Pushing on Doors and Picking Locks
Do you have something you want to do so badly you can almost “taste it”? Is it God’s will? Is it God’s perfect time for that thing to come to fruition in your life? How can you know?
I have been there. It was something good, it was not bad for me. And I pushed and pushed to get that thing. This was years ago and I am ashamed to say that I did not really pray about it. I just wanted it so badly that I think in my mind I thought, “How could this not be God’s will?” Now, looking back I can see that it was, in reality, a good thing and I think it was God’s will for me too but it was not God’s timing for it.
Who does wait well??
Instead of waiting for His time and for Him to open the doors for it to happen, I pushed on doors and picked locks, and failed miserably.
Are you pushing on doors and picking locks now? It is so hard not to when you feel like you are going in the right direction. Back up and prayerfully, look at the situation. Is the door closed because God has not yet opened it? In His perfect time, He will bring forth His will. We must learn to trust Him on the timing.
In the last Tapestry Devotional, we discussed Paul’s being ready to die physically so he could be with Jesus, but at the same time feeling that he still had an opportunity for fruitful labor on this earth. He was deliberating and debating it in his head. As we said, he was not really deciding but toying with the idea. He knew that the timing of his death was in God’s hands alone.
Today, we see Paul figure out, in God’s wisdom, that God has more for him to do here and then he can move forward confidently. And we get to watch!!! Isn’t that awesome!!
Don’t you just love God’s Word!!
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Paul has these two things on his mind and he seems to need to resolve this conundrum in his head. “…to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil 1:21
Let’s go to Verse 23:
“I am hard pressed between the two.”
It is like he is stuck until he comes to a conclusion.
Sometimes we cannot and will not figure it out, but God gave Paul the answer in this situation.
Now we will finish up Verse 23:
“My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
We discussed this pretty well last time but being with Christ is what Paul had been working toward ever since the day Christ took hold of his heart. Being with Christ was his reward and he was so ready to be with Him completely.
On to Verse 24:
“But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”
Now we see Paul coming around to what God actually has planned and wants to have happen at this time. Paul sees clearly, that he is not finished on this earth in this body made of flesh. He is speaking to Philippians but they were not the only ones that he still had to minister to in some way.
“Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith…”
He knows, at this point, that God’s will is for him to stay alive for now and he knows that because of their growth and maturing in the Lord it will be a source of great joy for all of them.
“…so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
When I think about all that may be wrapped up in Paul actually getting back to them to teach and fellowship with them, I think there is much more to this last verse:
- It is not certain where Paul was imprisoned when he wrote Philippians.
- At one point during this imprisonment, Paul was very sure that it may lead to his death.
- He wasn’t just going to jump on an airplane and go for a visit, was he?
He could have been as much as a 1,000 miles away from them. On foot, horseback or camel… The fastest way to travel would have been by water. Travel was not easy back then, was it?
So if Paul did get back to see them in Philippi, then we can know that God made a way for that to happen.
Now, Back to Timing
I think, that I can say with confidence, that when God wants you to do something you will not have to push on doors or pick locks. He will make the way He wants you to go open clearly before you.
God does not play games with us. He does not tease or torment us to show us His will. He puts it in our hearts, shows us the way, and equips us to do the task. Not necessarily in that order. This is my experience and I see it so many times lived out in Paul’s life too.
Thank You, Lord, for Your beautiful Word. Thank You that You are always leading us if we will simply slow down and wait on You. Help us to seek You and Your will and Your timing in all we do. Make us what You want us to be. In Jesus’s lovely name, I pray. Amen.