I have always believed in and tried to practice the open door principle in life. This principle is simply to believe that God opens doors to do His will while closing ones that He knows will either hurt us or waste our time and energy. There could be 50 closed doors in a row, but if we are patient, the 51st one could very well be wide open.
When I loaded my minivan with supplies and headed off to help people in Mississippi in May of 2006, I had no agenda or itinerary. For many months I followed the open door and stood in awe at where God led me and the incredible people I met and ministered to. At times I would try to barge through a closed door (usually with unpleasant results), but for the most part I stayed on God's track for a number of months.
Throughout that summer, I crisscrossed the United States trying to find resources for devastated people and churches still in shambles after Hurricane Katrina the year before. This labor of love was expensive and tiring but very fulfilling. But, in late September of that year the wheels started coming off and I found myself going in circles. What started as an exciting walk with God was turning into a daily battle with stubborn and selfish people that was making me physically sick.
As my condition worsened, my resolve to follow the open door waned and I started deciding which doors were supposed to be open and if they weren't, I would find some dynamite and open them myself. This stubbornness resulted in wasted trips to places God never wanted me to go and ultimately to a very bad decision on my part that shook me up and changed radically what I was doing.
Whether because of fatigue, not feeling well or stupidity; I started going out of my way to find and visit with people I had served in the ministry with back in the 1970's and 80's. For the most part I had not seen, talked to or thought about some of these people for 20 years or more. In a matter of a couple of months, my stubbornness totally changed what I was doing and resulted in a long period of frustration and rejection.
I blew open a door which led me to New York in early November of 2006. I invited myself to a pastor's conference with hopes of soliciting help for what I was doing. Instead of achieving what I thought I was there for, I endured the most difficult two days of my life and finally made up an excuse and left half way through the conference. The reality of my stupidity hit me squarely in the face.
Broken and disgusted with myself, I finally woke up and realized what was going on and within a week I closed down what I was doing and hibernated the next 4 months spending MANY hours per day researching the Bible and in prayer. It was indeed a humbling experience to see how quickly we can get off track and lost in the wilderness when we insist on blowing open doors God has shut and locked.
If God wants you to do something, HE will open the doors necessary for you to do it. If you want to do something that God is not fond of, He will close the doors. If He knows it is dangerous or harmful, God will LOCK the door. One of the most foolish things we can do in this life is to find a locksmith to open a door God has locked for our own protection and good.
When God opens a door, don't hesitate, but rather run through it. When God shuts a door, don't question it but rather move on. When God locks a door, run away and never look back for what lurks on the other side of that locked door is something God knows is NOT good for you.
Thank you and Blessings 2 You!
I could share many sad stories of my attempts to "open doors" which God had closed, erroneously believing that He had "inspired" me with a great idea. Slowly I am learning the importance of being still, letting go and letting God open and shut the appropriate doors. God does not need us... we need Him.
Been there done that -stubborn and determined and not realizing my way was not God's way -not being still and listening long enough to see what was happening -till God just put me in a place I had no choice but to just be still and listen.
It would have been so much easier if I just done that in the first place.
Blessing my Friend