Why God Closes Doors By Sarah Martin

DOOR CLOSED

I sat with my computer on my lap and Google at my fingertips. Surly this search would come up fruitful and all of my heart troubles would be alleviated by one confirmation from the ever knowledgeable, all knowing search engine. I typed in this phrase into the little box with the eyeglass…

When God shuts a door, He opens a window.

After years of seeing this phrase on those cutesy little posters with kittens perched on windows, I was for sure this tidbit of wisdom was straight up truth from the Bible. Right? Weren’t there songs in the 90’s on our mixed tapes that assured us that when we sat in front of a closed door, God would absolutely open a window of bigger and better opportunities?

My friend Google kindly dropped the news to me… “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is not, in fact, in the Bible. I’m not sure what concerned me more: that this well-known Christian cliché was not in the Word or the fact that I had no good reason for my season of camping out in front of that proverbial closed door.

Three months prior, I sat dreaming and planning and creating my agenda. As I made moves to set these dreams and plans into motion, I abruptly received “no’s” or “not right now” or “no way!” The echo of those doors slamming in my face rings in my ears to this day. After a couple of months and a hurt heart, I couldn’t help but recognize the Lord was doing something here. I wasn’t sure what He was up to but I knew this was pivotal moment in my life and in my understanding of who He is. You see, I’m am really good at kicking doors open and making things happen. At the beginning of my closed door season I stood ready with my super cute cowboy boots ready to kick the doors open and make my dreams and plans come true. But when my “feet” grew tired of kicking to no avail, I surrendered.

Lord, I get it. You have me in front of a “no.” I will sit here and wait. I will not pop my head up to peek around for that open window in which I was for sure you would open right now. Have your way. I surrender.

That one prayer changed it all. God showed me that what He would do IN me during this season of waiting is of more value than what He would or would not do WITH me. I found freedom in that moment to lay my dreams and plans and agenda in front of the closed door and began to seek after God. I mean, really seek after Him through His word and through intentional prayer and worship.

Have you found yourself with the echo of closed doors –– “no’s” and “not yet’s” and “no way!”? Can I take a moment to encourage you straight from experience? Embrace it! Take some time to prayerfully ask God…

What do I need to learn about YOU during this season of waiting?

What do I need to learn about myself in front of these closed doors?

What do You need to root out in my heart and in my spirit to prepare me if and when You say “Go!”?

I timidly asked these questions, too. When we are licking our wounds from closed doors it certainly isn’t fun to go deep with the Lord and seek out the greater purpose. Our Father knows our hopes and dreams. He also has a greater Kingdom purpose and plan and in His sovereign ways, the Lord melds the two together all the while holding our tender heart. Our job is to sit, wait, and obediently trust His ways. This is the Scripture that convinced me this inward work is just as exciting and valuable as my hopes and dreams––what God would hopefully do WITH me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15: 5-11)

As I abided, sat ever close to Jesus, He did His work in me.

Sometimes the pain was unbearable. Oh but His gentle hand. All in love…

He rooted out pride.

He rooted out my obsession with control.

He rooted out pride some more.

Simply abide. Take some time to soak in His truth. Sit with Jesus in prayer and allow God to use your season of waiting to take you to a new level of faith, trust, love, mercy, joy…whatever it is that He is doing IN you. It will be so worth it. Trust me. I’ve been through it and made it to the other side. I’m better for it and so will you be, my friend!

Thanks for visiting our blog and don’t forget to click the follow button to keep updated to more of our posts…God bless you!

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CHRISTIANS WHO ARE HAUNTED BY THEIR PAST

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I can hardly drive past Fresno State without feelings of guilt and shame.

In our town, everyone goes to Fresno State football games. It’s just what you do. And I did. When I was attending college, I went to every game (well at least I went to every tailgate before the game – I can’t remember if we actually made it in to every game)

I was not a Christian in college. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, I just didn’t know Him. So I lived my life accordingly. I drank.I smoked. I partied. And other stuff. Stuff that I wish to God I could take back. Stuff I wish I could give back.

We had a lot of fun at those games, in those frat houses, on those streets. But now they all carry shame.

I can’t even drive by that stadium without my heart racing a bit and my mind filling with memories. One night, I was drunk and stupid (and I think barefoot?) and I jumped in the car with a guy named “Midnight”. No one knew his real name, just that he was the local drug dealer and he was “friends” with lots of people. I decided I didn’t want to walk back to the apartments and thought it would be funny if I just drove with him instead of staying with all of my friends. (Sorry Mom if you’re reading this – I know. I hate it too.) So I just jumped in his car, left my friends, and told them I’d meet them back at the house.

I trusted Midnight would drive me safely to my friend’s house!?!? Guess he turned out to be a good guy because, well, here I am. I don’t remember what exactly happened, but I think I made it back safely?

