A few years back, I spent most of the year studying the Bible’s use of the word “door.” The concept is found about 400 times in Scripture, often as a metaphor for opportunities in our lives.
You may not realize all the doors you have before you right now. Doors can be entrances or exits. They can be a bridge to something great or a barrier. They can represent acceptance or rejection.
As I studied the concept of doors in the Bible, I made a list of over 50 lessons that God wants us to learn about the “doors” in front of us—and here are seven of those lessons:
Every door is a decision.
In the Bible, doors are metaphors for the choices we make every day. We discover early on in life that we can walk through some doors and not others. But we need to make a decision each time we see a door.
My destiny will be shaped by which doors I walk past and which doors I walk through.
These doors, whether you walk through them or walk past them, will shape your life. The tough part is knowing the right door. Every door will cost you some time. Some will cost you money. You can’t walk through every door.
It’s also difficult to get back on the right path if you go through the wrong door. God lays out the consequences of our decisions in Deuteronomy 30:15: “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster” (Deuteronomy 30:15 NLT). It’s critical that we learn discernment because the consequences of poor decisions can be so glaring.
A door may represent different things.
Sometimes a door represents an opportunity from God. You want to open those doors—even if there is opposition. Opportunity plus opposition equals God’s will. When God opens a door, it’s the right door. It doesn’t mean the door will be problem-free though.
Other times doors are a distraction from others. It may appear to be a good door, but it keeps you from taking the opportunities God has for you.
Doors can also be traps from Satan. Any time we look at our future from our own perspective—rather than God’s—we’re stepping through a trapdoor. We must be careful to look at our future from God’s view.
If an open door is truly from God, it will not contradict what God has already said in his Word.
God will never tell you something different from his Word. And if a door presents you an opportunity to do something contrary to the Bible, it’s not a door from God. God’s Word is true today and forever. Jesus says in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear” (NLT). No matter how exciting a door looks, it’ll be a disaster if it’s contrary to God’s Word.
Sometimes God shuts a door for my protection.
People often believe a shut door is a problem. Maybe you lose a job, or a relationship ends. You’re devastated. But you come to find out that God shut the door for your protection.
Think about Noah. When he had done everything God had told him to do and all the animals and all of his family were on the ark, the Bible says: “Then the LORD shut the door behind Noah” (Genesis 7:16 GNT).
God wanted to protect Noah from the flood. He wants to protect you, too. Maybe God wants to shut a door for a new ministry assignment because he knows you’re not the right fit for it.
God will open doors for me if I open doors for others.
God wants you to learn to be generous. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:25, “Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped” (GNT).
My life has been blessed when others opened doors for me, particularly when I was young. Now I look for ways to open doors for others. I’ve found the more doors I open for others, the more God opens doors for me.
Sometimes God cracks open a door to give me a glimpse of my future long before I’m ready to walk through it.
Why does he do that? He wants to inspire you to grow. Maybe you’re not quite ready for what God wants to do, but he wants to prepare you for it.
God describes this in Habakkuk 2:3: “At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen!” (CEV).
When God gives you a glimpse of your destiny, he won’t give it to you all at once. If he did, it would intimidate you and you’d run away. Plus, he wants to keep you close and dependent upon him, so he shows you a little bit of what’s to come.
Pastor, you have doors in front of you right now. We all do. I pray you’ll have the discernment to know which ones to walk through, the courage to walk through the right ones, and the generosity to open doors for others.