On a sunny Sunday afternoon, two young church members were going door to door to invite people to visit their services.Ã‚Â When they knocked on one door,Ã‚Â it was immediately clear the woman who answered was not happy to see them.
She told them in no uncertain terms that she did not want to hear their message, and before they could say anything more,Ã‚Â she slammed the doorÃ‚Â in their faces. To her surprise, however,Ã‚Â the door did not close; in fact, it bounced back open.
She tried again, really putting her back into it,Ã‚Â and slammed it again with the same result Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the door bounced back open.
Convinced these rude young people were sticking their foot in her door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson.
Just then, one of them said quietly:Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“MaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢am, before you do that again, you really need toÃ‚Â move your cat.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â 
For many years, opportunities knocked on my door and I refused to answer.Ã‚Â Even some opportunities I believe came from the Lord.
I was eitherÃ‚Â too afraid to get out of my comfort zone, too afraid of what people might sayÃ‚Â if I Ã¢â‚¬Å“blew itÃ¢â‚¬Â or too afraid of failure.
I hate to admit it, but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a Bible verse that inspired me to answer those doors. It was a movie. And I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t evenÃ‚Â seeÃ‚Â the movie.
I read a review about a silly Jim Carrey movie, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes Man.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In the 2008 film, based on a book by Danny Wallace, CarreyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s characterÃ¢â‚¬â€a lonely manÃ¢â‚¬â€attended a motivational seminar and heard the speaker tell the audience,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Say Ã¢â‚¬ËœyesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ to everything.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â The exercise was designed to build self-confidence and greater purpose.
According to the review, CarreyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s character acquired new skills as he continued to say Ã¢â‚¬Å“yesÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬â€which leads to a happier life.
For me, a Christian, saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“yesÃ¢â‚¬Â means a lot more, especially when it involves the Lord. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a matter ofÃ‚Â obedience, regardless of my fears and potential discomfort.
When opportunities come, I still pray for discernment and check to be sure the opportunity doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t violate scripture, but then I pray,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lord, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going for this unless you give me a clear Ã¢â‚¬ËœnoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ or Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwait.’Ã¢â‚¬Â
Refusing to walk through doors God prepares for us means weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re willing toÃ‚Â settleÃ‚Â for the blessings of theÃ‚Â past.
God told Israel:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“. . . I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it?Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (Isaiah 43:18-19)
God, the Creator, may want toÃ‚Â do something newÃ‚Â in and through us! And He will strengthen us for whatever He calls us to do (Ephesians 3:16).
InÃ‚Â Following God One Yes at a Time, she wrote (emphasis mine),
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fear can become a barrierÃ‚Â behind which we cower,Ã‚Â too afraid to say the next yes.Ã‚Â Or fear can be the pathwayÃ‚Â on which we move forward, one yes at a time, perhaps slowly and painfully, but hand-in-hand with God.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every time weÃ‚Â choose to believe God and say Ã¢â‚¬ËœyesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã‚Â with our feet,Ã¢â‚¬Â Connie said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“a brick comes off the wall fear built and gets placed squarely in front of us to becomeÃ‚Â a stepping-stoneÃ‚Â that takes us toward fulfillment of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dream for us.Ã¢â‚¬Â (2)
Connie explained the kind ofÃ‚Â follow-ship that leads to fulfillment of our dreams and GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s will for us. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Following him,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“requires the simpleÃ‚Â trustÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â immediate obedienceÃ‚Â of a child who believes God will make the way to HimÃ‚Â simple, immediate and possible.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (3)
I still have so much more to learn about following God, but now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m eager to say Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes!Ã¢â‚¬Â
In fact my focus word for 2015 isÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“dauntless,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â which means Ã¢â‚¬Å“fearless determination.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m determined to walk through every door God opens with fearless faith and freedom!
How about you? Are youÃ‚Â ready to walk through the doorsÃ‚Â God opens for you?
Is there a door youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re refusing to walk through right now? If so,Ã‚Â what is keeping you from obedience and a fresh adventure with God?