Honestly, I can’t last five minutes that somebody
doesn’t text me back that I don’t start making up
the most screwed-up scenarios
in my head, so I feel for Paul.
I’m serious. If Holly doesn’t… If I
don’t see bubbles within 25 seconds,
in my mind she’s dead. The
car has flipped seven times.
It’s horrible. I know it’s kind
of funny, but it’s really not
in the moment. Anybody like me? You
have two minutes to respond to me,
and I’m freaking out. “Maybe they don’t
like me anymore. Maybe they don’t respond
to me anymore.” And when I text you and it’s on
green instead of blue on my iPhone… Oh my god!
Last week I preached about green, but if the text
comes back green, you have your phone off. You
don’t ever want to talk to me again. I can get
so offended. I am so bad at interpreting silence
and space. This is Paul’s moment. Paul is like, “I
sent Titus to find out, and I couldn’t find Titus,
so I left Troas because I couldn’t find Titus.
I left the open door because I had no peace.
I left the opportunity because
although the door was open…”
See, that’s the Enemy’s strategy.
That’s why he says you can’t let
the Devil outwit you. He is using
stuff that hasn’t even happened yet
to run you off from opportunities
that are right in front of you.
Do you see how smart he is? He’s bringing movies
from the past. He is bringing classic movies back
that happened 20 years ago, and it keeps you from
seeing what’s standing two feet in front of you.
But God said, “When I open a door, no devil can
shut it.” The reason the Devil is at the door to
begin with is because what God has on the other
side of it is so important. Oh yes…so important.
There will always be a devil at the door
of anything important God brings you into,
of anything significant God brings you into. There
will always be an enemy to anything significant.
Do you know why there’s a devil at the
door? Because what is on the other side
really matters. You are an important city. You
are a chosen vessel. You might not be Paul,
but God has something with your name
on it. There’s a devil at the door,
and the bigger the opportunity is, the bigger the
devil is going to be. Don’t you know that by now?
The bigger it is, what’s on the other
side of the door… You’re asking God,
“Why am I having to go through all this?” Awhile
back… I don’t know how to tell you this story,
because it’s kind of tender to me. I was about to
do something really significant in this ministry.
I can’t tell you what it was
because it would kind of expose
me too much, and I’m not ready to have a
relationship with you on that level yet.
On the way to the thing I was going to do, I
broke down crying. I don’t cry a whole lot.
Only Rudy and Rocky III can make me
cry. Third time in my life I ever cried.
Holly has seen me cry so little she thought I
was playing. She said, “Stop playing. This is not
funny,” because I was lying on the bed and my head
was down on the pillow. She said, “Stop playing.”
I couldn’t answer to tell her I wasn’t playing
because I was crying. I didn’t know why I was
crying. Nobody had just died. I didn’t have
any technical reason to be sad in that moment,
but what was on the other side
of that evening was so important
I believe there was a devil at the door.
There is always a devil at the door when God
is bringing you into something important.
Why do you think kids get demon
possessed as they go through puberty?
If you don’t know that, you’ll think, “The Devil
is at the door. This must not be God.” No, no, no.
The Devil is giving you an indication
that this is so big, this is so important.
This might be a life-saving word for somebody.
Have you thought about this? Somebody might be
on the brink of suicide while I’m preaching,
and they can’t understand. “Why am I feeling
this depressed? Why am I going through this
darkness?” What you might not know is that the
size of the Devil at your door indicates
the size of the assignment on your life.
Don’t die here. This is a door. The door God
opens nobody can shut. Don’t you let the Devil
use the door of what you don’t know to fill your
mind with hypothetical scenarios that cause your
heart to close. There’s always a devil at
the door. There’s always an insecurity as
you move deeper into your purpose and your
awareness of your true condition in Christ.
But he can’t close the door God opens.
All he can do is try to get your mind so screwed
up that as you wait for Titus to bring you news,
you say goodbye to Troas. We don’t see Paul walk
away from any other open doors in Scripture,
but he said, “I had no peace of mind.”
You know what? Four chapters go by, and
Paul doesn’t even mention what happens next.
“I said goodbye to Troas. I went to Macedonia…”
Most probably Philippi. “…and I waited for Titus.
Every day that I didn’t see Titus, I
started making up stuff in my mind.”
The Enemy is using a story to keep
you from going through your door.
“They won’t really like you.
They won’t really accept you.
Nobody really cares about you. You don’t
have what it takes. You’re going to fail,
and everybody is going to laugh.” He can’t
close the door, but he can tell you a story.
Every day Titus doesn’t show up, Paul
has a little bit harder time trusting
that everything is going to be all right. It
isn’t until chapter 7, verse 5, of 2 Corinthians
that we see that what Paul was so
troubled about God had already worked out.
He said, “When we got to Macedonia…
We left Troas. We got to Macedonia.
We had no rest. On every side…”
Watch this. This is the trouble on the outside.
He said, “Harassed at every turn, conflicts on
the outside…” But that’s not what stops you. It’s
never the conflicts on the outside that stop you.
Somebody else has overcome much
more than you to get where they are.
But it’s the fears within, Paul said.
Then, after months and months of wondering…
Who am I preaching to? I know it has been
about an hour I’ve been up here talking,
but I’ve been talking to you, haven’t I?
It has been months you’ve been wondering. It has
been in a suspended state for months, and every
day you waited for Titus, and he didn’t come with
news of the solution, the outcome. It’s your mind.
Your mind is like that Mediterranean Sea where
you wonder, “Is everything going to be all right?”
He said in verse 6, “But God, who comforts the
downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…”
The word of the Lord is “Titus is here.”
When Titus finally arrived (verse 7)…
He said, “He not only comforted us by
his physical presence and his coming
but by the comfort you had given him. He told
us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow,
your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was
greater than ever.” Joy is coming. Hope is coming.
Reconciliation is coming. The
restoration of all things is coming.
I declare it by faith not by
sight. My eyes haven’t seen it yet,
but I know it in my heart. Titus is coming.
He said, “I spent all of those months
worried about something God
had already worked out.”
So, you’re standing before an open door.
You don’t always see it. You don’t
always feel it. You can’t identify it,
because you have a troubled mind. Let’s just take
a moment and be still in the presence of God,
because all the conflict on the outside is
nothing compared to the fears on the inside.