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(This is Part 3 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
Don’t you love it when a door flings open – especially one that looks like a great opportunity?
Many Christians automatically assume an “open door” is from God, especially if it’s something they’ve been wanting, or even praying about. But just because a door opens, and it looks appealing, doesn’t necessarily mean it is from God. And just because there might be obstacles to walking through it, doesn’t mean it’s not.
Scripture gives us guidance when it comes to discerning the will of God and whether or not that open door is from Him. Based on scripture, here are four more questions to consider before you walk through that “open door”:
1. Will God remain first in my life if I take this opportunity?
Sometimes opportunities come our way that compete with our allegiance to Christ. We don’t see them that way at first, but they can eventually become a god in our life. Will walking through this open door keep God on the throne of your life or will it dethrone Him and cause you to worship something else? Work can become a god. So can a relationship. So can a position of importance or recognition. Ask God to examine your heart and make sure your motives are right and to protect you from anything that might replace Him on the throne of your life. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, ESV). Will this open door allow you to continue to do that?
2. Will this open door interfere with godly priorities?
Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, ESV). In order to be seeking the kingdom we must have kingdom priorities. Will this open door mean less time to serve God and be in His Word, less time to cultivate a strong marriage, less time with your children at a time when they need you? Will it interfere with regular church attendance, corporate worship, fellowship with the saints, and ministry you are currently involved in or keep telling yourself you should be involved in? If not, then God may, in fact, be rewarding you with this open door.
3. Do I truly desire what appears to be on the other side of this door?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting something very badly, as long as we don’t want it more than God. As God becomes our number one delight, He is pleased to grant the desires of our hearts.
4. Have I prayed about this and experienced God’s peace?
God promises in His Word that when we pray about everything, telling God what we need and thanking Him for what He has done, then we “will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT). Therefore, if you’re praying about that open door, you should have peace in the “yes” or peace in the “no.” But if you experience stress or fear when it comes to taking that opportunity, my guess is that it isn’t from God since Scripture tells us “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
Consider these four questions prayerfully and you will have more of a certainty whether that “open door” is really from God. And if after prayer you’re convinced it is… walk through it confidently.
Watch for Part 4 Next Week: 5 Questions to Ask if That Open Door Looks Uncertain
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 6, 2016