“This is the message from the One who is holy and true… what He opens, no one can close; and what He closes, no one can open.” Revelation 3:7
In the spring of 1987, I was excited about a potential transition. For six months I had the impression God was leading me out of the business world (I worked as an Investment Broker), into full time ministry.
You can imagine my excitement when a pastor from Illinois came to interview me. After our meeting, Pastor Braaten felt like this was God’s plan for their church, but it wasn’t automatic. I needed to come down and “candidate” for the position, he explained.
So we loaded up our young family and went down to Grand de tour, Illinois to spend a weekend at the church, and I preached for them that Sunday. I thought it went well, but Pastor Braaten called the next week, and informed me that I was going to have to return and preach a second time.
I had no idea how churches worked, so I didn’t take this as rejection, but just part of the process. Before I preached the second time, Pastor Braaten brought me into his office. “Some of the people didn’t like the way you walked back and forth last time. Could you stay behind the pulpit instead of wandering around?” he requested.
No problem. I thought it went well, but once again he called and said I would have to come down a third time to “candidate.” Right before I preached the third time, he again pulled me into his office. “Last time you stayed behind the pulpit, but you played with the gooseneck microphone the whole time, and it drove some people crazy. Why don’t you go ahead and walk around again.”
After that message, the church officially asked me to be their youth pastor, and that was my entrance into full time ministry. Why did it take so long? I think God (and Pastor Braaten) wanted me at that church, and the church didn’t want me, but they couldn’t close the door no matter how hard they tried.
When we are resting in God, He is able to open doors no man can shut. We don’t have to be impressive, we just need to trust in God. And by the way, I’ve been “wandering around” while preaching ever since!