Open Doors Aren’t Always Open Doors


With Hurricane Matthew moving in our direction at a speed of over 100 miles per hour, forecasters warned us to prepare for a possibly devastating storm.

After a quick shopping trip for supplies, I exited the store in the drizzling rain, ran to my car, and quickly opened the door.  When I did, I noticed the car contained many items that were unfamiliar to me. I was puzzled.

I mentally reviewed the number of reasons this should be my car:

First, this is the area of the parking lot where I left my car.

Second, this car is the same make, model, and color of my car.

Third, I had used my key remote and this door opened for me!

Interestingly, all of these circumstances lined up, I needed a way out of the impending storm, and the door was open.  However, I quickly realized that I was not entitled to the contents of this car!

An open door is not always an open door!

Finally, I looked a few parking spaces away and there was MY car.

Entering open doors requires observation of much more than external circumstances.

Entering God’s open doors requires spiritual discernment.

A study of what the Bible says about doors confirms my conclusion and renders many clichés about open doors meaningless.

It reveals that:

  • Every open door is not opened by God (Proverbs 9:13-17)
  • Every blocked door is not a “No.”

The door of the tomb in which Jesus was laid was initially blocked by a stone. (Matthew 27:60)

When the door of the house was blocked, the friends of the paralytic tore up the roof. (Mark 2:1-5)

It also reveals that:

Our answered prayer may involve one door miraculously opened and then another upon which we must knock until it is opened.

An angel opened the prison door for Peter, but then, after his miraculous deliverance, he had to knock repeatedly on the door of the house where his friends had gathered to pray for him. (Acts 12:6-16)

Open doors of great work for God may still contain challenges.

There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me. (1Co 16:9 NLT)

Additionally, the Bible helps us realize that:

It is tempting to enter a door that is obviously open while discouraged or fearful.

Sarai’s womb was closed and Hagar’s was open. Sarai said, “… perhaps I shall obtain … by her.” God did not intervene with their choice driven by reasoning. Hagar conceived.(Genesis 6:1-2) (Notice the word “perhaps.”)

Much prayer had preceded this reasoning. It appears Abraham had repeatedly gone back to God for clarification during this process of obtaining God’s promise of a child, with the exception of this one time!

The appearance of permanently closed doors may follow a promise.

God had promised Abraham that he would have many descendants (Genesis 15:5), but Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s wives all initially faced barrenness. (Genesis 25:21, Genesis 29:31, Genesis 30:22).

These observations produce a big question.

How do we discern which doors are open to us?

Jesus made a connection between doors and prayer.

 The disciples said, “…Lord teach us to pray…” Luke 11:1. He taught them how to pray and then followed His teaching with practical application involving a man who needed something at midnight when the door was shut. This man knocked on a closed door.(Luke 11:5-10.)

 Jesus said that we are to ask, seek, and KNOCK (emphasis mine).

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Luke 11:9 NKJV) 

Jesus promised access to His Holy Spirit Who will guide us into truth and show us what is given to us by God.

“…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; ….” John 16:13 NKJV

“Now we have received, … the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1Co 2:12 NKJV

Father, I pray we enter only the doors that You have truly opened for us. May we also not stop short of Your promises and plans for us, but knock on closed doors through prayer until Your Holy Spirit shows us what is or is not ours. Please give us the spiritual wisdom to discern accurately, and then follow Your desire and plan for us.

Your DoAhead Friend,


About Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher is a mother of 3 sons (and yes, she’s lived to tell about it!), a grandmother, first grade teacher, speaker, writer, and Bible study teacher. Her writing and speaking are infused with God’s Word, humor, and often, “what just happened.” Lauren's deepest desire is to encourage other women to love Jesus with all of their heart, soul, and mind. Lauren is a monthly contributor at DoAhead Woman.


  1. Diane White says:

    Lauren, wonderful article, just what I needed to read today, thank you!

  2. Wisdom from a heart after God…..priceless ❤️

  3. Darlene Tenney says:

    What encouragement when we feel a door is closed, perhaps we need to lean more on how God will open that door if it is what He wants for us. “ask … believing.

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