An Open Door Is Not Always a Green Light

God’s will may not be the “easy path”

There are several ways to determine God’s will for our lives. When a door opens up, that can be an indicator of which way God would have us go.

But it is not the first tool to use.

Nor the second.

And probably not even the third.

Can we please stop thinking that God’s will for our lives is supposed to be easy?

Where is that in Scripture? Look at every story of those that chased after Christ with all their heart. What do you see? I see heartache, pain, tears… and joy. Endless joy. But I don’t see simple, easy, or quick. No, if I’m really being honest. I see those as American qualities, not God’s.

  • “3 easy steps to financial wealth”
  • “Finish your education in as little as… “
  • “10 simple ways to heat up your sex life”

But finances, education, and a healthy sex life (with your spouse!) is NOT easy. It takes time, dedication, and discipline. And so does a life lived chasing after God.

But we are constantly looking for that “open door”. 

Photo Credit: ja_kemp via

Photo Credit: ja_kemp via

Let’s take a look at a story in Acts when Paul had, well, literally an open door…

After beating them black and blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them. Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose. Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”  –Acts 16:23-28 (MSG)

PAUL! Maybe you don’t know what is going on here! You were falsely imprisoned. You were praying and singing to God. And He sent an earthquake to make your way of escape. Talk about an “open door”! The door FLEW open!

And, yet, Paul does not move!

Honestly, I have no idea how Paul knew that this wasn’t what God wanted. My only explanation can be that he was so IN TUNE with the Spirit, he knew something else was to happen. And something did.

The jailer (who was going to kill himself) got saved, along with his whole family!

So, the next time a door opens, and an opportunity comes your way…


Continue to seek after God and study Scripture. Does God have something better in store?

Question: How about you? Is there a time in life that a door opened, and you DIDN’T take it? How else can we determine God’s will for our life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Founder of the Phosphorus Project

Husband, Father, Leader, Dreamer, Communicator
A screwed up person bringing Hope to other screwed up people.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive.

  • Judy

    Matthew! 🙂
    I have never thought of that- (me being the ‘head first thru the closest door’ type.)
    I’m Very familiar with the ‘be careful what you pray for’ rule, but ‘the open door might not be the Right open door’ concept is new- and somewhat confusing..
    I would love for you to explore this subject further.

    • thanks aj! i think this is a new or confusing topic for a lot of people. many times we think just because an opportunity presents itself, it must be the right one. thanks for the encouragement to dive into this deeper. I will ponder this topic a little more, and see if i can come up with some guidelines for determining which doors you should walk through, which ones to avoid, and which ones you should break down. thanks, again, for the encouragement!

  • Judy

    I’m really intrigued- but can I mention- in a loving way of course; Why did Someone wait so long to tell me??????
    I really could have used this news a few hundred years ago!! 🙂

    (Matthew- because I don’t comment doesn’t mean I’m not reading. I’m So proud of you! This is an awesome site- and I read every word.)