Maybe you have heard someone say they are trusting God, that if He wants them to do something that He will open a door, but that if He doesn’t want them to do it, that He will close the door. This is how they plan on making a decision to do this or that, go here or there.
Granted, living by open and closed doors can sometimes be a less assertive way to live out one’s faith and therefore, perhaps, less frightening. In 1 Corinthians 16:9, Paul said that an “effective door” for ministry had opened to him. And in Acts 16:6, he talks about a closed door. After he’d been working with the Galatian churches, he decided to go into the Province of Asia. However, he said that he was “forbidden” by the Holy Spirit. No matter how this forbidding came, it came in the form of a closed door. While God does direct us through open and closed doors, it’s unwise to make every decision based on open or closed doors.
Been There, Done That
Seven years ago, I prayed and asked God to give me an opportunity to work with someone who could help me develop a plan for ministry and provide my organization with funding. I felt God leading me to pray and ask for help, so I did. Within a week someone crossed my path, who, without me asking, offered to help me with a plan and provide the much-needed financial resources. It was exactly what I was looking for, so I naturally took this as God’s open door. After all, I had prayed, and. . . (tada!) there was the answer! This “open door” turned out to be a disaster that hurt me and some people who worked with me. On the backside of that trial, I am convinced God allowed this person in my life to grow me in faith and discernment and to lovingly discipline me. Since then, He has reminded me of four lessons about open and closed doors. I invite you to keep these in mind as you pursue God’s will for your life.
Don’t Be in a Rush
When you experience an open door that looks exactly like what you need or want, don’t be in a hurry. God is a gentleman. He doesn’t put His foot in anyone’s back and push them forward. He doesn’t make His children panic. Instead, he leads those who belong to Him. For these reasons, it’s not necessary to be in a panicked, hurried rush to make a decision about any open door.
Pray Over It and Seek God’s Wisdom
Make sure to pray over the open door and seek wisdom in God’s Word. You may also ask others to pray for you as well. And if needed, seek wise counsel to insure that you are making the right choice and not getting tripped up. Sometimes others can see what we can’t. Our desires can cause us to miss important information that others discern.
Let the Peace of God Rule
When you have a “gut check” about something, don’t rush ahead of God and run through an open door. Instead, listen to your “inner umpire.” Colossians 3:15 says to “let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” The peace of God is like an inner umpire telling you, “Yes, this way is good” or “No, it’s bad.” As David Wilkerson says, “The peace of God is to be the arbitrator of our lives, sitting as . . . ruler over everything.” Sometimes I am a slow learner. It took me until my early forties to trust the discernment that God has given me so I listen to God’s promptings telling me that something isn’t a good idea.
Walk in Confidence
Remember there is no need to be afraid about making decisions. Rather, we can move forward in confidence knowing that God will lead. We can also rest assured that even if we get off track by going through a door that we shouldn’t, that He is faithful to teach us and use it all for His glory and our good. You can never get out of His hand.