September 5, 2008
Confronting Closed Doors

Acts 16:5-12

We cannot help feeling disappointed when a door of opportunity closes. But God will often prevent us from going forward so He can redirect our steps toward another, wiser pathway. What determines whether we partake of His greater blessing is our reaction—will we beat against the barred door or look for a new opening?

Paul’s second missionary journey included a series of divine “no admittance signs.” He set out to visit the churches he started across Asia, but the Holy Spirit led him away from city after city. How frustrating it must have been to be prevented from carrying out the gospel commission (Matt. 28:19)!

Paul kept traveling in search of fertile ground where he could plant a new church; at last the Lord revealed an open door to Macedonia. The new route took him into some of the key cities of that day. Philippi, Corinth, and Ephesus were major commerce centers teeming with dignitaries and foreign traders who could carry the gospel westward farther and faster than Paul.

The apostle set out with a wise and rational plan, but human reasoning isn’t always reliable. The Bible tells us to trust in the Lord instead of relying on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5). If we are to follow God’s will for our life, we must live by the Spirit’s prompting—consider that the God of the universe is taking a moment to nudge you in the right direction so that you will be fruitful and blessed. Follow Him and He will direct your steps down the right paths and the through the best doorways.

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