Copyright 2014 Theresa Harvard Johnson
 
We hear about the blessings of open doors on a pretty consistent basis in the midst of our faith. Who wouldn't want to hear this? After all, we are taught that open doors lead to prosperity, blessings, greater and so forth. The truth is, many of us have had more "closed doors" in our pursuit of life than we have doors swinging wide open.

I know that is true for me. Most of my life it seems that doors have just SLAMMED in my face -- one after the other.
 
But guess what, I have learned that closed doors can be just as much a blessings as the open ones. I had a choice: Become bitter or be empowered by it. I chose and continue to choose the later. We just have to learn how to change our thinking, and perceive the circumstances before us. Holy Spirit often says to me: "Theresa, remember to thank God for closed doors as well as those He has opened." If I focused on CLOSED DOORS, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be writing this article right now. In reflection, those closed doors have offered me protection, great wisdom, and a  tremendous opportunity to grow in FORGIVENESS, humility, patience and perseverance. Those are elements of our character that don't often come easy.
This morning, I came across an announcement that reminded me of these truths and I absolutely smiled inside. I was also reminded of one of my favorite movies, "The Pursuit of Happyness," starring one of my favorite actors Will Smith. In this movie, I was constantly reminded of one thing: "Closed doors can open up new opportunities - even the resurrection of the impossible dream."
 
Our human nature, however, would like for us to view closed doors as setbacks, deep, dark places of disappointment, discouragement, delay and despair. Some closed doors were of God's design; and other closed doors were the result of the cruel nature of men. Regardless, God still manages to make a way for us even when we do not understand. In the midst of the disappointment that follows, our spirit man screams on the inside for that intimate awakening, that place of seeing closed doors through the exact same lens as those that are open. Romans 12:12 reminds us to be patient with joy and faithfulness!
 
Christ’s life, for example, was full of closed doors.  He experienced rejection, abandonment,  denial, abuse, ridicule and mockery and a host of other shut downs. But with every disappointment, and door - some violently shut, He kept moving.
 
Wow. It would be years before I would fully grasp Christ's position in these situations.

The beauty in the midst of this is that Christ understood that all opened and closed doors in His life – no matter what they looked like to men observing from afar – could be strategically aligned to propel His purpose. In other words: ALL DOORS ARE OPEN DOORS. A closed door simply means you have to find an alternative route to an open one. We should see CLOSINGS, in the sense that we are discussing them here, as redirection. But for goodness sake, DO NOT STOP AT THE CLOSED DOOR.
 
You see, they have just as much to teach us about who we are; and our purpose and destiny as one that swings wide open. Celebration is not limited to what we perceive "is going right for us" but also "what we perceive" in what is closed to us. Sometimes, redirection is really "right direction."

I've had relationship doors closed.
Employment doors closed.
Financial doors closed.
Doors containing access to goals closed.
 
I could go on and on. What I learned from those experiences, however, are invaluable... despite the pain, of which was sometimes severe. Doors are portals or gates in natural and the spirit – and none of them present by coincidence! Every Godly door - opened or closed - will lead to a blessed, strategic outcome. In this hour, we need the wisdom and discernment for proper navigation. Otherwise, we will fall into the pit of self-defeat, disappointment and ultimately disillusionment and discouragement. At this point, spiritual abortion is often emminent.
 
Holy Spirit presented a question to me. He said, "What are you going to with the doors in your life?"
 
In my maturing state, I replied: "I will persevere. I will endure as I always have. I will fight... and I will pursue the prize... always believing God's best for my life and the lives of those around me. I will trust you, Holy Spirit, to press through -- no matter what may come."
 
I took my stand with the popular phrase of Daniel and his friends in stating that whether God saves me or whether I perish, I will trust His will and His way for my life. After all, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's desire for me is one of abundance and prosperity of spirit, soul and body. In other words, I am affirmed in knowing that whether the doors are opened or closed, God will still receive the glory from this life that he alone appointed me to live. People of God, I've been through some excruciatingly difficult trials as I am sure some of you have.
 
Holy Spirit also reminded me of the power that we have been given to access doors in our lives. Simply stated, this means that we must also learn how to use the authority we have been given in our lives! Christ says in Matthew 16:19 CJB: "I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” 
 
We are reminded of the type of power these keys contain in Isaiah 22:22-23 CJB which says: “I will place the key of David's house on his shoulder; no one will shut what HE opens; no one will open what HE shuts. I will fasten HIM firmly in place like a peg, so that he will become a seat of honor for his clan.” This ancient reference provides insight into the power of Messiah, Christ our King.
 
This passage, in our holy imagination, is filled with imagery surrounding the opening and closing of doors. In context, we learn that an arrogant scribe with a takeover spirit is being removed from a place of self-appointed authority. Great and bitter turmoil is in the midst. Yet, God’s servant Elyakim is walking through an open door in the midst of all of this chaos -- as another door is being closed. God has promised him the keys of David by which he will be given power to open doors and the power to CLOSE doors that no one can shut, and the Lord tells him he will honor those decisions. In reflection, this is a picture of Christ taking his rightful place in the Kingdom and it is also a picture of the sons of God receiving the benefits of living in Christ.
 
In Revelations 3:8 CJB the scripture says: “Here is the message of HaKadosh, the True One (the Spirit of God), the one who has the key of David, who, if he opens something, no one else can shut it, and if he closes something, no one else can open it.”
 
Over the past five years, my life has changed drastically – not only inwardly as it relates to maturation in Father, but also outwardly concerning the administration of my own soul and the ministry entrusted to me.
 
Tremendous doors of opportunity have opened to me for deeper healing, ministry relationships, opportunities to prosper personally and so forth; and at the same time, massive doors have closed in people, relationships, careers, etc. – some of which God forced shut because I struggled to let go. Others closed simply in the midst of seasons changing; and even more closed by simply putting the breaks on things by the leading of the Spirit. Please understand that these doors were not necessarily negative or based on anything ungodly.
 
It is not always obvious that we are heading the wrong way people of God! If you take a minute to look around you, you will see so many people DOING but very few BEING. And for many, they will count the opening and closing of doors by "their works" instead of by their "maturation." Opporunity will be measured by the "visual expectation of prosperity" but not by the "spiritual weight." There is a difference.
 
 When we are truly walking with God, he will interrupt those pathways -- closing doors. We must not try to force our way back in or force our way through! Rather, we must truly trust that Father knows best. Be encouraged in his dynamic plan for your maturation and growth.
 
Isaiah 26:20 CJB, “Come, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you.  Hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past.”
 
Holy Spirit said this to me: "When a door is closed, seek to experience time in the Father's incubator, yield to his making process... pray for the opening of doors in his perfect timing. Learn to use your keys..." And, I am still learning to use my keys. People of God, we don't always know why doors close, but when they do we must continue on in Christ. If we caused the doors to close, then our role is to repent and still trust Him.
 

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