When God Shuts a door.
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 openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.
Samuel Akins worked in a bank for fifteen years until there was a change in management and he was laid off. After searching for another job for months he came to the realisation that his skill-set was useful in the banking industry and the banks had no vacancy for a man at his level. After he bemoaned his situation for a few more months he started praying and asking The Lord what to do with his life, that was when Lord stirred up an idea He had given him some years earlier which was to venture into real estate development. When The Lord gave him that idea he was comfortable in the bank and refused to explore it. But after months of joblessness and dwindling financial resources he was desperate for solutions to his situation, so he pursued and developed that idea. Today the company he launched about ten years ago have built impressive estates in various cities in Nigeria. In an interview he ascribed his success to ‘the door God shut by being laid off at his bank.’ He said if that hadn’t happened he wouldn’t have ventured out to launch his company which has brought him immense success and emotional satisfaction.
God opens doors and shuts doors in order to establish his kingdom and effect His will, plan and purpose in our lives.
No one likes to talk about shut doors. We all want The Lord to open new doors for us, and keep on opening them, not shut the ones that are already open to us. Doors refer to opportunities in relationships, business, ministry and career. Sometimes we get scared that an open door may get shut; a relationship, a business or a job may come to an end, therefore we do all in our power to keep that door open.
So that we are clear, no one has the power to open a door and keep it open. There is absolutely nothing we can do in our own power to keep a door open. When it is shut, it is shut. In our text The Lord is the one who opens a door that no man can shut and when He shuts a door, no man can open it. It is therefore futile to try to open a door which The Lord has shut.
We should realise that not all doors are opened by The Lord. It is immaturity that makes us think that every opportunity we see is from The Lord. So that you know, the devil has power in this earth realm to open doors. He has his agents and can move any one of them to open a door that looks good superficially. It is after thorough examination that you will discover that some doors are not of God.
Why does the devil open doors?
1. To Distract you.
When you are looking at some bright, shiny satanic opportunity, you will fail to see what The Lord is trying to show you.
2. To Derail you.
The devil opens doors and creates opportunities to derail us from the pursuit of God’s plan for our lives. Some Christians are so immature and jump at every opportunity that looks good not realising that some opportunities were designed to throw us off the right path. Some years ago this brother who was on fire for The Lord got an opportunity to make some money in business and he took it. When I met him I asked him how his ministry was doing. He answered that he was no longer in ministry. That open door derailed him from the pursuit of the calling of God on his life.
3. To Distance you.
The enemy can push you to take an opportunity that will distance you geographically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually from God’s plan for your life. If you accept a business, career, ministry or financial opportunity to move away from a geographical location where God has planted you for a season, you will be essentially distancing yourself from the gravitational centre and core of your calling. There are relationships you get into and they begin to pull you away from God and spiritual things. They pull you away from a place of deep spiritual intimacy with The Lord. You lose interest in spiritual things and the fire in your heart goes out. Such a relationship is from the enemy. You must get rid of it.
4. To Destroy you.
Ultimately any door the enemy opens is designed to destroy us.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Destruction is the end game of the enemy. There is absolutely nothing good that comes form the enemy. If an opportunity is not from God, then it is from the enemy and it is designed to destroy everything good, everything valuable in your life.
A dear brother accepted a job in an industry that is known for partying and philandering. When he started the job he kept himself away from the activities that were visibly sinful. Some of his colleagues told him that he would soon join them. They told him that stronger christians had fallen in that industry. The brother told them it would never happen to him. Some months into the job, he stayed at far away hotels and there would be free drinks (some times call girls) supplied by the organisation. After a while he began to linger around at their parties and started craving the things he saw. Everyone was doing it but he was the odd man out. That was when The Lord delivered him from destruction by mercifully getting him fired from that opportunity from hell.
