Blog

Date: 12.13.17
Living by Open and Closed Doors

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.

Posted in: Faith Life Challenges

Comments

10 thoughts on “Living by Open and Closed Doors

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve used the open/closed door “rule”, but am learning to listen to the gut and God more about future choices.

  2. This message is so helpful and right on time. I’m
    In education and prayed for a position that would place me in career of human resources aligned to my previous experience. Well low and behold I was offered a position with the city and didn’t take the job opportunity because it was a 20k salary cut, but with relocation reimbursement. Low and behold six months later I got laid of my job abs felt like God opened a door for me but I was so caught up on the salary that I didn’t take it and realized I may have made a bad decision. Later I got offered another position which was in a lower position and a 60k cut with the school district but close to home back in my home city where I wanted to move back. There again I turned down the position not so much about salary this time but wanted to make sure I didn’t just uproot and leave my husband and take the kids back to our home city a job. I’m still out of work and feel like I tried to do the right thing but no opportunities are opening up here for me but opening in my home state. I’m truly seeking God and ask for your prayers as well for solid direction from him. I don’t want to keep turning down opportunities and really unsure of its truly God or not. I’m at a point where my husband is trying his best to pay all the bills but we do need additional income to support all our responsibilities in kids. Should I go ahead and take career opportunities back in my home state or stat with my husband and kids in the current state to keep the family together. I really desire to go back home with my family because it was never meant to be a long term stay here in this city especially when I’m not getting any career employment right now. Thank you

  3. What do you do If. Only one door opens stay or walk thru. If staying means you go no where and your not sure the open door is right.

    1. Hi, Joni.

      Here are a few things you can do. Some suggestions:

      1) Seek counsel from someone who is sensitive to God’s leading and will tell you the truth. You may also seek counsel from those in your life who see how God has typically led you in the past.
      2) Don’t make any decision out of fear, or of being “left out in the cold” without an option. Trust God to provide.
      3) Don’t choose an option solely based on money.
      4) Listen to your gut. Sometimes a lack of peace may mean that we aren’t to move forward. (But not always. That’s why it’s good not to focus on one way to know how God is leading).
      5) Don’t be in a rush.
      6) Journal about it and then go back and read what you have written. If you journal honestly, your heart will reveal what you really think, which can be God’s leading.
      7) Ask yourself if the options align with or contradict God’s Word
      8) Do your circumstances seem as if they are line up with what you believe God is telling you? Lastly. . .
      9) Pray.

      Hope that helps! And, remember that following God isn’t like walking on a tight rope. He knows you are struggling and He will get you where you need to go as you seek Him and trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

  4. A always, your words are wise and simply, yet pungently , stated. My only critique is that I think you have much more to say about this topic…..Please do an addendum. Your response to “Joni” examples this….Share more….please.. Blessings, onward !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • Thank you for this! I’ve used the open/closed door “rule”, but am learning to listen to the gut and God more about future choices.

  • This message is so helpful and right on time. I’m
    In education and prayed for a position that would place me in career of human resources aligned to my previous experience. Well low and behold I was offered a position with the city and didn’t take the job opportunity because it was a 20k salary cut, but with relocation reimbursement. Low and behold six months later I got laid of my job abs felt like God opened a door for me but I was so caught up on the salary that I didn’t take it and realized I may have made a bad decision. Later I got offered another position which was in a lower position and a 60k cut with the school district but close to home back in my home city where I wanted to move back. There again I turned down the position not so much about salary this time but wanted to make sure I didn’t just uproot and leave my husband and take the kids back to our home city a job. I’m still out of work and feel like I tried to do the right thing but no opportunities are opening up here for me but opening in my home state. I’m truly seeking God and ask for your prayers as well for solid direction from him. I don’t want to keep turning down opportunities and really unsure of its truly God or not. I’m at a point where my husband is trying his best to pay all the bills but we do need additional income to support all our responsibilities in kids. Should I go ahead and take career opportunities back in my home state or stat with my husband and kids in the current state to keep the family together. I really desire to go back home with my family because it was never meant to be a long term stay here in this city especially when I’m not getting any career employment right now. Thank you

  • What do you do If. Only one door opens stay or walk thru. If staying means you go no where and your not sure the open door is right.

    • Hi, Joni.

      Here are a few things you can do. Some suggestions:

      1) Seek counsel from someone who is sensitive to God’s leading and will tell you the truth. You may also seek counsel from those in your life who see how God has typically led you in the past.
      2) Don’t make any decision out of fear, or of being “left out in the cold” without an option. Trust God to provide.
      3) Don’t choose an option solely based on money.
      4) Listen to your gut. Sometimes a lack of peace may mean that we aren’t to move forward. (But not always. That’s why it’s good not to focus on one way to know how God is leading).
      5) Don’t be in a rush.
      6) Journal about it and then go back and read what you have written. If you journal honestly, your heart will reveal what you really think, which can be God’s leading.
      7) Ask yourself if the options align with or contradict God’s Word
      8) Do your circumstances seem as if they are line up with what you believe God is telling you? Lastly. . .
      9) Pray.

      Hope that helps! And, remember that following God isn’t like walking on a tight rope. He knows you are struggling and He will get you where you need to go as you seek Him and trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

  • A always, your words are wise and simply, yet pungently , stated. My only critique is that I think you have much more to say about this topic…..Please do an addendum. Your response to “Joni” examples this….Share more….please.. Blessings, onward !!!