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Entering through doors
- Jacob Ninan
It is not just Abraham whom the Lord has first tested before trusting him with spiritual responsibilities, but He does it always with His servants. One aspect of this 'test' is that when it comes we don't usually recognise it as such. But the way we make a choice tells God what is in our hearts and which direction we are likely to take.
When God asked Abraham to leave his homeland and his family of origin and proceed to an unknown place, Abraham had no idea what lay ahead (Gen.12:1). Nor did he know what was behind God's strange command to sacrifice his son of promise. But when Abraham obeyed God 'in faith' it made history in a big way, not only for him but for the whole world (Ge.22:16-18). If Abraham had refused to pay the price and continued life according to his own understanding he may not have suffered any punishment from God but certainly he would have missed all that he experienced later.
So it is with us. At certain moments of our life we are asked to open a door and enter in. If we understand that this is what God wants us to do and obey, we enter into a 'new' world of spiritual understanding, experience and responsibility which we could not have imagined as we stood before the door. We have no way of being able to examine the pros and cons of that choice because we don't know where the door leads to! All we know is that it is God who has asked us to enter. If we know Him as our Heavenly Father, and if we have come to trust His wisdom and judgment in all matters of life, it would be 'natural' for us to enter that door by faith just like Abraham and all the others.
Many of us can look back at our lives and see what such decisions have meant for us, how they changed the very course of our lives and led us closer to the Lord and opened up new domains of understanding and vistas of service. Some of us may also be painfully aware of how we have failed to walk through certain other doors and now we can only humble ourselves and pray for grace to be more alert in future. But is also possible that we are not even aware of other occasions when we missed God's doors or when we walked through doors which God didn't want us to enter. These are major tragedies for us.
When God tells us something in His word sometimes we may assume that it is not very important for us to obey it because we can't understand its significance. But we must realise that when it is God who tells us to do something it is significant. What is being tested is our attitude towards God, whether we reverence Him as God, or we think that we will obey Him only if we are convinced it is important enough for us. The question is whether we will walk by faith and obey Him, or lean on our own understanding (Pr.3:5). (I am not talking about 'blind faith' but one that is based on knowledge of God and His word.) May God be able to testify of us after each test, "Now I know that he/she fears (honours, respects, reverences) Me" (Ge.22:12).