Just because an opportunity presents itself, and it looks appealing, doesn’t necessarily mean it is from God. And likewise, just because an open door looks a little uncertain, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk through it.
Knowledge is key! But, how do we know?
The key is knowing how to discern if an opportunity is really an open door from God. I don’t want to miss those open doors because I was afraid to walk through them. But I also don’t want to take every opportunity that comes along, assuming it is from God’s hand and has his blessings attached.
The Bible gives us some principles to help us discern if an “open door” or opportunity is really from God:
1. The Door that God Opens Will Never Contradict His Word
Many Christians see opportunities to make more money as an open door from God, even though the opportunity means a job that will keep them from regular fellowship or service in their church. However, God’s Word tells us not to neglect meeting together for worship (Hebrews 10:25). Some women have told me that they believe God opened a door to a dating relationship for them, even though it meant being in a situation where they were “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever, which Scripture also warns against (2 Corinthians 6:14). God will not lead you toward an opportunity that contradicts what he clearly says in his Word. Nor will he open a door that would require personal compromise or disobedience in order for you to enter. As humans prone to sin, we have an excellent way of turning a clear mandate of God’s completely around and justifying it by our circumstances, but that is not how God works. If there is a compromise in any way, or we have to bend Scripture to justify our “open door” then it is likely not a door that God is opening for us. I would call anything that contradicts his Word a temptation, rather than an open door from God. And God’s Word clearly says that God does not tempt us (James 1:13-14).
2. The Door that God Opens Will be Accompanied by Confirmation
In Matthew 18:15-16, Jesus laid out instructions for confronting sin among believers saying “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses’.” I believe the same applies when it comes to God confirming something in his Word. He will often confirm or establish a matter by “two or three witnesses” whether they be verses from the Word of God, advice from a pastor or well-respected person who is grounded in Scripture, or a non-compromising circumstance that continues to present itself. Through prayer, discernment and seeking godly counsel, you should be able to tell if that “open door” and its confirmations are truly coming from God.
3. The Door God Opens Will Require You to Depend on Him
God is not going to give us something that will alienate us from him or make us believe we no longer need him. He is a God of relationship, and a God who insists upon being first in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, if you find yourself saying “I can’t do this unless God goes before me,” or “I can do this, but only with God’s help and leading” I would say, in my personal experience, it’s likely something God is calling you to do. Hebrews 11:6 says: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.” Many times an “open door” from God is one that allows our faith to be stretched and strengthened. That, after all, is God’s objective for us: to grow in faith and Christ-likeness.
Take your opportunity or “open door” to God and ask for his confirmation – through his Word and godly counsel from others – and his peace in the decision, and you can have the assurance that you aren’t just choosing a door at random, but you’re carefully walking through the ones he wants you to enter.
Shared by Cindi McMenamin
We are at times befuddled! What exactly does God intend for me?
The points above are key!
God opens doors and closes doors
God opens doors and closes doors as we go through life it is full of change. Navigating the changes that life brings our way can be scary at times. One of the my favorite scriptures is found in Psalms 37:23, where it says:
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (NLt)
That scripture offers great comfort and encouragement. It assures us we don’t have to always know what our next move in life is going to be. Simple enough, grasp it!
In my life (I try hard to stay strictly on The Word, but an example is an example!)…
Actually, I will start with one of the MAJOR examples that has been written about!
On his way to ‘arrest’ believers for religious zealots Paul had an experience that was undeniably strange! He saw a thing that was pretty much not seen by others! It changed his life! It took years for him to develop to a point where he truly started preaching (or I should state ‘started sharing’ The Gospel – actually not The Gospel but The Word ) Yes! he had been ‘trained’ in it and was a zealot. He as a young man held the coats of those who murdered Stephen. his words! none other!
And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ Acts 22:20
We have have an ‘idea’ of what truly happened…
And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and watching over the garments of those who killed him.’ Acts 22:20 is his account. We follow through!
I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
Paul was a Roman Citizen!
And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. Acts 22:3-29
I am aware that at times, I wax ‘long’, but I simply speak of what is!
