How many times have you prayed or have heard someone pray for God to “open a door of opportunity”? In a religious context, the phrase is usually used in reference to God working in our lives through providential means. Though the exact phrase is not found in Scripture, the concept is certainly there.
Concerning Paul and Barnabas, Luke wrote “And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” Acts 14:27.
“for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” 1 Corinthians 16:9.
“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, declare the mystery of Christ, on account of to which I am in prison—” Colossians 4:3.
It is not difficult to see God’s open doors within the Scriptures, especially when we have the privilege of reading the “rest of the story” as recorded by the Holy Spirit. But what about today? Does God open “doors of opportunity”? We can be confident that He does because the Scriptures indicate such. I’m sure that many of us have looked back at various events in our lives and find it remarkable how everything seemed to fall into place and we happily assert that “God opened the door.” While it is always right to recognize God’s power, we cannot with absolutely certainty point to certain specific events in our lives and declare that it was the work of God. It would be more appropriate to say, as Paul did, that perhaps such and such happened as a result of God’s providence (Philemon 15,16).
It is also important to realize that God is not going to “open a door of opportunity” for us that leads us to do something that is contrary to His will. There are many circumstances in life in which opportunities seem to present themselves , yet we dare not attribute it to God. For example, let’s say there is a Christian who has been jobless for several months and he prays to God, asking for God to “open a door of opportunity” for him to find a job. If suddenly there comes available an employment opportunity to be a bartender, may the assumption be made that God worked that out? Hardly not. Should a woman assert that “God opened that door” when in fact, it was a door that led her to do something that is clearly outside of God’s prescribed role for her? No. If anything, it might be Satan opening a door as a way of temptation.
Sometimes we are guilty of wanting something so badly, be it a possession, a position, or whatever, that we push and kick, and finally when the door opens, we say that God opened it. Have we considered the fact that we are the ones who forced the door open, rather than allowing God to work out what is best?
God does, indeed, open doors of opportunity. He will not open a door that leads us to sin. (James 1:13). When and how He chooses to work providentially in our lives, we cannot state with certainty, but we can be certain that He does. If you are interested in further study on the topic of God’s providence, you can go here.