I KNOW THAT CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN ME, BUT SOMETIMES, I STRUGGLE TO BELIEVE IT.

I look back on my days in college and honestly can’t believe some of the stuff I’ve done. I should be dead. And I’m not exaggerating in the least. The amount of stupid choices I made, mixed with alcohol, lowered inhibitions, and incoherence . . . I can’t believe I’m alive. But you know what’s harder to believe?

I’m redeemed.

I’m forgiven.

I’m free.

There are days when my past comes back to haunt me. I know that Christ has forgiven me, but sometimes, I struggle to believe it. The enemy whispers those memories to me every time there is a football game. I haven’t stepped foot in that stadium in 7 years because of it. I still feel like that sin is fresh in my life. And there are days I still carry the weight, the guilt, and the shame of it all.

CHRIST KNEW ME ON MY WORST DAY, AND LOVED ME.
HE SAW MY SIN AND BORE MY SHAME. HE WELCOMED ME IN.

Until I remember the Gospel.

That Christ knew me on my worst day, and loved me. That He saw my sin and bore my shame. That He welcomed me in – dirty, sinful, bruised and broken.

Although I hate driving past the stadium, in the same way it brings me hope. I know that there are places-memories-secrets-sin we all have that come back to haunt us. And I’m reminded by the stench of my past that the aroma Christ of greater. Passing down memory lane makes me grateful for the present and hopeful for the future. Because “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. (Romans 8:1)

And that is Good News.

Does your past ever come back to haunt you? Do you struggle to rest in His forgiveness? Let’s take those thoughts captive together and replace them with this truth.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us…” (Ephesians 1:7-8)

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 6:38)

Article by Melissa Danisi
Image by Mirror

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What’s in Your Fruit Basket?

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We have a pretty fruit basket that sits on our countertop. It is usually filled with fresh organic fruit. Today, I went to grab a beautiful-looking apple but when I lifted it up, I noticed that it was very light in weight. I looked at the backside and sure enough, it was rotten. It also had corrupted the orange sitting right next to it. Both pieces of fruit had to be thrown away.

The Bible tells us that we are to be careful who we fellowship with. Rotten fruit always corrupts the good fruit. A good piece of fruit never rehabilitates a rotten bunch of fruit. It is always the other way around. Place a good apple in a rotten bunch and it too shall become rotten.

2Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

We, as Christians, are commanded in Scripture to avoid the constant fellowship with unbelievers. We are instead to fellowship with other believers in Christ Jesus.

1Thess 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

We are light in the darkness. We are the salt of the earth and are supposed to be a good example. We are called to show the love of Jesus and to love those who are considered unlovable. But the bible warns us of constant fellowship with the unsaved. We are not called to fellowship with them, lest our own minds become corrupted.

Only Jesus can set men free. Only Jesus can save the unconverted soul. We are to witness, show our light and reach the lost by our love and compassion but ultimately, it is Jesus who will save the soul.

It is not our job to rehabilitate the unsaved…only Jesus can change them—once they get saved. Trying to change your unsaved friend is like trying to patch the hole on the sinking Titanic. If you really want your loved one to change, tell them about Jesus– for He alone can give someone a brand new heart.

Sitting on the phone with your troubled unsaved girlfriend all day long will bring you down spiritually. We are to show the love of Jesus to the unsaved but we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit within us by listening to ungodly conversations.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

You will find that as you grow in Christ Jesus, either your unsaved friend will desire Christ Jesus too by the Light they see in you or they will abandon their friendship with you because they desire not the Lord in their own lives. No matter what, we cannot compromise..Jesus must come first in everything we do and say.

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God

Written by Cobblestone Road Ministries

Image by UAE Interact

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THE BRIDGE IS OUT!!!

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THE BRIDGE IS OUT
A preacher was driving home one night with his wife and two daughters in the car. It was raining and dark and because of the intensity of the rain he could hardly see past his headlights. On the way he had to drive over a huge bridge. There were signs posted all alongthe bridge that said “DO NOT PICK UP HITCH-HIKERS.” There was an institute for the criminally insane near the base of the bridge and sometimes people would escape from it and try to hitch a ride.


On this particular night, as he turned his car on to the bridge, he had to drive exceptionally slow because he could hardly see the road. Somewhere near the top of the bridge a man suddenly appeared in the headlights. He was soaked, standing in the middle of the road with his shirt off frantically waving it over his head and screaming.


This preacher’s wife began to say, “Oh please don’t stop, try to drive around him!” But the man was unavoidable and there was nowhere for the car to go to miss him. So he had to stop the car and as soon as he did, the man slapped his hand down on the hood of the car and was screaming at the top of his lungs.


