The theme "WIDE OPEN" was repeated often this past week in Anaheim, Calif., at Connection '09, our annual gathering of ministers. It referred to the open door in Revelation 3:8 in a letter written to the church in Phillippi. This letter states that the Lord had taken note of their fidelity and courage in the face of inadequate resources. He committed to participating in miraculous ways. We understand from this passage that God will open doors that no one can shut, but we still need to walk through them. Here are a couple of observations from this past week:
- Doors of opportunity already exist! Despite the current revival in India, for example, only two percent of the 1.5 billion people in the country claim to be devoted followers of Christ. I would say that's quite an open door and a good encouragement for us to look around for doors that already open.
- We must keep our eyes looking forward towards new possibilities! Looking over our shoulders with regret at missed opportunities may cause us to miss the open doors ahead. Have an open mind before God poised with enthusiastic anticipation of a promised future despite your past. Lot's wife is a classic example of the liability of looking backwards when we should be focused forward.
- There is no shortage of God's creativity! When Aimee Semple McPherson left this world, God looked down and took a 31-year-old former engineering student (her son Rolf), who was wired as a leader very differently from his mother and positioned him to lead this movement for 44 prosperous years (with growth from just under 500 churches around the world in 1944 to nearly 60,000 in 2009). God just may know what He's doing even when we don't understand!
- The emerging generations are on fire for God! Tuesday and Wednesday nights during Connect '09, over 750 youth connected at The Rock Foursquare Church, worshipped and responded to a fresh call to live out an uncompromising message with their families and friends. Each night over 300 J12 (Jesus at 12) kids rocked the house down in their enthusiasm for Jesus.
- The Lord is giving us the keys to cities! The Jamesons shared early in our morning prayer time that God is giving them favor and grace to intercede, connect and influence their city, its governance, its crime rate, its texture. That story is being repeated over and over in many places.
- The world has come to us. Over 80 Indonesian congregations within the United States are anxiously awaiting integration with the U.S. Foursquare culture. It will take some work, but it's a picture of the future. America is the strongest sending missions agency in the world and receives the most missions efforts in this present age. Only the Lord could arrange these Wide Open doors.
We are living in an unprecedented age of opportunity that God has ordained and orchestrated. Can you hear the wind of the Spirit? Can you see His effects? Prepare yourself! Steven Curtis Chapman called it "The Great Adventure!" Pastor Jack called us to a "Wide Open Door." Let's step over the threshold and explore the new possibilities.
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor