I have always believed that an invitation is an open door. I have never turned down an opportunity to preach because the place was too small or because they couldn't pay well. While I was in Bible school I was invited to preach at a little church in East Texas. I was thrilled to go. When I got there, I found I was sleeping on the floor in the living room of the parsonage. It was unusually cold that Saturday night, and so was I. For breakfast they served me a cold fried egg with the grease well gelled on the top. As I recall, there were significantly less than a half dozen people in the Sunday morning service and all had the youth and enthusiasm of the congregation at a nursing home. It is just as well that more did not come, those that were there were inviting pneumonia. It was so cold in the church, you could see your breath when you spoke. I made it through the weekend with hardly a scar, but when I gathered my clothes from the nail where they were hung on the wall, I accidentally took the pastor's bag of clothes pins. (For those too young to know what that is . . . well, let someone else explain it.) I mailed the bag back to the pastor. The postage was about equal to my honorarium for the Sunday. Boy, was I surprised when I got a return letter asking me to come back and be the youth leader at the youth-less church. That is the moment I learned that not every open door is from God.
Throughout your life, people will try to make life decisions for you. Some will come disguised as concern for your well being, like those who tried to discourage Paul from going to Rome. No doubt the brethren were sincere, but had Paul listened, he would have missed the will of God for his life.
Others will drape their meddling in prophecy – “Yea, I say . . . “ Beware of all these prognosticators. God can speak to you, directly to you. His sheep know His voice. I must have had dozens of people prophesy over me in the past fifty years. My spirit bore witness to very few of those prophecies and even fewer bore fruit. They were non-prophets. Never let another person, no matter how well meaning they may seem, dictate God's will for your life.
Is seeking godly counsel wrong? No, a thousand time no. Before any major decision it is good to seek the counsel of others. The Bible says there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Weigh the advice you get. Give it serious consideration, but don't let others set your course. Listen to the Spirit and let others confirm what the Spirit is telling you.
Sometimes you may feel like a contestant on The Price Is Right . Will you take Door Number One? Door Number Two? Door Number Three? Don't be anxious, God will show you the right door. It might be youth pastor for the chosen frozen in East Texas. If it is, go through that door. He will bless you. If it isn't, run like your pants are on fire.