When God Opens doors do we recognize it, or do we assume it as a stroke of luck, our own ingenuity, or just the way things happen? This is the topic that will be the major focus on this study into 2 Corinthians 2:12-14.
2 Corinthians 2
12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,King James Bible
13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.
Initially, I was going to make the main focus of of conversation verse 14. To me, it’s a powerful verse to concentrate on, and extract revelation.
However, the Lord led me in a slightly different direction to achieve the same end. In so doing, he has opened my eyes with a bit of revelation to share with you concerning these three verses.
Triumph in Christ
Yes indeed, “Triumph in Christ” was going to be the title of this message until the Lord spoke something in my spirit- “Triumph in what?”
That question led me to take a closer look into why Paul wrote what he did in verse 14 in the first place. The answer to that can be found two verses up in verse 12.
Verse 12 tells us that the Lord opened up doors for Paul. These open doors were what made it possible for Paul to preach the gospel in the regions he spoke about.
We can assume that he achieved a level of success while he was there, before departing off to the next region, Macedonia. With that understanding in mind, we can see that Paul’s statement in verse 14 is a remark about the Lord opening doors for him.
God causes Victory in Christ
It was God who opened doors for Paul, and it is God who gives us victory in Christ. Because the Lord opened the doors, Paul was able to do his thing.
There are two factors at play, that make this possible…
- First, is the Lord being the one who opens the door, not Paul.
- Second, Paul did what he had to do from there, to achieve success or to “triumph in Christ.”
He didn’t just walk through the doors that the Lord opened and stand around- he went about the Father’s business. He had to do some things in order to get things done.
He was “In Christ.” On the clock for the Lord; doing his will, saying what he had been instructed to say, doing the things that the Lord was leading him to do, and behaving as a good example of an ambassador of Christ.
Scripture says that the savor of his knowledge is made manifest BY US! Applying the knowledge of God Almighty into our lives will cause the manifestation of his knowledge everyplace we go. In my own personal opinion, that sounds rather important.
When God opens doors, there’s triumph of some kind waiting somewhere on the other side. The Lord is willing to lead, but are we willing to follow? The answer to that question is an entirely different ballgame.
Open Doors- Opportunity Missed
We would be wise to never underestimate our own capacity, to screw things up. Particularly as it relates to doors that the Lord has opened.
Just because the Lord has opened doors for us, doesn’t mean that it’s a given that we’ll do what he intends for us to do. It’s that whole “free will” thing that tends to cause us to fall short.
We can botch this up in a myriad of ways.
- Reject the door that the Lord has opened
- Stroll through it and do things our own way rather than his
- Take advantage of the open door without being “in Christ”
- Credit ourselves for the door that the Lord has opened (patting ourselves on the back rather than giving glory to the Father)
- Entering in through an open door and falling short of completing- quitting before the Lord’s appointed time
- Willing or unknowing disobedience
- (List all the other possibilities that you can think of but I missed)
Opportunities come and go; some return but others don’t. Some are time sensitive, others can wait around for you to decide to take action.
Again, speaking personally, I know full well of several opportunities that the Lord presented to me in the past via him opening doors, that I failed to utilize. For some, I was able to pick up the ball and run with it after realization. For others, I can do nothing but stack up in the regrets section and move on.
But there is something that is important to make clear. Everything in the list above pertains to what we wind up doing with what the Lord has given. What isn’t listed, is our ability.
The Father will “make” us qualified to do the things that he wills for us to do, when we are otherwise extremely unqualified. Leave the ability to him, and availability to us.
This reminds me of a Petra song, that says:
I know that my ability is not your main concern,
but my availability and willingness to learn.
This is why the Lord can land us in all kinds of situations that we’re not qualified for from a worldly point of view. Jobs or positions that we’re not qualified for, situations that we can’t handle, abilities that we don’t have, are all compensated for by the Lord when he opens up a door for us when in Christ, and according to his will.
I did it all by Myself
This leads us to take a good long look at ourselves, and try to figure out who’s in charge.
Do we give glory to God when we walk through a door that he opened and reach triumph, or do we toss that aside? Do we lift hands in praise and thanks to the Father, or use them to stroke our ego’s and pat ourselves on the back?
I’ll confess, I’m guilty of it. I’ve worked my fingers to the bone and not given God the glory for the beneficial outcome. Because I was the one working and feeling the burdens that entailed, it was easy to forget the Lord’s handiwork.
Ironically enough, when I either missed or ruined opportunities that he’d given, it was me who would be looking up to the heavens asking, “Why Lord?” The Lord gets ignored about the good things and blamed for all the bad.
It’s easy to allow pride to sneak in and tell you how good of a job you did, and that the world would come to an end if you hadn’t taken the bull by the horns and gotten everything done yourself. Pride is a sin that has no qualms with making you feel good about yourself if it results in forgetting the Father.
For me, it took a change of mindset, and all kinds of other mercies of the Lord to finally step back and see the bigger picture concerning these kinds of things.
Here’s a quick and foolish sounding example of what I mean by the “bigger picture.”
Say the Lord instructed me to flap my arms like a bird and not to stop, and I did so. After flapping my arms for awhile, the Lord reaches down, picks me up, and holds me in mid air for awhile.
The worldly or prideful interpretation would be that I could fly because I flapped my arms so majestically. The truth would be that I was only doing what the Lord said, and he picked me up.
Romans 13: King James Bible
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
The Bible teaches us to give honor where honor is due. I believe that this is obeyed generally speaking, until of course it comes to giving the Author of the verse the honor he’s due.
As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 14, “Thanks be to God!” He is the one who opens the doors that cause for us to triumph in Christ Jesus. We are vessels being made capable through him, not despite him.
He is the one who opens the doors that will result in triumph, should we be obedient and receptive to his lead. After all, we are supposed to be Ambassadors representing Christ Jesus here in the world.
Despite any shortfalls of opportunities missed or ruined, let’s look ahead at the prize, and run this race that we’re in equipped with the mind of Christ and a heart after the Lord God Almighty!
Let the Father lead us to where our blessing awaits, and our purpose is realized! And let’s be active to do and say the things that he instructs us to say and do, in order to play our part to achieve this same end.
Thanks for Making it to the End!
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