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“Open Doors” Rather Than “Hard Soil”

The Bible uses metaphors of both “open doors” and “hard soil,” but recently God has been showing Eddy* that it might be better for global workers like himself to think in terms of “open doors.” 

The metaphor of soil types comes from Jesus’s parable of the sower in Matthew 13 where a farmer sows seed (God’s message) on a number of different soil types (people with different levels of spiritual openness). While the parable is full of insights, Eddy realized that if we only view missions in terms of reaching the “good soil,” we might develop some inaccurate beliefs. 

Some of the incorrect beliefs we might develop are: 

  • When sharing our faith, we need to distinguish someone’s soil type ahead of time and then choose the right seed to use
  • If we want to share our faith effectively, we need to prepare the soil before sowing the seed
  • As human beings, we have the ability to make the soil more fertile through the efforts of our flesh

These beliefs are untrue, because in Jesus’s parable, the farmer unbiasedly offered the same seed to all the different kinds of soils. The farmer didn’t study samples of each soil type beforehand, and he didn’t do any prep work to soften the hard soils.

As Eddy thought about this, God showed him that it might be more beneficial to think about missions work in terms of “open doors” instead. And there are many verses that use the “open door” metaphor.

  • Acts 14:27 – “And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.”
  • 1 Corinthians 16:9 –  “A wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
  • Colossians 4:3 – “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.”

When we think about sharing our faith in terms of “open doors,” it takes a lot of the pressure off our own shoulders and leaves the outcome to God. Instead of striving to discern someone’s soil type and then using our own strength to prepare that soil, we can just share God’s message with everyone, trusting God to open whatever doors He sees fit. We don’t have to stress out, thinking about “How can I soften this person’s soil?” Instead, we can shift our focus toward God, asking Him to reveal His truth to people. He is the Door-Opener, and all we need to do is follow His lead! 

If you want to participate in the doors God is opening in Central Asia, consider partnering with Eddy and his wife Sarah*.

*Name changed for security