Responding to Doors God Opens and Closes in our Lives
word count: 973 read time: ~3-4 minutes
“To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: “He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things: (Revelation 3:7)
We serve a God who has the power to open and close doors in our lives. God grants us opportunities that are otherwise unaffordable with our meager resources, experience or knowledge. God helps us to connect with people who play significant roles in our lives. He helps you to meet the spouse of your future, or the person who can give you a new job, or the neighbor who needs to know Him. We need to be open, receptive and responsive to the doors God opens in our lives because these doors are often entryways to God’s will for us. “Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD” (Psalms 118:19)
God also has the power to close doors of opportunity, relationship and circumstances. Closed doors can be bit more challenging emotionally. When an opportunity you thought was going to come through becomes unavailable, you may question God’s goodness or foreknowledge. Or when a relationship ends or comes to a screeching halt, you may feel discouraged, hurt and frustrated.
It’s of uttermost importance in our walks with the Lord that we exercise spiritual discernment to know if a door has been truly closed by God or if we are just facing adversity in walking through a door. In fact, there are times in which a door seems closed, but the reality is that we have obstacles before us that hinder our entrance into that door. “For a great and effective door is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. “ (1 Corinthians 16:9) When we discern that a door is not closed, but that we face resistance, of human or demonic nature, it is not time to give up, but to persist in prayer and action.
The early apostles faced imprisonment, beatings and ultimately death as they proclaimed the Gospel message. Yet, they didn’t give up their work for they believed it was God’s will to preach the Good News. Or consider Martin Luther King Jr. who faced great opposition in his fight for racial equality in America. He could have concluded that is was not God’s will or timing to see his people treated fairly. Instead, he held onto the deep conviction that God created all men equal and that equality among all races was a door God wanted to open, regardless of the many adversaries resisting it.
Yet at times, doors are closed because God in his sovereignty has a plan that is greater than our own. As Paul and Silas set out on their second missionary, the Spirit of God would not let them proceed to Asia nor Bithynia. (Acts 16:6,7) As they submitted to God’s will and plan, He opened the door for them to go to Macedonia where they met Lydia. The Lord opened her heart to Paul’s message and she was saved along with her entire household. (Acts 16:14-15)
Walking through open doors can take as much courage as accepting closed doors in our lives. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane , he fell prostrate before the Father and pleaded for another alternative to the cross. (Matthew 26:39) In essence, He was asking God to close the door to the cross and provide another means for salvation. Jesus surrendered his prayer to the greater will of Father by dying on the cross. Now we all can benefit from the cross-shaped door to salvation He opened for us all.
Not every door God opens is in the shape of the cross. At times God opens up doors of blessing in our lives that we just need to gratefully accept and receive. (Proverbs 10:22) As Paul and Silas sought to move on their journey from Macedonia, Lydia persuaded them to stay in her home. At first, they resisted, but her persistence won them over. (Acts 16:15) Lydia’s hospitality was an open door, provided by God to bring comfort and repose to the disciples not only once, but a second time after they were released from prison. (Acts 16:40)
Sometimes we pray persistently for God to open a door for us and then when it opens, we balk. We ask God to bless us with an opportunity to do his will and then when approached with a chance to venture with Him we freeze up. We need to be open to the different means and methods by which God seeks to bless us and open doors for us. When the angel Gabriel explained to Mary that she’d bear the Christ child she replied, “ Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38) Joseph was about to close the door on his marriage with Mary until He also received an angelic visitation. (Matthew 1:19,20) He then realized this door was being opened by God, not man, and it was therefore right to enter into the door God had opened.
As you seek to do God’s will and follow His path, be sensitive to the doors that God opens. Our lives are not dictated by our circumstances, but we understand and believe that God is in control and sovereign. Therefore, our circumstances may indicate God’s will for our lives. We need to discern the source of the doors that open up to us and courageously accept the welcome of God into new destinies. If today, all doors of opportunity seem closed, you can remain faithful in your devotion to God knowing that He has promised to open doors to those who ask persistently. (Matthew 7:7-8)
“Lord, I invite you to open up new doors of opportunity to do Your will. Give me the discernment to know when an opportunity is of Your making and when it is not. Teach me to do Your will for you are my God and Your Spirit is good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”