What is a door?
A door is a means through which we enter and exit a place, a project or a people. A door could be physical, spiritual or it could be metaphoric. In John 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the door.” A physical door was opened for Peter to escape the plans of the wicked, while a door was opened to Paul to preach the gospel to the unreached. An open door is an unusual opportunity or uncommon favour which leads to financial, business, relational and personal success. An open door also means progress, acceleration and victory in life and ministry.
In Revelations 3:7-8, the Bible says, ‘And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts and no man opens;
I know your works:behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it:for you have a little strength, and you have kept my word, and have not denied my name.’
From this passage of scripture we see very clearly that the ONE who opens and shuts doors is Jesus Christ, not you, not your great faith, nor your awesome power in prayer. When the Lord opens a door for us, no one can shut it and when He shuts a door, no one can open it.
Faith and prayer helps to align us with His Will, purpose and plan for our lives. It is The Lord who opens doors for us so that His purpose and Will may be done in our lives. The Lord doesn’t open doors for us because of our prayers, He opens doors because of His Will for our lives. He doesn’t open doors so that we may ‘get rich and become great.’ He opens doors for His own purpose and good pleasure. It is completely irrelevant how much we desire a particular door to be open to us, if it is not in His Will for our lives, it stays shut. It may be emotionally painful to us when a door stays shut, but as soldiers in the Master’s service, we are called to do His will, not satisfy our selfish desires. It is very important that we understand that The Lord opens doors so that we may be strategically positioned to DO His will. First we seek His Will and His Kingdom, then all other things are added to our lives.
2 Corinthians 2:12
Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of The Lord.
It is dangerous to open doors for ourselves so that we can be ‘successful’. Financial, business and social success outside of God’s Will is failure in the eyes of The Lord. No matter how zealous we are for The Lord and His Kingdom, we should never open doors by our own power. Having money, social connections and material resources makes us feel invincible, like there is absolutely nothing impossible to us, so we are tempted to open doors by ourselves, for our own personal pleasures and desires. This is a recipe for disaster. No matter how beautiful a door is, if the Lord does not open it Himself, for His own purpose and plan, it will lead to nothing but trouble. Every believer must understand that doors open for us in God’s own timing, not ours. Forcing a door to open outside of God’s Will and timing will complicate your life, physically endanger you and create unnecessary problems for you.
In 2Corinthians 2:12, it was The Lord who opened the door, not Paul. No matter how zealous we are, we should not try to open doors by our own power or ability. Any door we open by our own power will lead to pain, loss and sorrow. When we scheme, connive and manipulate people to open doors for us, we are inadvertently helping the enemy and furthering his cause. Any door that is opened in the flesh will grant access to the enemy and lead to complete chaos in our lives. But when The Lord Himself opens doors for us, it brings order, peace and progress in our lives.
It is important that we understand that men, no matter how powerful, influential and rich they are, cannot open doors for us unless The Lord opens those doors. If we look unto and depend on men to open doors for us, they will fail us or succeed in opening their own doors for us and enslave us. Human help, no matter how well intentioned, ultimately leads to slavery and bondage. The Lord may use a man to open a door for you, but it is The Lord who opened it, not that man. The Lord opens doors of provision and deliverance for His people without the help, aid or assistance of any man. In Acts 5:19, 12:7-12, The Lord sent His angels to open doors supernaturally for His saints without the help of men. The Lord can use anybody to do His Will and carry out His purpose in our lives. We should therefore be careful not to arrogate glory to men instead of giving it to The Lord who uses men as tools and channels to Do His Will.
The Lord also shuts doors in our lives. Believers don’t want to hear that God shuts certain doors in their lives. There are two reasons why a door stays shut: first, to stop us from gaining access to a place, person or project which is outside of God’s Will for our lives. Second, the door is shut by the Lord for our protection, to keep us from entering a dangerous situation. We should not be too quick to attribute every shut door to ‘the devil’ or our enemies. No door can be shut in our lives unless the Lord permits it. So, if a door shuts in our face, we shouldn’t be too quick to blame our ‘enemies’ or our ‘sins’ for it. Before we go into a time of warfare prayer, it is best to ask The Lord what is really going on and what to do about it.
In Revelations 3:7-8, The Lord said He had already opened a door for the Church in Philadelphia. That door was opened by The Lord long before the Church of Philadelphia had a need for the door to be open. When we walk with The Lord, in the centre of His Will for our lives, He goes ahead of us and opens doors that are relevant and strategic to the fulfilment of His Will.
We don’t have the power to open doors, if we did, then we wouldn’t need The Lord in our lives. Our prayers do not open doors unless The Lord opens them for us. If our prayers did open doors, then we may begin to think that if we want doors open, all we have to do is pray. But this will turn prayer into a manipulative tool. Instead of prayer being a time of intimacy, openness and refreshing from The Lord, it becomes an idol.
So what purpose does prayer serve in our lives? It helps us see and be positioned inside the door the Lord has opened for us. It is in the place of prayer that The Lord guides us and shows us in what direction to go. It is in the place of prayer that The Lord corrects, cleanses and sets us on the right path to pursue His Will. It is in the place of prayer that we pull down satanic strongholds which seek to hinder our access to doors already opened by the power of God. In 1 Corinthians 16:9, Paul said:
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
The Christian race is about the pursuit of God’s Will, not the pursuit of open doors, success or breakthroughs. Our duty as believers is to seek to deepen our relationship with The Lord through prayer and the study of His Word, to grow in grace and to be conformed daily to the character of Christ. As we set our hearts to do this, The Lord will open the necessary doors before us to do His Will.