Summary: Spiritual doors can be opened trough spiritual ways. SOmetimes prayer is not enough...
Acts 14:27 NKJV "They reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles."
They ministered to the Lord and fasted" (Acts 13:2).
Spiritual doors don't just open on their own accord. There is a spiritual element that must be recognized if you want to see an "open door for 2010"!
There is a time of preparation before a spiritual door opens. Two main ingredients characterize this time.
1. Prayer is the first essential element to seeing the open door. Refocus your time and energy on spending time alone with the Lord. Refresh yourself in His presence and remember again the delight of just being with Him.
2. Fasting is the other component. As a leader, I encourage you to take the first three days of each month and set them aside for concerted prayer and fasting. There is to be no legalism or condemnation associated with fasting. Each person should do what the Lord instructs him to do (dependent on health and other circumstances), and no one should worry about what others are doing.
When you combine prayer and fasting, you are preparing the way for God to open the door in your life.
"Separate to me Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 13:2, see also Num. 8:14, Gal. 1:15).
A. Throughout the Bible, God calls His people to holiness.
• Numbers 6 tells us all about the Nazirite vow and the separation that was required by it. It was not a flippant thing, but a serious commitment. Nazirites could not eat or drink certain things and could not cut their hair. Their dedication to God was one of a higher level than that of others.
• In Acts, God called for Barnabas and Saul to be separated for the work He had for them to do. God still calls His people today to live a life of holiness. We can't just do whatever we want if we truly want to live a life of separation.
B. Separation means consecration.
• When you separate yourself to God, you consecrate yourself totally to His will. It means you willingly surrender all rights to yourself. You give up your ways for His ways, your plans for His.
• Never regard lightly your consecration to God. It is not a small thing. Periodically examine your heart before God. Surrender anew to Him. Commit yourself wholly to Him. Confess all sin and forsake it. You cannot do whatever anyone else does if you expect to see spiritual doors opening in your life.
"Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away" (Acts 13:3).
A. The laying on of hands imparts the anointing.
• We often lay hands on people rather casually, but in the New Testament it was a more deliberate thing.
• In this verse, the laying on of hands preceded Barnabas and Paul's missionary journeys.
B. The laying on of hands denotes apostolic impartation.
• By the laying on of hands, Paul and Barnabas were sent out. It was official recognition of the call of God on their lives, and the leaders of the early church imparted their blessing and anointing through laying hands on them.
• There is a big difference between being sent to do a work and just going to do a work. Wait to be sent; don't just go out on your own.
• Seek the apostolic impartation in your life at every major juncture. Don't try to force a door open, but seek the godly counsel and apostolic anointing of those who are above you in the Lord.
"They found a certain sorcerer" (Acts 13:6).
A. Four demonic spirits tried to hinder the Word of God.
• As Paul and Barnabas began their work, they were immediately confronted by demonic power. You, too, will be confronted with demonic activity to try to stop you from your work for God.
• Paul immediately recognized the four spirits at work (deceit, fraud, enemy of righteousness, perversion [v. 10]) and boldly confronted them and demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit in action (v. 11). As a result, the governor believed.
B. Confrontation of the enemy is sometimes necessary to open some doors.
• You must understand and engage in spiritual warfare to see doors open in your life. You must know the power that is resident within you, and you must not be afraid to use it.
• When demons are confronted and defeated, a door opens for a season, and you must be ready to go through it.
"So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking" (Acts 13:16 NLT).
A. Paul extensively used the Word of God.
• All throughout this chapter of Scripture, Paul quoted the Word to his listeners. It was always ready on his lips to share with anyone. He knew the inherent power in the Word and did not fail to use it.