Opening And Closing Doors
Watch out about thinking in terms of open and closed doors. Remember that open and closed doors rank very low in the list of ways of knowing the will of God. The problem with it is it's almost impossible to really say at the moment the door opens or closes whether it was God who did the opening or the closing.
When we speak of a door we are talking about an entrance into something, a portal. However, what we are really seeking is a particular kind of door. We are looking for what Paul calls a "great and effectual door". It other words we're looking for an entrance into a great opportunity.
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
1 Corinthians 16:9 - NKJV
In life many doors open and close. This has no importance. We aren't looking for any door. We are looking for a door of opportunity. It is important therefore to focus on "opportunity" and not on "door". Forget "door", an entrance somewhere, and think "opportunity", a chance for good or even great things to happen in God.
Doors open and close all around us. Forget about this movement of opening and closing. Think about opportunity. In seeing a door opening be asking the Lord, "Is there an opportunity in this door opening?" Likewise, in seeing a door closing be asking the Lord, "Is there a help to be had in this door closing in that it moves me along to where a door of opportunity may be about to open?"
In other words, it's God's guidance we need. It is God's discernment we need to be able to recognize as Paul did when a door is a "great and effectual door" or just a door doing what doors do, opening and closing. Isa.48:17, Psa.25:12.
We aren't to observe the opening and closing of doors and surmise that this movement is a sign from the Lord. We are to seek the Lord for His guidance by His Spirit. We are to hear His voice whispering in our hearts what is the way to go. We have to take His scriptural promises about this very seriously. For example, the Lord declares by the prophet Isaiah, "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left." Isaiah 30:21.
The Bible doesn't spell out for you every detail of every action to take in every conceivable circumstance. What you get from the Bible are boundary lines and guidelines.
What do you do in the zones between the lines? Paul says, "Let peace act as umpire!" This is such practical counsel. God's peace in your heart can adjudicate for you what is rightly placed or what is about to be rightly done in your life. Likewise, it will umpire whether the action you have in mind is the right one for the situation and the time.
Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds].
Colossians 3:15 - Amplified Bible
I have to smile at one example of the Bible's guidelines. It shows why we need this umpire in our hearts. If you turn to Proverbs 26 you'll read in verse 4, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly". However, immediately after it in verse 5 you'll read, "Answer a fool according to his folly". What's a person supposed to do with that?! Simple - be discerning! This is an area of Christian life we all need to grow in. We need to grow up in knowing which of the many and different counsels of God to walk in at any given moment.
The Holy Spirit will companion you in making right decisions. He is ready to give you the prompting you need. Often, though, He just uses the peace of God. You only have to look to the peace of God in your heart. When it's there you know the leading you have for what to do or say is the right one! In this way you can carry on in confidence.