I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. (Rev 3:8)

I believe there are many people who are looking at a ‘closed door’ right now in their life or ministry and wondering what God is doing. You may be feeling disempowered. You may be tempted to feel discouraged. But Heaven’s reality is that you are empowered to do everything God requires of you at this moment in time.

What is the Biblical Meaning of Open and Closed Doors?

In the New Testament, an ‘open door’ is a metaphor for an opportunity and access—whereas a ‘closed door’ means that access to something is currently being denied or blocked.

The Apostle Paul often used the imagery of closed and open doors, with regard to his ministry and opportunities to preach the Gospel. Here are 5 things we can learn from Paul’s example:


5 Things to Do When Confronted with a Closed Door

1. Pray About the Closed Door

‘And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.’ (Col 4:3, NIV)

The Apostle Paul experienced the ultimate closed door—imprisonment. However he did not give up. He continued to pray and call on others to pray for opportunities for the advancement of the Gospel.

You have the ability to partner with God and others in prayer to release God’s power and shift the situation.


2. Keep the Big Picture in Mind

This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.’ (2 Tim 2:8b-9, NIV)

Even when shut down and the door appeared to be closed, the Apostle Paul knew that the advancement of the Gospel was larger than his own ministry.

When you are facing a closed door, by faith, start declaring the perspective of Heaven over your life and the situation. Believe that God is ‘working all things together for good.’ (Rom 8:28)


3. Ask Questions about the Closed door

A closed door may mean one of several things:

  • The door is temporarily closed. If you were to go through it right now, it would be premature. God is at work in your life, as well as in the background, lining up people and circumstances to release the opportunity fully in His time.
  • The closed door is an obstacle to God’s purposes, allowed by Him to increase you in the area of faith and authority. Right now is the time to press in and break through. Spiritual warfare may be involved.
  • God is allowing that closed door because He has something better for you—in fact, that closed door is there to redirect you another way.

Don’t default to a single position concerning that closed door—maybe your Father has a different outcome than you expected. Step back and pray, invite the wisdom of leadership, and take whatever time you need to explore these options.


4. Look to Where the Holy Spirit is Giving you Peace

‘Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.’ (2 Cor 2:12-13, NKJV)

The Apostle Paul describes a time when he found that God had opened a door—but because he did not have peace, he left and went somewhere else. What an extraordinary statement! He knew that the open door was from God, but the timing was not right. How? He lacked inner rest.

The Greek word for rest here, anesis, (Strongs G425) is also translated ease, liberty and peace and means a loosening and relaxing. [1]

Later, Paul described how Titus came to them in Macedonia with a good report. It was a Divine appointment that brought comfort to Paul.

There is a rest that you can only know when you are in harmony and alignment with the Holy Spirit in the process of making a decision. [2]


5. Be open to God’s Redirection

‘Paul and his companions traveled…having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.’ (Acts 16:6-7, NIV)

Luke tells us of times when the Holy Spirit Himself closed doors, because God had other plans for the team. Even though there were places clearly on Paul’s heart, he was open to God’s redirection.

Perhaps God has allowed a way to be blocked because He has something else for you to do.

When you start to move with that Heavenly redirection, you will experience an unleashing of God’s power.

You will rejoice in His Presence. And you will move at an accelerated rate into the new thing He has for you. God has something that is far greater than that closed door represents!


Notes:

[1] Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, (c) 1985, Thomas Nelson.

[2] ‘And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…’ (Col 3:15a, NKJV) The Greek word ‘rule’ means ‘to act as an umpire… decide, determine’ (Strongs G1018) The Greek word ‘peace’ (Strongs G1515) is also translated rest and quietness. It is also used of harmony between individuals, hence my reference to harmony with the Holy Spirit. (Vines, above)


Further reading:


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family

32 thoughts on “That Closed Door Could Be A Heavenly Redirection”

  1. What do you do when the very place you should have been able to go for encouragement and words of wisdom is the place that the attacks came from? The abuse came from the church itself; from leadership. I’m talking about a christian church. I love the church and feel like I’ve been ostrasized by the very ones that I loved the most. I keep reading things like “when you’re hurt go to someone in authority in your church and get counsel.” What do you do when they are the ones that have hurt you the most?

    1. Hi L, I’m so sorry to hear of what you have been through, and do understand.
      The context of church life that we talk about is one that is a safe place, and healthy (remembering no church or leader will always respond perfectly). And I encourage those who have experienced hurt or abuse in church life that God does have a safe church community for you to step into – at the right time. In the meantime, encouragement and words of wisdom can come from others (mentors, counselors, friends) God places around your life for that purpose.
      I pray you receive a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit and are able to walk into 2015 knowing His healing and freedom in increasing measure.

  2. Dear Helen,

    Thank you for such a good post and I am the one whose been living behind the close door for the last 6 years and now in my 7 years. It has been a long time for me and I did whatever I needed to in sowing seeds for my harvest, helping the poor and repent on whatever I needed to repent of and etc. However, my breakthrough still hasn’t come yet. Thank you for your post that gave me some encouragement and I hope you can pray for me whenever you can remember. Thank you and may God use you in a mighty way.

    1. Hello,
      I read your article..You said you have done whatever you needed to in receiving Gods breakthrough..Please pray and ask The Lord to show YOU..not to work for it..what he would lead you to or reveal to your heart..Sometimes he speaks in gentle voice in the heart to bring instruction and understanding..It’s not about “works” of doing to get..Its about resting in his grace to receive..God bless you.