The preacher looked over at his wife and said to lock the door after him and not to unlock it until he returned. His family was now crying and pleading with him not to get out of the car. He opened the door and stepped outside…He was immediately soaked from the rain. As he approached the front of the car to grab the man, all of a sudden he could make out what the man was screaming, “THE BRIDGE IS OUT! THE BRIDGE IS OUT! A BUS LOAD OF KIDS JUST WENT OVER!” As these words registered in the pastor’s mind, he looked back in the car at his wife and two daughters. He wrapped his arm around the man and wept in gratitude. The preacher stood there with the man for the next half-hour in the middle of the road, waving his jacket above his head screaming.”THE BRIDGE IS OUT! THE BRIDGE IS OUT!”


For a lost and a dying world,
“THE BRIDGE IS OUT!”


For a people heading to a Christless Eternity,
“THE BRIDGE IS OUT!”


where are the men and the women who will stand in the middle of the road and forbid people to perish ?
HELL HAS OPENED IT’S MOUTH WIDE AND MANY ARE SPEEDING INTO IT


Where are those who will stand in the gap, on the streets, the highways and the byways to forbid multitudes with the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST from going to such a horrible place ?
SPREAD THE GOSPEL


Lovely Thoughts For Lovely
People Just Like You.
Always Remember
JESUS Loves You . …..
Share this message to all your friends, both Saved and unsaved


THE BRIDGE IS OUT !


GOD BLESS YOU !

Shared from Lori Welch

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Wanting to Die…

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God please kill me! Take my life and let me die!

Do you ever wish God would simply kill you? Do you sometimes feel so tired of this life that you wish God would end your life, or that perhaps you wish you were never born? If so, you aren’t alone.

Many people in the world go through periods where they crave death. This life can be so difficult. Losing a loved one, experiencing career trouble,  financial loss, relationship problems, health issues, and more can make you feel as if you want to die. Life can sometimes seem as if it has nothing more to offer us, and that our only hope of peace is to exit this corrupt world.

God Please Kill Me–People In the Bible Who Wanted to Die

It may surprise you to learn that some of the biggest “Bible greats” also had moments where they wished death upon themselves. After Moses risked his life to free the Israelites from Egypt, they all began grumbling and whining against him for some meat. This bothered Moses so badly that he said to God:

Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!”

-Numbers 11:13-15

In the book of Job, we see that after Job is stripped of his health, family, and wealth– he laments and curses the day he was born:

Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

–Job 3:11

And Elijah, after embarking on a mission from God, finds himself so depressed that he utters:

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.  So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the Gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,  while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.

“I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

1 Kings 19:1-4

And even Jonah, after being swallowed by a great fish for 3 days, and preaching to the city of Ninevah, became frustrated that the city repented and was able to avoid God’s wrath, he wishes death. The story reads:

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
–Jonah 4:5-11

Wanting to Die and Leave This World

Just from those Bible verses alone, it is quite easy to see that even the greatest prophets in the Bible had moments of despair. They all had moments when they threw up their hands and said, “God please kill me! Take my life and let me die now. I’m done with this pitiful life and this corrupt world. I have no reason to live!”

I think it is a natural human response that when life is overwhelming, we want to give up. We want to press an “exit” button and simply shut down, and terminate our lives. And when we turn on the news and see children molested, women raped, people murdered and chopped into pieces, alleged criminals avoiding jail, haters of God and immoral acts, and more–this world can look pretty hopeless and disgusting.

But we are all here for a purpose, and all things will eventually play into God’s sovereign plan. Just as God had purposed the men above, he has also purposed you in this life. Sure, Moses had a moment where he wished death, but he marched on to fulfill God’s plan for his life, and is now considered one of the greatest Bible prophets of the old Testament.

Job lost his health, wealth, and family, but was blessed by God and eventually got double of everything he lost previously (except for his kids, because he will be with them in heaven). Elijah may have had his moments of despair, but he eventually rides into the heavens in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire and is referenced as one of the great prophets. And Jonah, despite wanting to die after going through so much effort, was able to save a city of over 120,000 with his preaching.

Do You Wish God Would Simply Kill You Too?

Yes, life gets tough. I have found myself praying for God to kill me as well at some of the low points of my life (and trust me–I’ve had plenty of them). But I am always glad He didn’t listen. I imagine that the prophets above were also glad God didn’t listen, as they would have never experienced a greater reward later had they taken an early exit.

When you feel as if you want to die, remember that great men (and women) have felt the same way you have. People who went on to change the world felt exactly like you at times.

Just like Job, you may lose it all one day–your health, your wealth, and even loved ones. But don’t give up–one day you may have double. Like Joseph, you could be imprisoned in a strange land one day as a slave, and sitting as second in command to a powerful nation the next.  You may be sent out of Egypt as a murderer on the run like Moses, and leading a nation to freedom years later.

