In my own life and the lives of all my friends, we are wrestling with finding an open door. Or, if a door has opened, how do we manage the flood of blessing and adversity that goes with it? Many hearts are longing for a door to open. Some don’t even know what door to knock on; it’s just a divine sense of longing for something more in the Kingdom. Although the doors are unique in each of our lives, they are equally exciting to walk through, and the process of finding them is a similar adventure and challenge for all of us. God has placed an open door before you. Want to know what it is?
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. 8 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. Rev 3:7-8 NIV
You are a door – If we think about the Kingdom from God’s perspective, there is no such thing as a difficult door. When He opens a door, no one can shut it, and when he closes one, nobody can open it. The key question from God’s perspective: Is there a man? Is there a willing vessel? Is there any voice that says, “Yes, Lord?” Before my door can open, I have to open a door in my heart and allow the King of glory to come in. When that door into my heart opens, a conversation begins and other doors begin to open and close in accord with my purpose in life.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Ps 24:7 NKJV
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20 NIV
Lesson learned – don’t try to beat a door down in your own strength… use the key.
The conversation, imagination and my dream – Opening the door of our heart to Jesus is not just salvation; it’s an ongoing, relational conversation about life and doors and whatever is on your heart. Servants expect a list of orders from the King. Kings are pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation into a conversation. God is interested in your dreams and the desires of your heart. Giving yourself permission to imagine how your life could go is the incubator for the faith of how it will go. Doors in the Kingdom open on the basis of finding where your heart’s desires and God’s heart’s desires overlap. Authority in the Kingdom is premised on God and me being on the same page. I can’t get there by just asking him what He wants me to do – that prayer will get the dial tone for Kings. God is interested in operating through the desires and dreams of your own heart. That’s the secret to life in the Kingdom.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory… Eph 3:20-21 NIV
Lesson learned – Can you see why Jesus invited us to “ask whatsoever”? Giving yourself that permission to dream and converse with the Father and ask is the “narrow gate” that most people miss.
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matt 7:7-14 NIV
Ask – The word “ask,” aiteo in the Greek, is “strictly a demand for something due.” It’s a reference to asking in faith, having the confidence that God wants it as well, and knowing that He wants to give it to us. The boldness and authority to ask in the sense of a demand of faith is rooted in the depth of our conversation with the Father. Little relationship equals little confidence in asking. It’s OK to ask the questions during the conversational phase with the Father. Exercising your Kingdom authority to demand a door to open comes after that conversation and the confidence that naturally goes with it. We don’t have an English equivalent to aiteo that communicates asking with authority. That’s why this James is puzzling to our minds.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask (aiteo) God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks (aiteo), he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:5-8 NIV
Seek – Once we “ask” in authority, we don’t just sit and wait for it to happen. After we know “what” the next step is “how?” Zeteo implies a search for something hidden. Kings seek wisdom on the right approach… the wise approach. If we know there is an answer and a door is open, we also know the “how” is available for the seeker. Knowing that the answer is out there somewhere is the root of our perseverance – another form of faith. Much in the business realm comes after the good idea. We have to identify all processes that go with manufacturing, marketing, distribution, quality assurance, management, etc. A good mentor, who has done it before, can take us a long way toward wisdom.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Prov 25:2 NIV
Knock – The irony of Krouo is that it’s the same “knock” God uses on our own heart’s door in Rev 3:20. If the door into our own heart is open to the King of Glory, He will also open your doors into life and life more abundantly. Jesus already bought and paid for your life and everything necessary for you to achieve the fullness of your destiny. The enemy obviously will try to steal it, but he can only be successful if you let him. God himself wants to prosper you and make your dream come true. That’s how God has chosen to build the Kingdom. There is an open door waiting for you.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2 I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isa 45:1-3 NIV
Note: This is comment from David Nycz (6th grade teacher)
Superb! I’ve been finding myself, encouraging firmly, people in group coaching sessions the same thing: “quit whining about it and ASK, KNOCK, SEEK, and MOVE. No where does it say COMPLAIN.” Children are always, always, naturally full of questions and they ask in order to peruse their desires. I can not count the number of questions I respond to in any given day. Their pursuit towards anything in their life is powered through inquiry followed by pursuit, I love seeing the process in children. However, (lazy) adults quit asking, stop perusing, point fingers, and start whining. Yes, kids whine at times, but I see adults whining much louder. If children don’t find an open door, most will crawl through a window or break a hole in the wall and make their own door; tenacity! Wow, the kingdom really is for kids. I love my job.
I’ll be using this in my Dream Project lessons for sure.