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  • Writer's pictureMuyiwa Mepaiyeda

Open and Closed Doors

DOORS COME IN DIFFERENT shapes and sizes— physical and spiritual. They shut out the unwelcomed and grant access to invited guests. 

When God warned Cain not to get upset, he wasn’t talking of a real door, but a spiritual one.

Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it,” said God. (Genesis 4:6-7)

God warned Cain not to open the door of his heart to sin—which means that doors have no ability of their own—they are closed or opened by someone. 

Doors are gateways—entry and exit points. And at times, they are used as symbols.

The Narrative

DURING THE MISSIONARY TRAVELS of Paul and his companions through Phrygia and Galatia, the Holy Spirit kept them from preaching the word in Asia. (Acts 16:6)

When they wanted to go to Bithynia, the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them. (Acts 16:7)

But when they got to Troas, Paul had a vision in the night. A man of Macedonia calling them to come and help them. (Acts 16:9)

They heeded the call and went to Macedonia. 

Behind closed doors.

THE FIRST EASTER was a disappointing one for the disciples of Jesus. They felt like the reality of his loss would swallow their faith.

The fear made Peter deny Jesus.

For the fear that the Jewish leaders will plan their arrests, they bolted the doors behind them. Disappointment filled the air.

But Jesus appeared to them behind those closed doors—which means that a closed door cannot keep God out. (John 20:19-20)

Can God close doors? Yes. But why does God close doors? 

To redirect you.

GOD CLOSED THE DOOR on Paul and his friends to redirect them.

The incentive in such a situation is to wait and see what God will do. They expected, and God told them where He wanted them to go.

If you're going to do God's will, you need His instructions. 

For perfect timing.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING TO GOD. He may use the waiting time to prepare you for what is ahead.

For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

To protect you.

GOD LOOKS at the bigger picture. He may close a door because he has a better plan.

When Pharaoh let the people go, God didn’t lead them on the road through Philistine territory, although that was the shortest route. God said, “If they see that they have to fight a war, they may change their minds and go back to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17)

We’ve heard stories of people missing a bus or a flight and being saved from an accident.

God closes doors on His children temporarily to keep them safe and inspire them.

A closed door may be to move on.

GOD MAY SHUT A DOOR so that you can move on. It may just be the time to change direction.

Peter had fished all night and caught nothing. When Jesus got into his boat, he told Peter to launch into the deep and cast his net.  (Luke 5:4) And Peter caught so much fish.

The great catch was an inclination that Peter's life would change. God planned to make him a fisher of men. 

He closed the door because he wanted Peter to change his direction. 

To get your attention.

WHEN THE ANGEL stood in front of Balaam’s donkey, it was to get his attention.

God opened his eyes, and the angel said, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” (Numbers 22:35) 

To glorify His Name

GOD CLOSES DOORS to receive the glory.

When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)


DISAPPOINTMENT IN THE FORM of a closed door is a call to prayer. It's a time to find out what God is trying to say to you. 

When a door closes in your life, know that God has your best interest at heart. He has much more than you can ever ask or imagine. 

There is no door God cannot open except the one that He wants to be shut.

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