What comes to mind when you think of a door? What about a closed door versus an open door?
I love the metaphor of an “opened door” in the Bible. We encounter this term several times in the New Testament, and it refers to God opening a “door” for people to go through and serve Him in some capacity or another. Paul states this in both letters to the Corinthians:
“But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me…” (1 Cor. 16:8-9)
“I found that the Lord had opened a door for me”. (2 Cor 2:12)
In the book of Revelations, God tells the church in Philadelphia:
“These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Rev 3:7-8)
God is inviting us to see the open doors in front of us and step through them in faith and obedience to Him. He is calling us to follow Him into whatever opportunities He gives us, to care for others, share the gospel, speak a kind word to someone, or help those in need.
So why is it that we often don’t step through the doors God places before us? Fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, fear of failure or difficulties, inconvenience, or just plain unwillingness are some very common factors we all deal with at some point or another.
On the other hand, people who willingly step forward in obedience to God, seize opportunities to benefit others, go out on a limb, and risk hardships, failure, or embarrassment, are the ones who have more fulfilled, rewarding lives. They have fewer regrets, and they are the ones who experience greater growth and see God’s power active in their lives and people’s lives around them.
Whether we cower behind a door, slam the door in God’s face, or step out and through a given door will impact our character, identity, and who we will become as a person. We can stay in our safe little bubble, our comfort zone, never attempting anything new or risky, and remain the same until death. Or we can find adventure, greater trust and dependence on God, and much growth as we impact this world for the better and the glory of God.
Is your life marked by safe, same-old, boring day-to-day routine? Or do you seize opportunities to make a difference, break out of the mold of the daily grind, make friends with strangers across the room, give a word of comfort or encouragement to someone, or share the love of God with others by meeting their needs or telling them about Jesus?
Do you see the world around you through the lens of your own small little life and your own small little problems? Or do you see massive problems and therefore massive opportunities to make a difference in this world, to change the plight of the oppressed, the lonely, and hungry, to free the trafficked slaves, to fight for the life of the unborn and orphan, to give respect and love to the outcast and forgotten, to bring light and hope to those in darkness?
God is placing open doors in front of all of us. Some look small and seemingly insignificant but will have long-lasting effects, and some are great big wide-open doors that will radically change our world and the world around us forever. No matter which door, whether great or small, God invites us to go through them, out into the world where He is at work, to bring His Kingdom to all who would receive it.
Let’s train our eyes to see the open doors, our ears to hear the invitation to step through them, and our hearts to trust and obey God as we follow Him wherever He chooses to lead us.