(This is Part 5 in a 6-Part Series on “Discerning an Open Door.”)
Read Part 1: 3 Ways to Know if An Open Door is From God
Read Part 2: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Take That Open Door
When a job offer comes your way, a new house looks irresistible and affordable, or a golden opportunity seems to fall into your lap, how do you know if it’s really from God?
The Bible is full of wisdom to help us discern God’s will and make decisions that are not just good ones, but the best ones. Some “open doors” might be good opportunities, but not necessarily the best ones for us. So here are seven scriptures to help us discern if an open door or opportunity is from God and represents His best:
1. 1 John 5:14-15 – The Prayed-Over Door
Is this opportunity or “open door” one that you have asked God for, according to His will? 1 John 5:14-15 tells us: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (NASB). To pray for something according to God’s will is to ask God the Father for something on behalf of His Son, Jesus. In other words, ask for what Jesus would ask for. If that door represents something you have asked for, by faith, knowing God has heard you, and you have asked for God’s glory not your personal gain, it is likely a door He has opened in response to your request.
2. Proverbs 16:3 – The Committed Door
“Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Is this open door something that has taken you completely off-guard? Or is it something you have committed to God and are now seeing it develop into an established plan? God honors what we commit to Him so if this opportunity is one you have been diligent to commit to God, it may be coming to fruition because of Him.
3. Psalm 84:11 – The Door of Reward
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” God’s Word continually refers to Him as a shield, protecting us from what’s not good for us. Furthermore, this passage tells us that God will not withhold what is truly good for those who are walking uprightly. Are you walking uprightly by obeying Him and honoring Him with your life? If so, this opportunity may be the “good thing” God won’t withhold from you.
4. 2 Timothy 1:7 – The “No Fear” Door
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Is there hesitation on your part to enter this door? Some of that might be a normal uneasiness about change. But if there is fear or a feeling of anxiety, or even pressure to act soon or the opportunity will be gone, the situation is likely not being offered by God. The door God opens for you will present peace in your soul as you pray about it (Philippians 4:6-7).
5. Matthew 18:15-16 – The Confirmed Door
In Matthew 18:15-16, Jesus laid out instructions for confronting sin among believers saying "But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'" I believe the same applies when it comes to God confirming something in His Word. He will often confirm or establish a matter by "two or three witnesses" whether they be verses from the Word of God, advice from a pastor or well-respected person who is grounded in Scripture, or a non-compromising circumstance that continues to present itself. Through prayer, discernment and seeking godly counsel, you should be able to tell if that "open door" and its confirmations are truly coming from God.
6. Philippians 4:13 – The “Failure without Christ” Door
Sometimes we shy away from opportunities or open doors because they look bigger than we are and we feel unqualified to proceed. But this is often because we fear we will fail and we tend to think God will only call us to something we are capable of doing. But God often calls us first and then equips us for the task. Philippians 4:13 tells us “I can do all things]through Him who strengthens me.” God may very well be calling you to an open door in which He can do through you what is beyond you. Don’t shrink back if you feel unqualified. Focus instead on an opportunity God may be giving you to equip you through His power.
7. Hebrews 11:6 – The “Only by Faith” Door
Is your opportunity a no-brainer? Does it require no faith on your part at all to walk through that door? Then it might just be another opportunity, but not necessarily God’s best for you. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,” (NASB). So don’t think that God will call you to something you can do without Him that won’t require an ounce of faith. He wants your life to glorify Him and please Him in every regard. And that takes faith. So if your open door is one that requires faith on your part to just walk through it, then God might be the One who is very likely holding that door open for you. Walk through it boldly and don’t look back.
Watch for the concluding piece next week: 5 Reasons NOT to Take Every Open Door That Comes Your Way
Cindi McMenamin is a Bible teacher and national speaker who helps women and couples find strength for the soul. She is the author of 15 books, including When Women Walk Alone, When Couples Walk Together, God's Whispers to a Woman's Heart, and her newest, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom. For more on her books, ministry, or free resources to strengthen your soul or marriage, see her website: StrengthForTheSoul.com
Publication date: May 20, 2016