It is important to realize that God has a plan for us. Within that plan God allows a lot of leeway for us to make our own decisions. It is difficult knowing whether we are following God’s desires for us or making our own plans. In order to determine whether I am following God’s desires and not my own, I must ask the following question: Am I living for the present or living for eternity?

For that to happen we had to accept Christ as our Savior so we could be forgiven of our past, present and future sins in order that we might become free. Do we believe that it is possible to completely change and live as a new person with different perceptions? Do we sense God’s power, His love and His guidance in our lives? Do we believe God wants anything but the best for us? Scripture tells us if we accept the truth, it will set us free to become whatever we dream to be. Do we believe that the Holy Spirit is in our lives to help us become what is best for us? Do others and we see supernatural changes taking place in our lives? The Bible tells us God wants each of us to live extra-ordinary lives and has placed the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us live that kind of life. He tells us we are to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Have we seen evidence of these changes?

Let’s check! Do we live like a son or daughter of a heavenly Father who has unlimited power and wealth? Do we think like a person of wealth, fame and power? Do we realize how precious God has made us and the potential we possess? Too often, after conversion, we continue to accept the role of a person having little value. The Devil tells us we are unworthy and will never amount to much. If we believe him our lives could end in failure. Well, do we want to keep living the way we have been or do we want to live the life God has planned for us? Our first step is to surrender our controlling and confrontational nature and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We must trust that God has a better life for us than we are able to make for ourselves.

We must always be alert! Sometimes God allows obstacles or problems to come in our way to get our attention. God wants us to listen to Him, depend on Him, wait on Him and watch for Him to work on our behalf. As children we relied on our earthly father for their intervention into our lives. Why is it so hard to rely on our Godly Father to do the same? Many times God wants to demonstrate His power by intervening in our lives and building our faith and character. Different than earthly fathers, God works silently and is invisible. If we are not expecting God’s intervening into our lives, we may not recognize when His work is being done. Many Christians are just not knowledgeable of how God works.

Why do we sometimes get discouraged? Could it be we focus too much on our problems and not enough on God? Do we place more trust in our ability to handle a problem rather than trusting it to God? Do we believe God will intervene in our difficult circumstance or is He too busy doing other things? In our minds do we limit the power of God?

To answer these types of questions God requires that we put time into preparation. How familiar are we with the Bible and the promises God gives us? If we don’t know the answers and promises God provides to the above questions, we probably wouldn’t expect God to intervene. Therefore, we probably are not listening, expecting, trusting nor truly believing that our prayers will be answered. Shouldn’t we believe God wants us to see His power working in us, so our faith will increase and we can give Him the glory?

Acts 16:5 – 13 tell us that on Paul’s second trip to visit the churches he decided to go and spread the gospel to Asia. But Paul had a dream that God told him he should preach the good news to the Europeans. Had Paul continued on to Asia where he was headed, would there have been a Christian United States? Aren’t we pleased that Paul allowed the Holy Spirit to change his direction? The Holy Spirit may be telling us to change direction or keep going the way we are, but if we are not listening and recognizing His guidance, we may miss His blessings and find ourselves in negative circumstances.

God opens and closes doors, but we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to realize when doors are opening or closing. We probably will not recognize whether a door is open or closed unless we have allowed the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Following are ways the Bible tells us God works:

First through circumstances:

God closes doors to keep us from making a mistake. We must be careful not to break doors down just because we believe what’s on the other side is best for us. That is our controlling nature to always believe we know what’s best for us. The Devil told Eve that eating the apple would be best for her. Many times God will redirect us to greater opportunities if we will only listen. Do we listen to the Devil’s lies or the Holy Spirit?

Does God always have a purpose in mind when He changes circumstances? We must continue to believe that God wants what is best for us. Are we always sensitive to His Spirit’s leading? What percent of our decisions are based on what we want rather than what God may believe is best for us?

Also Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit:

We must live by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Don’t expect the Spirit to speak your name or write you a message. Mostly it will be a very quiet prompting. Sometimes He is so quiet that many Christians are unable to recognize His prompting. The amount and degree of prompting may be a result of our obedience, trust and prayers. Live each day as if the Holy Spirit will open or close doors. God always respects obedience and our trust. Therefore, shouldn’t we expect doors to be swinging? Believe that God allows circumstances to happen that we might receive the greatest satisfaction out of life.

The reason the apostle Paul lived such a gratifying life was that he was willing to give His life for Christ and become totally surrendered. He was beaten, almost stoned to death and spent years in prison. We must believe commitment is rewarded. Sometimes God will shut a door because our disobedience disqualifies us. Be careful; don’t try opening a door that God closed. God will let you break the door down but watch out for negative results.

Disappointment may come from going through a closed door.
If I am having problems does that mean I may have gone through a door that God has closed? God lets us make mistakes. However, it does not mean that we broke through a closed door. God gives us free moral agency and there are times He allows negative circumstances to happen that we might be disciplined and have experiences in preparation for something greater.

Through my experience, I have seen horrible things happen to people and later see them blessed beyond one’s wildest imagination. There may be times when God does to us as He did to the Israelites. If we become indifferent and do most things our way, unintentionally maybe, in a sense we are rejecting God’s guidance. It is possible that God may say, go ahead and do it your way. I’ll leave you alone. When you fail, as the Israelites often did, they came back with a repentant heart asking for God to again take over their lives. During these times God may not be opening or closing doors. He watches while we go it alone. It doesn’t take too many failures and disappointing circumstances for us to realize that God can guide our lives much better than we can ourselves. Never stop praying for God to give us opportunities and to open doors.

We must be willing to wait for the Spirit’s guidance. Remember Abraham and Sarah didn’t wait and as a result the world is suffering today. King Saul didn’t wait for the High Priest to offer a sacrifice and did it himself. As a result, he lost his kingdom. God has a specific purpose for each of us. Pray that God will show us what that may be. It may be in marriage, our job, our ministry or helping others. There are so many ways that the Holy Spirit can use us. He will provide if we are willing.

What have we learned about open and closed doors?

Sometimes when we feel weak or worried we need to fix our thoughts on Christ. It may be we do not have the full strength, comfort and guidance available from the Holy Spirit. If life gets rough and problems seem to have no solutions and many things are going badly and disappointment sets in, we are told to fix our eyes on Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to give us guidance.

If doors don’t seem to be either opening or closing is it because we are not seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Don’t we think God wants to direct our path? From the time Adam and Eve sinned, God has provided a recovery process and a purpose for man. However, pressures and stresses of the day make it easy to ignore or forget that God has a plan for our lives. Though the plan may not always be specific, it is available for every believer. Which plan do you prefer to live, God’s or yours? Are we willing to surrender our lives?

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