I am aware that it is somewhat difficult to ‘stomach’ what I ‘share’; I have even had discussions with some and have had to hold my tongue. Just as many have experienced inexplicable things…that may be hard to swallow. Remember no man saw exactly what Paul experienced.
John on the island of Patmos. Was he high? Half starved into delirium? Off his rocker?
There is much to think about.
The text of Revelation states that John was on Patmos, a Greek island where, by most biblical historians, he is considered to be in exile as a result of anti-Christian persecution under the Roman emperor Domitian.
John of Patmos are the suffixative descriptions given to the author named as John in the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic text forming the final book of the New Testament. Wikipedia
Born: 6 AD, Pool of Bethesda, Jerusalem, Israel
Died: Ephesus, Selçuk, Turkey
Major works: Book of Revelation
Arguably, people with more ‘knowledge’ than I on biblical matters state:
There may have been a single author for the gospeland the three epistles. Tradition attributes all the books to John the Apostle. … In the case of Revelation, many modern scholars agree that it was written by a separate author, John of Patmos, c. 95 with some parts possibly dating to Nero’s reign in the early 60s.
Either or, he died of natural causes. To the many detractors again I state researched fact from wikipedia (this I know is limited, but available to the layman like me.)
John of Patmos (also called John the Revelator, John the Divine or John the Theologian; Greek: Ἰωάννης ὁ Θεολόγος, Coptic: ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ) are the suffixative descriptions given to the author named as John in the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic text forming the final book of the New Testament. The text of Revelation states that John was on Patmos, a Greek island where, by most biblical historians, he is considered to be in exile as a result of anti-Christian persecution under the Roman emperor Domitian.
A diatribe to further exhibit my point:
The author of the Book of Revelation identifies himself only as “John”. Traditionally, this was often believed to be the same person as John, son of Zebedee, one of the apostles of Jesus, to whom the Gospel of John was also attributed. The early-2nd-century writer, Justin Martyr, was the first to equate the author of Revelation with John the Evangelist. Other early Christian writers, however, such as Dionysius of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea, noting the differences in language and theological outlook between this work and the Gospel, discounted this possibility, and argued for the exclusion of the Book of Revelation from the canon as a result. The early Christian writer Papiasappeared in his writings to distinguish between John the Evangelist and John the Elder, and many biblical scholars now contend that the latter was the author of Revelation.
We know that the apostle John was exiled for his faith late in life (Revelation 1:9). The Bible does not give us details on how the apostle John died, but tradition gives us a few theories.
The most plausible theory of John’s death states that John was arrested in Ephesus and faced martyrdom when his enemies threw him in a huge basin of boiling oil. However, according to the tradition, John was miraculously delivered from death. The authorities then sentenced John to slave labor in the mines of Patmos. On this island in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, John had a vision of Jesus Christ and wrote the prophetic book of Revelation. The apostle John was later freed, possibly due to old age, and he returned to what is now Turkey. He died as an old man sometime after AD 98, the only apostle to die peacefully.
Nonetheless, he not only experienced his ‘dream’. For a more extensive understanding, feel free to read:
More significant are texts that I will refer you to.
I very simply state this to show that all is predestined!
We started off with Paul and rounded up with John. To add an even greater ‘insight’
At this point, I would like to ‘share’ whet you are capable of…
We can rest in the knowledge that God knows what is best for us. He will direct us accordingly as He sees fit. As our situations change, if we will allow Him to, God will direct our steps. He will lead us down the paths that are the best for us. To follow the direction and leading of God, we have to be able to recognize which doors God has opened for us. We must also be able to recognize which doors God has closed.
Some changes we experience are due to the fact that doors open and doors close. God has opened doors in my life, and He has closed some doors. As you read this, you may be wondering what doors I am referring to. The doors have involved many areas of my life. Throughout a lifetime, God opens doors of opportunity in careers, doors to relationships, and doors to ministry.
There are undoubtedly many other types of doors God can and does open. Just as certainly as God opens doors, He also closes doors. One of the keys to a successful and fulfilling life is being able to distinguish between and recognize which doors God has opened and which doors God has closed.