In all things, never forget that God has a divine plan, and we are all partakers in His sovereign ways. And when the ways of this world get you down, look up to the risen Christ and know that God always keeps His promises, and that one day it will all be worth it–just as it was for the men listed above. Whether in this world or the next, God will bless His children.

–God bless

Article by B. Page

Image by Shutterstock

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Trusting God With No Regrets

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Originally posted by Godfruits(10 Things You Will Never Regret By Putting Your Faith in God)

Put your faith in God! There really isn’t a better life to live by than by His standards! Although life can be filled with many regrets, following God’s righteous path will leave you absent from any feelings of regret. In the life of a Christian, there are some things that you will never regret doing:

1. The Art Of Praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

“pray continually”

Prayer is the ultimate communication tool for man and God. Spilling your heart out to your creator will not only bring you peace,  but will also strengthen your relationship with him.

2. Dedicating Your Life To Christ. (Romans 12:1)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

When you throw away your old personality and put on this new personality – that of a Christian- you are setting a fine example for everyone around you. By dedicating your life to Christ, you are committing to living a life of purpose and love.

3. Enhancing Your Bible Knowledge (Psalms 119:105)

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

God’s Word is an vital source for each and every one of us. It enriches our lives every time we read about God.

4. Being Humble (Philippians 2:3)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”

 Jesus was the most humble being to have ever existed. Hailing from the highest position in the heavens, he walked among humans. Imitating Jesus will prove to bring us much benefit.

5. Loving your neighbor. (Mark 12:31)

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””

Nothing bad will ever sprout from love. Love is the drive that motivates each and every one of us to better our lives and those around us. If we love our neighbors, no crime would be committed. Instead, we would all be striving towards living in a beautiful utopia.

6. Spreading The Truth About God. (Matthew 6:15)

“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Nothing feels more rewarding than to bring the good news to the people of the nations. We are messengers of God and will always speak about His grace.

7. Put God In Control Of Your Life (Proverbs 3:6)

“in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”

Putting God first and in control of your life will probably be the best decision you’ve ever made.

8. Resisting temptation. (James 4:7)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

By resisting temptation, you are making yourself free from many negative consequences. Temptation leads to sin, which will poison your life. Abstaining from temptation will evade the dangers of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and many other dangers.

9. Finding Refuge Within God (Psalms 118:8)

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”

Taking refuge in God will prove to be comforting. If he isn’t already, he is our solid rock that will protect and shield us in our time of need.

10. Holding Fast To The Fruitage Of The Spirit. (Galatians 5)

Jesus said that his Father is glorified whenever we execute the fruitage of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, and self-control is everything we need to have in order to live long and healthy lives.

Image by Shutterstock

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When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

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If you never wonder whether God loves you, this little article isn’t for you. It’s for those of us who have hit rock bottom, right there at Jesus’ feet. We bring nothing but shame to Jesus, day after day after day. We’re the ones who have catastrophic failures in our Christian walk. It’s a wonder anyone loves us still, let alone God. We are the ones who hide our sin for a long while before stepping out into the light. No one has to tell us we are fallen people—we see the vileness of our heart everyday. And so the notion that God loves us every day, no matter what can get a bit too scandalous for our taste. It’s like hearing that Hitler’s mom was super proud of him—every day, no matter what—at the height of his power. It doesn’t feel right; it doesn’t compute so easily when you’ve met a horrible sinner in person. Especially when you wake up to see that person in your bathroom mirror. Every day. No matter what. There you are with morning breath, a sinner.

I wish it wasn’t always so hard for me to grasp the love of God, yet this is what he wants from me. He wants us to believe he exists and that loves us tremendously…still. As screwed up as we are. He is love, and he loves us.

So. Let’s all just calm down and rest in God’s love lest we run off ruining our lives trying to prove how evil we really are. Not that I’ve tried that or anything, but if I had tried that, I’d tell you that the plan isn’t a good one. Don’t try this at home, people. Trust me, it won’t feel as satisfying as you think to surprise people with how evil you can be.

In the end, no one will be surprised to know that human beings are inherently evil people with evil plans and evil plots to rule over one another. God said it many years ago and humanity’s atrocities continue to affirm this: we are a fallen people. We will all die and turn into dust bunnies. Nothing good will come of our (fallen) attempts to prove how evil or how wonderful we are. Give it up. In the end none of that matters anyway.

Nothing matters except that you choose to believe that God loves you and that he offered his son’s death in exchange for your eternal damnation. Your accepting that gift means you understand that Jesus’ blood continues to wipe your slate clean, every day. God is not caught off guard by your actions. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you any more and nothing you can do to make God love you any less. Just believe it. Every day, no matter what.

Article by Grace Biskie

Image by Shutterstock

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