"'Behold, I have set before thee an open door' (Rev 3:8)
Source: C.J. Burton (Corbis) (dailymail)
These words were spoken to the church at Philadelphia by the exalted Lord Jesus Christ, but in their application to the privilege and responsibility of Christian service, and of witnessing in particular, they are addressed to every believer. There never was a day of greater opportunity for Christian service than this day in which we are living: and yet we make excuses for not serving the Lord! Here, however, is a ‘behold’ that takes all our excuses away, because we can never tell ourselves at the beginning of any new day that on that particular day there is nothing we can do for the Lord; indeed, the Lord says to us at the beginning of every day, ‘behold I have set before thee an open door!’
When God said to Moses, ‘Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt’, Moses replied, ‘Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ But God brushed this excuse on one side and said, ‘Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee . . .’ (Ex. 3:10-12). Likewise when God spoke to jeremiah and said, ‘before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations’, Jeremiah said, ‘Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child!’ But God brushed his excuse on one side, and He said, ‘Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak’ (Jer. 1:5-7).
In like manner, if the Lord commissions us to do something for Him and we make some excuse for not obeying Him, He will brush away our excuse and He will assure us that all His commands are His enablings; that is, if He sends us to do anything for Him then He will give us all the grace, strength and wisdom we need in order to accomplish the task.
Some years ago I prepared and preached a Bible study which I entitled: ‘No excuse for not witnessing!’ In it I pointed out that day by day we are faced with boundless opportunities for witnessing to the saving and the satisfying power of our Lord and Saviour. Can you tell me of any place where it is not possible to live for the Lord? And is it not true that almost everywhere it is possible not only to live for Him but also to speak for Him? One Christian witnessed for Christ while she was having a turkish bath; another witnessed while he was ‘sightseeing’ down a coal mine; another witnessed in a doctor’s waiting room; another witnessed while he was travelling on a bus; another witnessed to the tradesmen who called at her door; another witnessed to very person who telephoned her number in error; another witnessed while she was in hospital; another . . . well, the opportunities are unending! Notice that we do not have to create such opportunities; the Holy Spirit creates them for us, and if we are walking in close fellowship with Him we shall recognise the open door when it appears.
I know a little lady who at the beginning of eah day prays, ‘Lord, I give You my tongue. Please bring someone to me today to whom I can speak a word for You!’ and very rarely does she return from a shopping expedition without having had some very worthwile encounter with a needy soul. It would be easy for her to make excuses for not speaking, for she is of a quiet, retiring nature; but the Lord takes her at her word and creates opportunities for her, and how He has used her!
The Devil, of course; is the one who puts excuses into our minds. ‘Don’t speak to him just now,’ he says, ‘you’ll do more harm than good! . . . leave it until some other time! . . .’ just pray for her, that will be better than embarrassing her by talking to her about Christ! . . .’ Every excuse we make for not serving God, for not witnessing for Him, for not obeying the great commission, for not doing His will, comes from the Devil! (…)”
Source: Francis W. Dixon, Other Preachers’ Bones, 1: The Five beholds, p 6-8 (I do not recommend this book, I just agree with the above part).
Off you go! 😉