Engage and Pursue!
By Pastor Kurt Bomar
Have you ever prayed something like this, “Lord, I don’t know what you want me to do with my life but, I am willing? Just show me what it is and I’ll do it. Open the door and I’ll walk through it”
I have. And I think it’s a wonderful prayer. But there can be a problem with it…. Complacency.
There is a tendency after uttering that prayer to sit back in our rocking chair and just wait. I can remember self-righteously thinking, “I don’t have to do anything now, I’ll just wait until I see this wide-open door in front of me with a flashing neon sign saying, “this is your destiny, enter with confidence”.
While that can happen, I don’t think that’s the way God normally works. I think after we say that prayer, a better approach we can take was modeled by one of my heroes, Jonathan, son of Saul.
1 Sam. 14:8 Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands.”
What was he saying? “Lord, I’m available, if you want me to fight, I’ll fight. If you don’t that’s ok too. Just give me a sign.” That much is very similar to prayers you and I have prayed but note the difference: Where did they position themselves to hear from God?
11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”
Notice they exposed themselves. They weren’t in the caves waiting on God, they were standing on the edge of a cliff in full view of the Philistines. I guess you could say they were pushing God—not to force Him for the answer they wanted. But, they wanted an answer, and they placed themselves in a position to storm through the door in the event He opened it.
There is no telling how many opportunities we have missed, exciting adventures we never experienced, or lives we failed to invest in because we were in our caves waiting for God to open a door. A door we can’t even see from the cave. We need to be like a runner in his starting blocks ready to bolt through the door at the first glimpse of light as it cracks open.
What does that look like practically? It means we need to be willing to take a chance. We don’t often know if an opportunity is God sent, or just coincidental. We need to expose ourselves and stand on the edge. Do something, give the door a push if necessary. In short, be brave and courageous and take a chance. What’s the worst that could happen? We might be taken advantage of or made to look like a fool. Is that really so bad? I think, even then; our Father is proud of us for our motivation. But look at the potential reward. As Jonathan routed a stubborn enemy and inspired his country, we could be just action away from a life changing moment. A moment that could change our destiny or the destiny of others.
The Lord has promised to close doors no man can open and to open doors no man can shut (Rev. 3:7), but you can’t see the door from inside the cave. Get out there and engage and pursue. Be like Jonathan!
Selah (think about it)
(Kurt Bomar is pastor of Walnut Grove Church in Avery County)