Before you ask God to open doors in your life, you first need to find a closed one. You must learn how to get close to God. Before God calls people to purpose or ministry, He calls them to Himself. When we confuse that order, we become ministry machines with no oil of His presence to help us through the daily grind.
Home sweet desert
Moses did great things for God after meeting Him in the desert. The whole country came out to hear John the Baptizer. First, however, he spent years in the desert getting to know the voice of God. Elijah learned how to get close to God, when he heard from Him on a deserted mountain. Paul went to the desert in Arabia to get to know Jesus. Before doing any miracles or preaching His first sermon, Jesus spent more than a month in a deserted place.
We want action. We want a thrill. We want the power, promise, and the presence. However, Jesus told the disciples to go and wait for it. They waited by deserting their social lives for a time to pray, fast, and worship. For a week, they spent their days praying and seeking God’s face at the Temple. At night, they wept and worshiped in the upper room. God first poured His power upon those who had focused and sought Him with total abandon.
Only deserted lives get close to God
God is calling you to the quiet place. We preach Acts 2 revival. We want 120 to be filled with the Spirit of God in one place at one time. We want to preach to a multitude and see 3,000 filled with His Spirit. But do we want to go to a deserted place and linger in His presence until the promise comes?
We have come up with all kinds of remedies of how revival will work: “You get out what you put into it” or “Shout to get your miracle” or I wonder if some believe “Fake it till you make it.” Do we assume that working ourselves up into a frenzy will get us close to God?
Fervent, not frenzied, prayer
The Lord does not care how much we jump, yell, and cut ourselves around the altar like the pagan priests of Baal. He is waiting for someone to step forward who has been alone with him. He wants an Elijah who can hear His voice well enough in private to present His power in public. When someone will desert their own ambitions and get alone with God, the fire will fall where all can see.
Elijah struggled with the same desires and distractions you do. Yet he prayed effective, fervent prayers that shook heaven and earth. He probably did not go through life saying, “God, just show me an open door.” Instead, he looked for a closed one.
Jesus commanded us to find a closed door
“But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret” (Matthew 6:6). That is how you get close to God. When you get to the deserted place, when you take time away from the distractions, when you get up before dawn and talk to the Lord without interruptions, you will find the promise.
Sometimes we sing a song that goes like this:
Shut in with God in the secret place,
Declaring His power, beholding His face.
Needing more power to run in this race
How I love to be shut in with God.
Develop a lifestyle of meeting with God behind a closed door and watch Him open doors of opportunity: “and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6).