“Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” Rev. 3:8
The promise of an open door to us is a very welcome and encouraging one. And the prophecy of open doors is one we often hear in prophetic meetings. Our own family has had such a promise from the Lord for some time, and has waited diligently on Him for its manifestation.
In the process though, I’ve learned some things about promised “open doors” that can throw you for a loop if you’re not aware of them. Not all open doors are the same, and the open door the Lord has promised can be quite different than our conception of what it means when we first receive the promise. There are two particular things I want to observe.
Which Direction the Door?
First, doors can serve either as entrances into opportunities or as exits from certain situations. When a door opened for John on
Patmos, it was a door up into a higher place of vision. It was an entrance. But when a door opened for Peter, it was a door out of a confining situation. Once the door or gate opened, he was then on his own to find his way home.
Entrance doors lead to an establishment with a more perceivable security of situation. Exit doors lead to a release from establishment to a more perceivable uncertainty. The problem comes when the kind of prophetic open door we are expecting is different from the kind of door the Lord has meant. We may be waiting for a door of opportunity into a new established situation to appear. But instead, we are released from a presently secure situation into one of uncertainty. Oppositely, we may be waiting for a door of exit from a confining situation, only to find we are instead presented a door into deeper establishment of something that looks like more of what we are trying to get out of.
In both cases, the opposite door may be necessary before the door we expect and desire can be realized. For instance, we may need to first exit from something before we can receive a desired entrance into something else. Before Peter could be received through the door into the security of Mary’s house, he had to pass through the door of exit from the prison. Between the prison exit door and the home entrance door was a period of uncertainty in the night. (And even at Mary’s door he had to wait due to a miscue!)
Vice versa, we may be believing for the promised open door “out” of a situation, but God opens instead a more confining situation to which we must submit. In this case, our willingness to enter into the more confining situation may be the key to our release from the entire situation. Sometimes a deeper submission to a bad situation is required before we can gain freedom from the situation altogether.
This is something we need to really account for when God promises an open door no man can shut. It’s hard for us to accept because we are already with “little strength” from having kept His words to us. (“How long, O Lord?”) But when opposite kinds of doors open in response to our prayers, we must not fear to walk through them, whether to seemingly greater confinement or greater insecurity. We must understand the Lord is not giving us a stone instead of bread. We will ultimately find the door that delivers on our desire.
How Wide the Door?
When we think of an open door, our natural vision presents us a wide door, clearly fully open, beckoning with light streaming through from the other side. Not so? Yet such an image may not reflect the true size of the door the Lord has promised us, and I dare say, usually does not. Every door the Lord promises us is a door to a greater realm of eternal life. Yet the door to eternal life is clearly described as a narrow one:
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”Mt. 7:13-14
One of the things that perplexes us most about promised open doors is when we see opportunities arise that are clearly from the Lord, only to be stymied at every turn from being able to enter into the opportunity! Everything lines up in our spirit. But one thing after another gets in the way, threatening our access altogether. And while we believe the Lord that “no man” is capable of shutting the open door, we wonder if the devil isn’t capable of shutting it instead. And even if the devil isn’t capable, we wonder if it really is worth all the trouble to enter it. Or we wonder if maybe this isn’t really the open door after all. Maybe it’s a counterfeit. Maybe we’re trying to make our own door? “If it’s God, shouldn’t it be easier than this?”
While it’s possible we can be trying to make our own door open, or to open the Lord’s door pre-maturely, if we are certain the door we are seeing is from the Lord and it is for such a time as this, then we must look at our expectation. If this door is truly a door to greater life and destiny fulfillment in Christ, then we must understand that the opposition we face is simply due to the fact that the door is small. It must be squeezed and “pushed” through.
Of course there is no better illustration of this than birth. The doorway to natural life is through a very constricted passageway. Well the same is true for the open doors of the Lord into most any greater enterprise in His kingdom. Of course again, being already of “little strength” in our present situation so long, our hearts are tempted to faint. The Lord says, “I have set before you an open door.” And we say, “O no, not another birth canal, Lord!”
We want the wide open door into the desired direction the first time, but it rarely opens that way. It’s never that the promise of the open door is false. But the promise has a goal attached for bringing us forward in our faith. And therefore the promise of the open door is not one of ease. We must remember that the original promise of Rev. 3:8 was given to those called “overcomers.”
Through the Warp Bubble
Sometimes, the writers of science fiction have been gifted to portray spiritual truth very accurately without ever realizing it. In one particularly insightful starship story from TV past, a young space cadet on board conducts a failed time/space experiment that explodes, accidentally sending his mother standing nearby into an alter parallel universe reality (same starship, same people, same everything, but different reality—more like a dream)—and this alter reality is also slowly imploding, threatening to extinguish her inside it. The thing is, she doesn’t realize she is now in an alter reality. But strangely, more and more people are mysteriously disappearing from her world, and she doesn’t know why. In the end, her very space ship is collapsing around her and she is going out of her mind trying to figure out how to save herself.
Meanwhile, those in the real reality on the other side are desperately trying to get the mother back and keep this alter reality realm (“warp bubble”) from finally imploding on her. Those attempts to get her back from their side show up on her side every so often as an unexplainable narrow but brilliant force that to her acts like a tornado trying to suction her into some unknown vortex that looks like it will destroy her. Not knowing what this is and afraid, she holds onto anything she can to prevent from being sucked into this “door of light.” She successfully resists several times. Yet this vortex door is actually the doorway to her return to the real world. Thankfully, in the end, as her alter world is finally collapsing on her, she realizes “by faith” what this fearful suctioning door of light is, responds, and jumps through to her saving.
Why did I share this story? It’s because it pictures so well the nature of the Lord’s open doors before us that no man can shut. He is on the true side of Reality. We live in a comparable warp bubble. Our world which we think is so “real” is collapsing around us. Meanwhile He is presenting us exit doors of release and entrance doors of opportunities, doors swirling with spiritual activity that we do not understand, which scare us, and which we resist because we do not realize His call to us from the other side. We believe His promise. We believe in the doors. But we don’t recognize them for what they are and so resist. His challenge to us is to recognize and embrace these doors, however otherly they appear than what we have expected of the gateway. We must accept whatever contortions go with these narrow doors so we can be saved and delivered into our true fulfillment, liberty and reality.
No matter what it may seem like to many of us right now, it truly is a season of open door opportunities and fulfillments. We’re hearing lots of prophetic promises about new opportunities in God while looking at some absolutely contrary, harrowing and society collapsing circumstances around us that appear to offer everything opposite of what we have been promised. How can this be?
Take heart! You really are looking at the open door.
New Meadow Neck, RI
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 4, 2009