God’s message to John on the Isle of Patmos
I am reminded of a scripture in the book of Revelation I would like to share with you. In Revelation 3:7 it says, “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open.” (New Living Translation) This scripture was part of the revelation from God that the disciple John received while exiled on the Isle of Patmos.
In this scripture, “the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David”, refers to Christ. In this scripture, God wanted to make it clear that Jesus has the ability to open doors no one can close, and close doors no man can open. Jesus holds the keys and whatever he opens and closes is simply the action of fulfilling the will of God the Father.
God opens doors no one can shut and closes doors no one can open
I wonder how many of us, including myself, have spent wasted years trying to force open doors God has shut. Attempting to open a door God has shut is futile. It will only lead to frustration and discouragement. As the word tells us, if God shuts a door, there is nothing we or anyone else can ever do that will open the door. I also wonder how many of us have missed or neglected doors God had opened over the years. Those doors had the potential to change our lives for the better.
Now, there is a truth in this passage of scripture that I want you to notice. Notice that it says WHAT HE OPENS NO ONE CAN SHUT. This indicates that God does at times open doors that were PREVIOUSLY shut. We are also told that WHAT HE CLOSES NO ONE CAN OPEN. This makes it clear God also closes doors that were previously open.
Don’t waste time trying to pry a door open
We mustn’t spend months or years of our lives trying to pry open doors God has shut. We often want something so badly we are oblivious to the possibility it could be a door God has shut. It could be something God does not want for us, and has therefore shut the door. The closed door could be something that was in accordance with God’s will for your life at one point. But, changes in situations and circumstances often cause God in His infinite wisdom to shut the door.
Let me give you an example. Have you experienced a relationship or friendship that you felt in your spirit was drawing to a close? Or, have you ever been an employee on a job, or a member of a church, and felt a leading from God to move on? Now hear me when I say this. I am not talking about leaving a job or church because you are mad at someone, or disagree with something. That is not reason enough to move on. I am talking about when you feel an intense direction and leading telling you your time on that job or at that church is done.
When God closes a door He will open another
I believe when God is truly closing the door for you at a church, He will ALWAYS quickly open another. He will lead you to another open door at another church. If you leave a church, you shouldn’t have to wander around for months to find a church where you fit. If you do, you should ask yourself if you were really being led by God in leaving. I won’t get started on that point…that’s something for another blog post sometime. The point is, God at times shuts doors along the journey through life. At times, He opens doors.
Have you ever had an opportunity open up seemingly out of nowhere? Sometimes shut doors suddenly open that were doors we wanted to walk through for a very long time. They are doors God had previously shut. The great news is that when God opens a door for you, nobody but God can shut it. No person on earth or demon in Hell can shut the door or prevent you from walking through it.
The only one able to keep you from walking through a door God opens for you is you. You have to exercise faith to walk through the open door God brings about in your life. It is imperative that we stayed in God’s word. We must keep our spiritual eyes opened to what God wants for our lives. Not doing so may cause us to miss an open door God wants us to walk through in faith.
How many open doors have I missed?
As I write this, I am reflecting on my own life. I wonder how many times I have spent wasted months or years trying to force open doors God had closed. Also, I wonder how many doors God has opened for me to walk through that I failed to recognize. How many did I fail to walk through because of fear of the unknown? Have you tried to pry open any doors? Have you missed any open ones?
Allow me to end this post by leaving you with a couple of scriptures from Proverbs chapter three. In Proverbs 3:5-6 it says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (New Living Translation) If we will heed the advice of this passage of scripture, God will prevent us from wasting time trying to pry open doors He has shut. He will also lead us through the doors He wants us to walk through.
Don’t get discouraged if a door has recently shut in your life, or a door you hoped would open has remained shut. God has something even better in store. He has a door prepared just for you that will bring blessings and change to your life. When you find that open door, walk through it boldly in faith. You won’t be alone. God will be right there with you. Trust him. He knows what’s best for you.