When the Lord opens a door before us, it is always for a time, a season and for a reason. Open doors do not last forever. If we don’t realise this we may allow a good door to become a weapon in the hand of the enemy against us. The Lord who opens a door before us also has the power to shut it and He shuts it without conferring with us, taking permission from us, seeking our approval or even informing us that the door would be shut. You wake up one morning and a door has been shut to you and you had no inkling whatsoever that it was going to happen. Sometimes The Lord gives us signs, warnings and signals but we are so caught up in the euphoria of the success of the open door that we ignore what The Lord is telling us.
Many of us need to grow up. We can be such babies when it comes to discerning spiritual realities behind the events in our lives. We often ascribe negative connotations to a shut door. We mostly attribute a shut to an enemy working against us in some way, but it isn’t always so.
A shut door is not a ‘spiritual attack.’
A shut door is not your enemies fighting against your progress.
A shut door is not God punishing you for your mistakes, sins and misdeeds.
A shut door is not karma or any of that new age nonsense being peddled around by motivational speakers.
1 Corinthians 16:9
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
Although the devil contends against every door The Lord opens before us, but the devil has no power to shut that door unless The Lord permits it. We can crush every satanic opposition that arises against God’s will in our lives by enforcing our authority over them in the name of Jesus.
A shut door is and can be a blessing. May The Lord open our eyes to see this.
Read our text again. When The Lord opens a door it is a blessing.
When The Lord shuts a door, it is also a blessing.
So no matter which way the door goes, it is a blessing to you as long as you are in pursuit of God’s will for your life.
May The Lord shut every wrong door in your life.
May The Lord shut wrong relationships, connections and contacts.
May The Lord shut the door of every career or business that will derail you from his plan for your life.
May The Lord open good doors, the right doors, profitable doors, life transforming doors.
There are good doors that the Lord shuts. Yes, it is The Lord shutting good doors and not the enemy. The enemy can do nothing unless The Lord permits him. So we have nothing to be afraid of.
Why does The Lord shut good doors he opened for us, doors that have been a blessing to us, increased us, promoted us?
1. The Lord shuts a door when it has served its divine purpose in our lives. It may be a door of relationship, business, ministry or career. When it has served its purpose in God’s agenda for your life then it is time to shut it down and move on to what God is doing now. Read my article ‘When God moves on.’
2. The Lord shuts a door when you have outgrown it. If The Lord doesn’t shut some doors we may never feel the need to venture, step out to dare new things. We may remain at the same position for a long time instead of stretching our faith to move on to more exciting opportunities in life. If The Lord doesn’t shut some doors we will never grow and attain our full potential in life.
3. The Lord shuts a door when he has something better planned for you. He shuts it when this present door has become a hinderance to your moving on to fulfil the assignment on your life for this season. He shuts the door to reposition you in the centre of His will for that season of your life.
4. The Lord shuts a door if it has become a source of secret pride in your heart. He shuts it if that door becomes an idol in your life. When we worship the door The Lord has opened for us instead of deepening our relationship with Him, then it is time for The Lord to shut that door. When a relationship, business, career or ministry becomes a secret source of spiritual pride, when it becomes our object of worship, then God moves against it in his mercy to deliver us from destruction.
When The Lord wants to shut a door He tells you to move on to something else. If you refuse and decide to hold on, he sends a storm against that door. You may think that the storm is against you because everything goes completely chaotic and crazy in your life, but the storm is against that door. That storm will continue until the Lord shuts that door or you exit that situation in obedience to His will. Some times the devil sends a storm against the will of God for your life. If you discern that a storm is demonic, you can crush every form of satanic opposition by exerting and enforcing your authority in the name of Jesus.
A word of advice. Don’t try to keep open a door which The Lord has shut or you may be contending against The Lord himself. I wouldn’t advice you to do that. Some people love to learn by their experience, so they experiment by standing against a divine move of God. Such people have sad stories to tell.
However for those who will humble themselves and seek The Lord for clarity and direction in the place of prayer, may The Lord grant you grace and wisdom to align yourself with His will, so that you may step into the open door He has set before you as you walk away from the shut door behind you.