      1. Thank you Cheryl, that is so very, very good.
        Two key things right there, the first is intimacy with God. Sometimes the Holy Spirit does move us to act or speak for our breakthrough, the key is hearing Him and He provides the strength and anointing so we’re not labouring in our own strength.
        And the second key, receiving our inheritance, not having to labour for it but resting in and being confident what Jesus has already accomplished.
        ‘Wildlittlefan’, I pray your heart and anticipation rises as you look towards 2015 and all God has for you and through you.

        1. Hello,
          I listen to Hod’s voice everyday and do journaling as well. However, there are things I have to ask concerning God’s voice. It is not difficult to discern the devil’s deceptive voice but I feel that is difficult to discern our own wishful ( our own flesh ) fulfillment and God’s voice in many situation. Sometimes, it is even difficult in receiving God’s word when we do need to make some quick decision. For example, once I ask the Lord, then some answer just pop up in our mind, and we thought it was from God but end up foun out that wasn’t at all. Another example would be that sonetimes when I wuld ask for a confirmation through the Bible but the Bible passage pop up in my mind didn’t even exist in the Bible when you turn to that page. Let’s say an extreme case for illustration purpose that we prayed and we waited ,then it comes up something like turn your page to Ps 23:9 and then you turn to that page and everybody knows that Psalm 23 has no verse 9 exist in there. Then it sometimes happen like that once in awhile. So, my question is that how can we have a proper discernment if so. Do we just jeep on learning by mistake Or just by that peaceful feeling. (Of course, an initmate relationship with the Lord is important a all times and that’s understood). What’s your opinion or examples in discerning God’s voice. Longing for your reply.
          Thank you for your prayer and God bless you.

  3. I had a dream about many doors.
    In the beginning of the dream, I felt like I had completed my workday.
    I entered a warehouse and there were rows of doors stacked upright in rows. Some were lyong on the floor, askew. I sat on the ground by the doors and there was someone standing, facing me. No words were spoken, but I sensed a great urgency. I realized these doors needed to be sorted and inspected. Knowing it was the end of the day I said, “But, there’s not enough time to go through all these doors!” And the dream ended.
    So, most doors were closed and some open. I surely realized time is short, but would love feedback about the doors. Thank you for this blog…a true blessing!!

    1. Oh Darlene, I really love that dream!
      I am sure there will be personal meanings in there for you, but I see NT imagery in there that stirs my missions heart.

      **Completed workday, end of the day – Jesus’ parable of the labourers who were paid at the end of the day – some hired late in the day.

      **Warehouse, speaks of what is still available in Heavenly places for us

      **Someone imparting urgency – Jesus – sense of not enough time

      **Many doors, needing to be sorted – Apostle Paul’s usage of doors relating to opening and closing of opportunities to different places, cities and regions to the Gospel

      As I said, there will be a specific application to you, but this stirs me to respond to Jesus’ call to pray for labourers (Luke 10:2) as well as raise up, equip and empower them.

      Not enough time to go through the doors…not for one person, so the ‘army’ must be raised up. 🙂

      1. Wow Helen! Thank you for this deeper insight.
        How exciting to consider God’s army will raise up soon! How encouraging. I am in awe of His amazing communication in the church body.
        My personal application I take is I must be diligent about disciplining myself, especially in writing.
        But, I knew this dream was larger than that. I really appreciate your obediance to His service. God bless you and thanks so much!

    2. I am concerned that the Lord is saying there are ministries that you think are shut to you, but go through the possibilities even though you think they are no good. You may find you can minister to others in many of those situations; however, pray for wisdom for God to show you which doors you should try because the time is short, and of course you can’t work through all of them. IDK, but please pray about the possibility of that interpretation. I feel it might be a warning. In fact, it makes me want to check all my “doors” as well.

      1. Hi Amy, thank you for that, there will be people that interpretation speaks to, that’s for sure!
        For each person what the Holy Spirit is saying will be different depending upon the circumstances, which is why I have shared some different possibilities of what a closed door might mean. It’s good not to presume that one response is the best before praying and receiving Godly advice is helpful, too.
        Our God is full of grace and will show you His way for you as you ask for His wisdom and leading.

      2. Thanks Amy,

        Thank you for sharing your insight.
        I wondered about that myself. I feel God’s call, but am frustrated by my lack of direction. I pray to God for clarification. I also feel God encouraging me to be positive, but I must admit I feel stuck. I pray that my “waiting on Him” is not an excuse to do nothing. Thank you for letting me babble!

  4. Rev Dr Paul Anane

    Waoooo, what a message? This is a timely message for me as an individual and for my entire ministry for the year 2015. I wanna tell you that your message has done a miracle in my life and the church (Goshen Community Baptist Church). May God increase your revelatory gift and anoint you the more.

    1. Thank you, Rev Dr. Paul, so much for sharing this miracle! To say it is encouraging is an understatement and I appreciate you bothering to share it. I am naturally timid but, I want to be obedient to His will in stirring up my gifts. Your message helps alot!
      Praise God and may He bless your ministry and increase holiness to expose His power to fight the good fight in these last days!!

    2. Rev Dr Paul, thank you for your message and testimony of God’s grace. Our Father is faithful and timely in His Word!
      May 2015 bring with it a fresh sense of God’s moving amongst you with focus and growth for your new season.

  5. Wow, is all I have to say. Your article really blessed me at a crucial moment in my life! Glory to God and thank you for letting him use you.

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