Below is the weekly “Open Doors” Blog by Preacher Sam. Enjoy!
What’s Holding You Back? Who’s Helping You Forward?
One of the questions I ask myself on a semi-regular basis is, “What is holding me back from living out God’s purpose for my life?”
For me, the answer is a simple, yet very challenging, “Me.”
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to living into the plans God has for me.
Paul writes about this very topic in chapter 7 of his letter to the Romans. He says in verses 18-21, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me.”
This is only an excerpt from the chapter, but you see that Paul is explaining how he recognizes this battle that is being waged within himself, the evil in his flesh that desires to do things he hates, while the good in his spirit desires to do what is right.
I believe that Paul gives insight to the answer to this problem in his letter to the Colossians. In chapter 3, verse 23, Paul writes “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.”
My wife has the words “entos theos” tattooed on her wrist. These words are the root for the word “enthusiasm.” When someone gives his life to God, accepting and embracing the work of Christ and his Lordship in his life, Jesus takes up residence in his heart. What this means is that any man or woman who is in Christ now has the very Spirit of the living God dwelling within them. “Entos theos” means “God within”.
So when Paul exhorts us to do everything “enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord…” that strikes me as an imperative. Because I am in relationship with God through Jesus, I have access to the power to do whatever it is that God wants me to do. So in every day life, I must remind myself of this truth.
When my flesh rises up, I must remember that my flesh in sinfulness is the grave, and Christ is alive in me. I am an image bearer of the very Creator of the earth, and I have been made right with him through Jesus Christ, his son. So why am I not living out his plans and purpose for me with every fiber of my being.
There are two t-shirts in my closet that I got at a summer camp. I took my youth group to this camp almost every year. I probably have about 8 of their t-shirts, but these two have a serious message. On one part of the shirt there is a saying: “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” I know this is a quote from a writer, but I forget who said it first.
The Christian life is not easy. Anyone who claims the life of a Christian has a great responsibility to represent Christ. And I fully believe that everyone who lives outside the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus is not only missing out on a fulfilled life, but does not even have hope for one. So we need people to help us see this, but we also need a community of people who are doing life in Christ together, once we have come to know him.
Imagine with me an enclosed room with four doors. This is not one of those riddles so don’t get too far ahead of me. One of the doors is open and leads into what looks like a hallway. Two of the other doors are closed but unlocked. The fourth door is closed and locked. There is a key to the fourth door, but it will take some work to find it. Now, there is only one way out of the room, and you have a limited time to get out of the room. Which door will you choose?
Here’s the thing about the room. The locked door is the only way out, and the other three just lead into a hallway that leads back into the same room through the other doors. Most people would not take the time to acquire the key to the locked door until they knew that all the other doors were not a true exit.
Imagine if you had someone who was willing to help you get the key to the locked door, and would help you open it once you had the key. And imagine that the person with you also knows that the locked door is the true exit.
At Open Doors Christian Coaching, we believe we are the people who know where the key is, and we know the power it holds. There are many doors that must be opened in life, and some of them will open without a relationship with God. But the most important door is the one that leads into eternity, and we believe that opening that door early in life is important and greatly affects the rest of the doors one will walk through later in life.
However, no coach can make the athlete compete. Likewise, no coach affiliated with Open Doors, can make an individual choose Christ. Nor can we make anyone live out that lifestyle. That responsibility (what Paul explains in Colossians 3) is on each individual. A community of people doing it together makes it better, though, and that is why we feel that Open Doors Christian Coaching is such a great need for our day and time. Young people need godly influencers in their lives as well as peers who are running in the same direction. We want to be that for any young person who wants to join us.
Open Doors Christian Coaching needs your partnership! We want to be that positive, godly influence in the lives of as many young people as we can. We are already working with a team doing character education in schools, but we need to raise funds to be able to get these teens into the gym. The gym is more than the place where we build bodies and leadership skills. The gym will be place where we can share the Gospel and explain more about Jesus to those who participate.
Please consider partnering with us. Visit gofundme.com/opendoorscc to learn more about the organization and how you can donate.