2 Corinthians 5:7
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
I would venture to say most of us are familiar with the figurative idea of open doors versus closed doors. When pursuing a particular course of action many of us proceed with the idea God will direct our steps by opening or closing doors. If He wants us to go down a certain path He will open doors for us to proceed, but if that course is not His will, He will close the door and we will know to stop or go a different direction.
While this line of thinking can be wise, I know I have personally prayed many times God would direct my steps by opening or closing a door, I would suggest things are not always so cut and dry.
You see, while many of us have bought into the idea if something is God’s will for us doors will swing open and we will proceed through with ease, this is sometimes not the case.
In reality, God’s will for our life will often mean blazing our own trail rather than taking the path of least resistance.
Consider the story of Moses. God called Moses to free the Israelites from the oppression of slavery under the Egyptian Pharaoh. While God’s call for Moses was clear, doors did not exactly swing wide open. Rather, Moses had to approach Pharaoh multiple times to request he let the Israelites go. And let’s just be honest, these exchanges were not exactly pleasant interactions. Rather, when Pharaoh repeatedly refused, God sent ten separate plagues to accompany Moses’ request. If Moses had waited for an open door, He would have quit before he started. There were lessons both he and the Israelites needed to learn prior to their journey in the desert.
Moses and the Israelites learned the difficult truth, if God calls us to do something, we are to obey, persist, and accomplish it in faith regardless if a door opens or not.
Last fall I read the book Love Does by Bob Goff along with my adult small group. In the book, Goff tells a humorous but impactful story of how he was accepted into law school. After being rejected by every school he applied to, Goff decided to approach the Dean of the law school he really wanted to attend hoping if he pleaded his case, the Dean would open the door so to speak and let him in. Graciously hearing Goff out, the Dean politely turned him down and escorted him out of his office. Goff’s fate was essentially sealed as the door figuratively and literally shut behind him.
While Goff could have easily given up as I think most of us would, he knew this was a door God wanted him to knock down. He was certain God was calling him to attend this school. So what did he do? With a week before classes began, he parked himself outside the Dean’s office every day and each time he saw the Dean he would say, “All you have to do is tell me, ‘Go buy your books.’” Days came and went and then the school year began and classes started. The door was not only shut, but now appeared to be bolted as well. Not giving up, Goff continued to sit and wait outside the Dean’s office. After classes had been in session for a full week, the Dean quietly approach Bob and with a smile said, “Go buy your books.” At once the door was knocked down and Goff ran through it.
Since completing law school, God has used Goff in powerful ways as a lawyer. Thousands of lives have been forever changed by Goff, lives that never would have been impacted if Goff had given up because the door to law school seemed closed. As Goff said, “I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down.”
So now for the million-dollar question we all are wondering. How do we know what doors to let remain shut and what doors to knock down?
While I would love to give you a simple three-step formula that would answer this question for you every time, there is only one answer I know and it is not quite as straightforward.
The only way we will know which doors to keep shut and which doors to knock down is by walking closely with God in a relationship built on faith. We need to be in communication with God through prayer and reading His Word. We also need to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit daily. We will only know which doors to knock down when we walk closely with God and seek to discern how He is leading, committed to His will and not our own.
What seemingly closed door is before you today? Do you wonder if it is one you are to knock down? If so, spend time with God, ask Him what you should do and trust as you seek Him and walk by faith He will direct your steps.
Here’s to walking by faith and going through any door God calls us to go through, open or otherwise.