuck in some spiritual maze, riddled with open and shut doors. He wants to lead us in a more personal way. Playing Clue with God I’ve probably said the “if you open the door I’ll walk through it” prayer hundreds of times and here is what I’ve learned. A clearly defined open or shut door is rare. Most the time I end up what I call,...

How to Respectfully Disagree

I like to be right. So do you. I mean who really enjoys being wrong? In a world with so many of us believing we are right we are bound to have disagreements (this is especially true for people of faith). Imagine how many church splits could be avoided by simply learning how to respectfully disagree. And on a more personal level, how would learning how to respectfully disagree change your life? What if the next time you found yourself disagreeing with someone you were able to stick to your guns but also make the other person feel respected at the same time? In this article I will highlight three ways you can practice respectfully disagreeing with people. But before we do that I want to talk about why this social skill is important. If we don’t understand conflict and how to resolve it then we are a liability in our circle of influence instead of an asset. What I mean by this is that you can either be a peacemaker or someone who is constantly being offended and hurt by others. And I know it’s a cliché but it’s true – hurt people hurt people. If you want to be an asset to your spouse, family, friends, church and co-workers then I suggest practicing these three things: 1. Honor all people We know the Bible says to honor all people (1Peter 2:17) but how do we actually do this? Just like love, it’s easier to honor those who honor us. But God has called us to love and honor those who don’t deserve it. If you honor people...

The Simplicity in Christ

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  -2 Corinthians 11:3 The simpler you can make your relationship with God the deeper it will be. I heard a guest pastor say this years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. If you desire to have a deeper relationship with the Lord I suggest taking a closer look at simplicity. Webster defines simplicity as, “singleness; the state of being unmixed or uncompounded; as the simplicity of metals or of earths.” According to this definition, simplicity is synonymous with purity. Paul is writing to Christians who were deceived and whose minds were being corrupted away from their pure relationship with God. Purity is not always sexually related, sometimes we lose our purity when we are deceived into thinking that our relationship with Christ has to be complicated. How To Practice Simplicity One way to practice simplicity is to relish simple truths about God. Truths such as, “God is good.” That’s something that never gets old yet how often do we acknowledge this statement as true but then frantically rush to the next thing we want to learn? What would happen if I were to camp out here for a while instead? We can try to blame the world and our overly complex culture for the reason behind our lack of simple devotion but it goes deeper than that. Paul was speaking to a group of Christians who had never seen a TV, a phone or the internet and yes they struggled...