John 9:11. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
My little sister came up to me around the year 2000 and said, ‘I found a new group called the “old doors”. It would have been pretty funny, except the music of the Doors spoke way deep into people’s souls about evil things that no sane person or Godly person would ever consider. Since I listened to them as a ‘ne’r do well teen’, the word doors to me has always had spiritual connotations. Even the creaking hinges of an old door is creepy to me.
A famous photographer/artist in Grenada Nicarqagua has a work called ‘doors’. (See foto). Knowing that the city is 500 years old, and some of the doors pictured are over a hundred years old, it’s kind of eerie thinking of all the comings and going through these doors over the centuries, and the 6 serious Nicaraguan wars and disasters during those centuries.
What you think about is actually just one of many doors to your soul and spirit. Also what you listen to, love, hate, resent, appreciate, are entertained by and look at, are all doors to your soul. What door you decide to open will either make you prosper as your soul prospers 3 John 1:2, or will leave you bankrupt and spiritually shipwrecked. While there are many doors to choose from, there’s only one of two destinations waiting for you on the other side. Goodness or evil.
We all have a choice. We can physically make our mind think about God and His good things. When we do that, we choose a door opening our soul up to life and goodness. Likewise we can think of any other thing, openning the door to worldly thoughts, Satan and evil. If it isn’t about God, it’s unGodly, by definition. This kind of Godless thinking leads to spiritual death. We should continually meditate on God’s Word. We know we can because God tells us to in Psalm 1:1-3 He wouldn’t tell you to do something you can’t do. When you meditate on God, you are building spiritual ‘faith’ muscles.
A true Christian wants to excercise his spiritual muscles, to train his spirit man (inner man) to hear more clearly from God. To be aware of God’s voice, we need to be aware of our inner man. As we are more aware of one, we are increasingly aware of the other as well. How do we develop our spirit to hear from God?
- Obedience when not convenient
- Forgive when it seems impossible
- Rejoice when you want to weep
- Touch people that gross you out
- Read the Word, Read Godly stuff
- Listen to good Biblical teaching
- Receive Godly counsel and correction
- Worship in song and worship in nature
- Sing to the Lord, sing psalms
- Pray in the spirit (my favorite)
- Give joyously and sacrificially
These are many ways to build spiritual muscle. We exercise our spiritual muscles just like we exercise our body’s muscles. Soon many will be shoveling snow. Muscles will hurt that you didn’t even know existed. You will be more aware of them. Same thing with your spirit man. As you develop him you will be more aware of him, and he will be more aware of the Holy Spirit, and what He’s trying to tell you.
God says that His Word is medicine to the soul. Prov 4:22. It will heal you. I don’t know of any medicine that heals you with one dose. You have to keep taking it. The best thing about God’s medicine is that you can never overdose on it, although it is very addictive. You have to meditate on God’s Word to develop your inner spirit man. Meditate on God’s Word means chewing it over, day and night. Don’t take your pastor’s or your parent’s word, take God’s Word. God has no grandchildren. Everyone has to find their own way (door) to salvation, seeking it with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12
There’s a lot of ‘churchisms’ that, although sincere, are very wrong, and very dangerous. One is about the ‘opening and closing of doors’. People, with very good intentions, will tell you to pray that God opens a door, and if the door is open, go through it. Speaking through personal experience, that can get you killed, both physically and maybe even spiritually. Satan can open a door just as easily as God can, especially if he hears you praying that. Many times, Christians pray for non believers like that, and even encourage the non believer to pray like that. Not a good idea.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14 The Holy Spirit guides but never forces. Doors opening and closing never lead anyone anywhere. God guides us through His Word and our inner witness. Don’t wait for God to make you do something by opening a door. If a door opens, you are never forced to go through it. Demons force people but never guide. God always guides people but never forces them.
Paul talked about being bound by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem. Acts 20:22. He knew he was going to suffer, but he felt that he just had to go because the Holy Spirit was insisting. Everyone scoffed at him and told him not to go. That’s just like when everyone told me I had to be on the Fundacion Corazon Puro board, and be on all the paperwork. Listen to God and obey God, not man. We always have the option. Paul could have refused the Holy Spirit, because he had the option to do so, but he didn’t. He obeyed. Just like most of us at one time or another.
The Holy Spirit has impressed upon my spirit to do things, that were an excruciating challenge at every turn in the road. Not even one open door. Every step had a door slamming in my face, in fact. But I kept going, because the Lord kept insisting. I could have quit but I have no quit in me when it comes to serving Jesus, and others. Case in point, the orphanage.
This will be our third orphanage. Many of the kids we raised are still in contact with us. Some work with us. But this third one has been an 8 year ordeal. We have had to resubmit all the paperwork three times now. Last month they had radical changes in the governmental policies so we have to start all over again, only with more stringent requirements. I ask God again and again if this is His will, and again and again He impresses on my soul, in a still small voice, to keep on pushing. These kids are worth it. The old folks home is worth it. There’s only 4 old folks homes in the country. Satan can open and close doors. I don’t want open doors, I want to to hear from the Holy Spirit and to obey God. Our physical man prays, “God give me a sign”. Our physical man wants to be able to see in order to believe. (Satan can hear that prayer too, because it is spoken out loud, so like I said, he can open or close doors too). Don’t take bad, worldly advice, even if it’s from a fellow believer. Jesus said “a wicked and perverse generation ask for a sign” Matthew 16:4. Asking for a door to open is a sign. It is better to just listen to the Holy Spirit with your spirit, and obey Him no matter what.
The only open door we need is Jesus. To hear from God we need to get quiet before God. The more we are focused only on God the more clearly we can hear from Him. I was teaching on Mark 2 today. God revealed to me as I was teaching about old wine-skins being filled with new wine, and new patches on old clothes, that He was referring to doing away with old stale religious tradition when you are celebrting your new life in Christ. Celebrating old traditional things like day of the dead (halloween) won’t make you loose your salvation, but you have to ask yourself, ‘does it help you concentrate better on God and to be able to hear His voice? Will it help you to be able hear from Him more clearly.’? Like I said, our thoughts are doors that only we can open and close. God won’t open doors for us because Satan can do that as well. God speaks to our inner man, if we are listening. The more we are aware of our inner spirit, the more clearly we can hear from the Holy Spirit. The more we listen to our spiritual man, the less we will look for doors, or other visible signs.
Calvary Chapel Pastor Joe Edwards-Hoff says you can measure how much you love the Lord by how you love to spend personal alone time in prayer with Him. Are you being quiet, letting the Lord speak in response to what you are rattling off to Him? Spend time just listening, please. The door is an entrance to your soul. Who are you going to let in?
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Dean and Winnie Peters
Joyfully serving the ‘least of these’ in Nicaragua for the glory of God
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