Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Apostle Paul’s words to the Church of Colosse came from behind prison bars to a church facing persecution in a manner most of us cannot perceive. America isn’t the godliest of nations right now, but for certain we’re not facing what other countries are by way of the persecuted church. His words, God’s word, pierced my soul this morning. How many times has God opened a door for me, and I have failed to open my mouth for Him. Most of the time it’s for fear of unpreparedness for what to say, how to answer; knowing full well that Christ has never failed through the Holy Spirit to give me what I needed.
An Open door
Friday night’s for me are most usually spent playing music with friends. It’s not a Christian venue, it’s a barn in the middle of nowhere called Munday Road. Currently it’s a building in town because the barn is too cold. But back to the story of Friday night. I prepared my music for the evening, a few bluegrass standards and a few gospel songs to finish the set. I prepared my heart that I was going to get a word in for Jesus before the night was done. I finished my set with “Somebody Touched Me,” and uttered something at the end about that happening in 1996 and hoping everyone there had been touched in that way. I don’t feel that that is what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he prayed that God would “Open the door of utterance.”
I was lame at best.
What is it that causes us, me, to cower down in sharing the gospel to a lost and dying world?
Lord, let me walk bravely through an open door, knowing that You are waiting on the other side.
An Open mouth
An open mouth is not my problem, I can talk with the best of them. But speaking the mystery of Christ can be a mystery to me, who fancies myself (not a bible scholar) but one who understands the basics of the word. I also understand the basics of the Holy Spirit. He speaks to my soul, and my mouth should bear witness of what I heard. And in the confinement of the church walls I can do it! Outside is another issue.
The worst I’ve ever experienced in sharing the gospel is not the hatred of a lost world, it’s the know it all saint that loves to dispute scripture rather than win souls. It casts a shadow of doubt up on myself and squelches the Holy Spirit moving in me.
As I was getting ready to leave Friday night I invited a couple of the musicians to church on Sunday, the response cut. She questioned me about the location of the church and then quipped, “I don’t like snooty people.” They’d been looking for a church and just hadn’t found the right one. I understand that… I don’t have much for snooty people either.
Lord… let my open mouth be tempered with grace.
An Open mind
I believe that walking in wisdom is lacking in church today. It requires a mind that’s open to the leading of the Holy Spirit without regard for location or circumstance. Paul was jailed for sharing the gospel, yet from the jail he continued to serve. He is a notable character quite often for the fact that he was a religious somebody before he became a part of Christ’s body. He was schooled in the finest institutions of the day. Yet the wisdom that Paul now depended on is the very same wisdom that we have access to. That thought made my brain hurt this morning. Perhaps it’s the 3:30 a.m. wake up call I received from the Lord today, but I don’t think so. Paul had to learn anew the faith of Christ. All the wisdom of the world and religion wouldn’t prepare him for what he was going to face. Only Christ could do that.
Many religious institutions of our day are sending out men and women who are relying upon their own wisdom, not the leading of the Holy Spirit. I’ve sat in more services than I care to remember when the “big words and big britches” lost their purpose of sharing the gospel to the commoner who sat in the audience needing the “basics” of the Word of God.
Lord… keep my mind open to Your Spirit today that I will share Your words, not mine.
Happy Lord’s Day!!!!