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. 
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. 
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!
 Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, (c) 1985, Thomas Nelson.
 ‘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)
- Signs Your Prophetic Destiny is Being Unleashed
- Look Up! The Windows of Heaven are Open! (Heaven’s open windows are more powerful than earth’s closed doors)
- Personal Guidance for the Important Decisions of Life
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family