God's Guidance: A Door Unhinged By Faith

We are all probably familiar with those electric doors at the mall that seem to open only when you are about to face-plant into them. I remember one time in particular going to a store late at night, and I wasn’t quite sure if it was open. I didn’t see any movement inside, and couldn’t find the hours of the store listed anywhere. I knew the doors wouldn’t open as I stared them down from my car, or even if I was standing a hundred feet from them. I had to get out of my car, and walk straight into them to discover if they would open for me.

That night I found this everyday part of living to be an insightful, and deep analogy for my life. As an avid planner I have always wanted to map out the next five years in advance, but I have discovered an interesting pattern in God’s dealings with me. He has required me to live in such a way that I must depend on Him for each step, without knowing where exactly I’m going or what His plan will look like in the end.

I’ve had a wide variety of experiences in my short 30 years of living. I’ve lived in Africa as a missionary, I’m an Esthetician, and am finishing a Masters in counseling and Psychology. In addition to that, last year I moved across the country to volunteer with The A21 Campaign, a global anti-human trafficking organization.

If I had the time to recount all the twists and turns involved in each of these decisions you would probably laugh at how God’s plan has played out, but also stand in awe with me of how wise and loving He is. All throughout scripture we see God’s desire for His people to participate with Him by displaying a faith that is confident in the good plans He had for them.

In Luke 17:11-14 we see an instance where ten lepers cried out to Jesus for healing.

As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

How many times have we begged God for direction, a relationship, a healing, (whether it be emotional or physical), and it seems like nothing is happening? What if these ten lepers just kept crying out about their problem to Jesus, and ignored His instruction to go to the priests? If so, we could speculate that this situation would have played out quite differently.

As these ten lepers followed Christ’s instruction they found their healing. They acted upon God’s declaration by faith.  They had no evidence in their bodies of their healing when Jesus told them what to do. He didn’t even tell them they were healed!

  Can you imagine how scary it would have been to be told, as a leper, to show yourself to the priests, of all people? Lepers were excommunicated from society as common day untouchables. And to be told to enter the community they were thrown out of, and go to the “holiest of all people”, the priests, took some serious courage.

What does this tell us?

Well, we’re not lepers, but women who have needs and desires of a different kind. But the truth that binds these ten lepers to us is the courage it takes to walk towards those doors (whatever they may be), in the face of the unknown.

  The art of becoming a leader is found in learning to follow Jesus, the greatest leader of all. This requires us to step out in spite of, not in the absence of, the “not knowings” and the wonderings. But as we step out in faith onto the seeming void, we will find solid ground beneath our feet.

God knows our deepest desires, or as the amplified version states in Psalm 37:4, the “secret petitions of our hearts.” However, sometimes God won’t release His provision until we start moving.

The relationship Jesus has established with us is founded on the bedrock of His grace, and our robust faith in Him. Even when our faith seems less than robust, don’t forget Jesus’ standard for moving mountains. “Faith the size of a mustard seed.” I think we can manage that.

Next time you go to the mall, or any place you find those pesky electric doors, let it serve as a reminder that, sometimes God will ask us to walk forward, bold and confident, and as we do, we will see the faithfulness of God on display in our lives.

 

Barbara Hill

Barbara Hill is an East coast girl who moved from Baltimore to California to volunteer with A21. Barbara is a current grad student, blogger, worshipper, and freedom fighter.  Connect with her on her blog.

Join the discussion

Voni Pottle May 29, 2016 at 2:04pm

Barbara, I recently discovered Propel - and still learning more about it. This evening, I clicked on the email I received and discovered your writing. Tonight, I read about dreams and God's guidance, your first article and the last one here.

You write - and my heart is touched and my spirit strengthened.
I'm 84 and have spent most of the past almost 50 years living in Brazil, sharing God's love and His goodness.. I identify with the truths you write - and thank you for writing about them.

I'm now living with my husband in a retirement center in Portland, Oregon. We have been here for almost three years. . . and I don't belong here. We just spent 4 months in Natal, Brasil, where we own a very small apartment.

I've been a pilgrim many years, and my heart is overflowing with things I desire to share. I'm taking some courses to help me improve my writing skills, and have a blog: www.VonisView.com. I am still struggling to be consistent in my writing approach.

One thing I learned in a cross-cultural class I took at Marylhurst University, is that our best friends will always be other marginals.

So "hi" from one marginal to another.
and God bless!

Voni Pottle

David December 23, 2015 at 3:56am

Me and my wife really love the article ,
After reading what you wrote it showed me my wife how we christ conscious & not sin conscious
Because he is for us and will never leave us thank you for your article that triggers the Holy Spirit within us

Noemi Welsch December 20, 2015 at 10:48pm

Thank you for sharing your story! Great reminders as we enter a new year, we all expect great things. We have to make the first step, so God can step in! Keep on writing, this was great!

Janine December 20, 2015 at 9:39am

A very encouraging article and a great reminder of faith and courage together.

Winn December 20, 2015 at 7:48am

Thanks I was a wonderful article. I need to remember That God is always in control but I need to step out in faith. Rely on Him in all matters.

Shelly free December 20, 2015 at 3:14am

Thank you for sharing. I believe God is asking me to step out of a place I've been at for 4 years it use to fit so perfectly everything about was amazing and now nothing seems to fit. I have prayed and prayed and it still doesn't fit it's the stepping out into the unknown and not having a name of the next place that's kept me bound but I believe it's simply time to go and trust God just like the leopards and Abraham did when God said go and didn't tell him where but God was with him.

Annie December 20, 2015 at 1:59am

Thanks so much for this, it brought me place in a time of anxiety!

Jordan December 20, 2015 at 12:42am

A great reminder of the power of walking by faith and not be sight.

Rebecca December 19, 2015 at 8:51am

Such truth! Thank you, Barbara!

Sheba December 19, 2015 at 4:26am

Thank you for confirming what I need to do in 2016. I love the diffferent ways that God communicates to us. Keep writing and sharing your experinces, they are a timely blessing :)

Gwen Rutz December 18, 2015 at 11:50pm

I love the analogy Barbara. Great article. Thanks!

Cindy December 18, 2015 at 4:03pm

This is so true. Sometimes God just ask us to trust Him for the next steps and you cannot plan it out. It may seem so against the grain but sometimes that is what He requires of us ... to trust Him and walk in faith.

Kathy December 18, 2015 at 3:08pm

The timing in reading this article was so perfect! Thank you!