There are three types of doors that we encounter in life:
- Some are wide open.
- Some are closed shut.
- Some are slightly ajar.
We talk about “open doors” as being opportunities that we should pursue. We even pray for God to “open a door” so we can pursue some endeavor that seems advantageous to us, for example to buy a certain house or get a desired promotion or something else we desire.
Some of the wide open doors lead us down the good path God intends. But just because a door is open doesn’t mean it’s his design for us to go through it. Some wide open doors lead us down a path of woe. Some will say, “If you feel at peace, go through the open door.” But our hearts deceive us and we’re best advised to seek wisdom from God’s Word, his Holy Spirit, and mature believers before making a decision to proceed.
Sometimes we keep knocking and pushing at a shut door, thinking it must be his will to open it for us. Try as you might to open it, it will not budge until God opens it. So many things seem right in our eyes, we can’t imagine why God would allow a door to remain shut. The ones that are shut tightly are not meant to be opened, at least not at this time, and perhaps never. He keeps it shut for our protection and to advance his perfect will.
Some doors are not completely shut; instead they stand slightly ajar. And if we apply enough of our own effort we can force them open, even if it isn’t God’s timing or will. He allows us – if we insist in having our way – to open doors that we shouldn’t. We might choose a job that isn’t intended for us, a house that is really too expensive, a purchase that robs us of the opportunity to use our money for something more valuable, or a relationship that leads to disaster. If you’ve ever succeeded in opening these doors, you know they are best left alone.
There is one door that may be shut or slightly ajar that we should always pray to be opened. In fact, if someone asks how they could pray for you, this might be a good response:
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Colossians 4:3-4
As we review our to-do list for the day, our very best prayer may be this one for ourselves, that God would intentionally open doors for us to share his message. It might be an open door to share the gospel. Or it might be an open door to build or strengthen a relationship bridge that could later bear the weight of God’s message. Or it may be an open door to simply express God’s gracious love in a practical way – today.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Verses 5-6)
I wonder what doors God intends to reveal to each of us this very day. Look for them. Pray for him to open the ones that advance his message.