As a young and insecure pastor, I listened to Ron Mehl, the pastor of the Beaverton Foursquare Church, give some sage advice. At the time, I had less than 10 people attending my struggling church plant. Ron had thousands. I was asked to meet with a group of equally young and inexperienced church planters. Ron was one of the speakers. He spoke regarding how to handle our struggle with personal identity in those seasons of insecurity when we don't see much happening. Ron said, "Let God make a way for you." Those words went deep into my troubled heart and never left.
At the time, I would have done anything to promote myself and my ministry out of what I had labeled as an utter failure. My problem was, I had nothing to promote. Eventually, the church began to grow and those painful years faded as Jan, and I grew along with the church. What did not leave were the opportunities to self-promote. At each level of blessing and increase in ministry influence, this has been something God wanted me to process with Him. I have failed a few times in the ensuing years at self-promotion. But, with Ron Mehl's words in my heart and the guidance of God's Spirit, I have come to a place that I now actually hate to see any remnants of self-promotion in my life. I try to be quick to silence that voice within me whenever it rears its ugly head.
If we let God be the one who opens the doors of opportunity in our lives, we will not always know what doors will open or if they will open at all. This is a place of trust that can be unsettling if the doors mean financial or relational gain. Many who burn out or become disillusioned arrive at that place after striving in the power of the flesh to do what can only be accomplished as a work of the Spirit.
God knows you are valuable. He knows your gifts. Rest and be at peace with that profound knowledge. God will be faithful to open any doors that need to be opened when the time is right. When He opens a door of opportunity, He will also release the ability to carry any blessing and recognition that come once you step across the threshold into something new.