Over the past several months I have been searching for a job, and time after time the doors have closed on each position I have pursued. Finally, after several months and a good interview, I was offered a position.
My first thought was something to the effect of, “I think this may be what God wants me to do because it’s the only open door I’ve had in a long time.” Many times I believe open doors can be good and worth walking through, but may I also suggest that not every open door is a good door to walk through.
Fear of the Lord
Everything starts and ends with the “fear of the Lord” for the Christian, desiring above all else to do that which is pleasing to God. And our guide for knowing what is good and pleasing in the sight of God is His revelation to man, which is the Bible. Once we are familiar with the Word of God, we must be careful not to willfully elevate our way above God’s way. For God’s ways are always best.
Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones (Proverbs 3:5-8, ESV).
Seeking the Lord
Thankfully I did not make a rash and quick decision but said I would like a day or two to think about it and then give them a final decision.
If I could give advice to young people it would be this: Do not make quick decisions in the moment unless you absolutely have to. Give yourself some time; this allows you to test it with the Scriptures, seek God in honest prayer, and seek wise counsel.
Too many times we make quick decisions in the moment, and our decisions are based off emotion, feelings and our heart’s desire. But “[t]he heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), and it is always wise to test things against the Word of God. “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs 30:5).
After I had time to test the opportunity against the Word of God, seek the Lord in honest prayer, and seek wise counsel, I came to the confident conclusion that this was not a good job, and it was not a good decision to accept the offer. It was a very tempting offer; however, I have a true peace about the decision and am thankful that God has spared me from making a rash and bad decision. Although, I must admit: From an outsider’s perspective, my decision seems somewhat foolish, turning down the one legitimate job opportunity I have had in quite a long time, but in the end I must follow Christ and His leading in my life regardless of how it’s viewed by others. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
A Parallel With Relationships
Sometimes I think the same thing happens with dating/courting relationships. We are waiting and waiting for the right person to come along. So when someone comes along who finally shows interest and/or is at least willing to say to us that they are a Christian, we think finally a door has opened and this must be right. Instead of seeking what God says about pursuing relationships, we follow our heart, feelings and emotions.
Many times we neglect to ask the serious and important questions about what they believe about the Bible and who God is. We don’t bother seeking God in honest prayer or seeking the wise counsel of parents or spiritual leaders in our lives. And because we view an open door as a good door to walk through, we cause ourselves unnecessary pain.
There are always unintended consequences when we deviate from doing things God’s way, and my hope is to encourage young people to seriously seek God and His Word in all areas of life, thus sparing them from much pain and regret.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Lance Tedford operates a Gospel-centered apologetic website called www.thetruthstings.com, and he also enjoys video, photography and sports.
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