Just because an opportunity presents itself, and it looks appealing, doesn’t necessarily mean it is from God. And likewise, just because an open door looks a little uncertain, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk through it.
The key is knowing how to discern if an opportunity is really an open door from God. I don’t want to miss those open doors because I was afraid to walk through them. But I also don’t want to take every opportunity that comes along, assuming it is from God’s hand and has his blessings attached.
In a recent conversation with a friend, we talked about the faith and courage to walk through a door that God is holding open for us, even if we’re not exactly sure of what’s on the other side. But then the question came up: How can you tell if God is the one opening the door?
The Bible gives us some principles to help us discern if an “open door” or opportunity is really from God:
1. The Door that God Opens Will Never Contradict His Word
Many Christians see opportunities to make more money as an open door from God, even though the opportunity means a job that will keep them from regular fellowship or service in their church. However, God’s Word tells us not to neglect meeting together for worship (Hebrews 10:25).
2. The Door that God Opens Will be Accompanied by Confirmation
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.
3. The Door God Opens Will Require You to Depend on Him
God is not going to give us something that will alienate us from him or make us believe we no longer need him. He is a God of relationship, and a God who insists upon being first in our lives (Matthew 6:33 says: “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.” Many times an “open door” from God is one that allows our faith to be stretched and strengthened. That, after all, is God’s objective for us: to grow in faith and Christ-likeness.
Take your opportunity or “open door” to God and ask for his confirmation – through his Word and godly counsel from others – and his peace in the decision, and you can have the assurance that you aren’t just choosing a door at random, but you’re carefully walking through the ones he wants you to enter.