Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Every Open Door is Not From God

Butterfly House in Whitehouse, Ohio
Along the path of life Linda and I have sensed God's guiding hand. God has led us to people, places, and experiences we never would have dreamed of. As far as we can tell we have said "Yes" to every invitation to "Come."

We have also said "No" to many invitations. I've said "No" to teaching invitations, speaking invitations, ministry invitations, and music invitations.

It was clear to Linda and myself, in the early 70s, that God called me to get a seminary degree. So I enrolled in Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. We were preparing to move to the seminary when Linda received a phone call. It was the leader of a well-known Christian band. He said, "I want John to be our guitarist." When I returned home Linda shared this with me. I asked, "What did you tell him?" She said, "I told him you don't want it."

I have to confess that his offer was tempting. But Linda was right. We knew that God was calling me elsewhere. Just because a door opens it does not necessarily mean we are to step in.

This is all a matter of discernment. And when it comes to a major decision like that, what's needed is corporate discernment; viz., Linda and I in full agreement that this is what God wants.

Every open door is not from God.

You can read about discerning the voice of God in my new book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.