At the very beginning of my ministry, I remember receiving an invitation to join a gathering of fellow church planters who had been deployed from our home church, Faith Center, in Eugene, Oregon. Our pastor Roy Hicks, Jr. had sent out 100 of us to plant churches, so this homecoming was really special. Roy broke the churches up according to size to better address the needs associated with each unique ministry environment. Since I had a total of 9 people in my church, I was in the group representing the smallest churches who were under 50 in attendance.
Ron Mehl, the pastor of the Beaverton Foursquare Church, addressed our cluster of small churches. Each Sunday, Ron had thousands of people attend his church services. I was blown away that a man of such stature would be speaking to our small group. I don’t remember everything Ron said because that was 35 years ago, but I will never forget two sentences. Ron said, “Resist the urge to make a way for yourself. Let God make the way.” At the time, if I could have made a way for myself, I would have tried, but I was in a survival mode during those first few brutal months of ministry just trying to convince myself to show up again for another Sunday.
Today, now decades later, God has greatly blessed my life. I have young leaders who look to me the same way I looked to Ron and Roy. It is a humbling place to be. Over the years, there have been times when I ignored Ron’s advice and tried to make a way for myself. Those attempts usually took place when I was feeling insecure as I approached a new season of life and ministry where the unknowns outnumbered the knowns. A few times I actually made a way for myself and created embarrassing situations where my insecurity was revealed. What redeemed me in those times of personal failure, and what kept me from doing it again, were the occasions when I remembered Ron’s wise words. There is great safety and comfort in allowing only God to be the one who opens the doors of ministry opportunity.
Letting God open these doors of opportunity will keep your voice pure and unsullied by the manipulative expressions of pride that lurk within our hearts waiting for a moment of weakness to find their expression. As you develop your ability to speak prophetically let God be the one who open the doors for your voice to be heard. Let Him lead you to your audience. When God opens these doors of favor He will be faithful to visit you with a release of supernatural power and honor that only comes when God is the one who opened the door and revealed your way forward.