The old adage When God closes a door He opens a window rolls off the tongue without an ounce of effort on my part. I like to imagine God flinging open doors and windows to make my passage through life a bit easier to navigate. After all, God is the God of open doors. Or is He?

Acts 16 tells of an incident in Philippi when Paul and Silas were imprisoned in the inner cell. The only thing heavier than the weight of total darkness was the weight of their chains. They were probably hungry–but it wasn’t whining their fellow prisoners heard, only praises.

“Suddenly, there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once, all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.”

If I’m Paul, I’m thinking it must be God’s will for me to escape because, after all, He opened the doors and loosened my chains. Thankfully, Paul was more discerning, but it’s easy to see why we often fall prey to the enemy when relying on open doors as our go-to answer to prayer. Think of how differently that account would have been if Paul had seen his open door as a divine means of escape.

Not every opportunity or opened door is presented to us for passage.

Perhaps this is why Paul prayed for the Christ followers in Philippi to “be able to discern what is best”. (Philippians 1:10)

Can God open a door (job or business opportunity, a relationship, etc.) to bless us? Absolutely! But the true blessing dwells in a discerning heart, for one such as this is never dependent on doors that appear to be opened or closed, but rather the unmistakable voice of the Father saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

–image courtesy of Kitchen Factory, UK