"Shouldn't This Be Easier?"
"When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say."
Revelation 3:7b (CEV)
I have a confession to make. There have been times in my past when I felt like God was getting in the way of my plans.
More often than not, I would admire my friends and notice how they seemed to be on the fast track toward success in life. I, too, had goals I wanted to accomplish, dreams to pursue and a calling I longed to fulfill. Why did it seem like they were making great progress and I wasn’t?
Determined to make things happen, the achiever in me insisted on bulldozing forward with big expectations and lofty dreams. If I just work harder and stay focused, everything will go according to my plan.
I longed for God to stamp “yes” stickers on all my prayer requests and open every door of opportunity that I thought would be the perfect fit for me. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, I faced many challenges and obstacles. It seemed as if I’d take one step forward and three steps backward … like I was encountering more roadblocks than open doors.
My self-made highway toward all those dreams started to look more like a dirt road littered with potholes of discouragement and puddles of frustration. So, I prayed harder, sought God more and asked why He wasn’t taking all of my great ideas into consideration.
I wanted to be optimistic and full of faith, but the more I pondered and asked questions, the more I second-guessed my calling. Self-doubt filled my mind:
If God has gifted and called me to this, shouldn’t it be easier?
If I’m trying to do God’s will, why does it seem like He’s denying all my prayer requests? Surely, He knows this is important to me!
Look at this great opportunity. It’s exactly what I’ve been asking for! Why do I keep getting overlooked?
Not all of the answers came right away, but I refused to give up. I kept reading my Bible and asking God the tough questions. I continued to trust Him and follow His lead even when things didn’t make sense.
Then one morning as I was reading my Bible and journaling, I came across today’s key verse from Revelation 3:7: "When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say."
Then this thought came to me: A closed door is not God’s objection toward me; it’s His sovereign protection over me.
Suddenly that changed everything. I looked at the closed doors in my life from a new perspective.
God loves me too much and knows me too well to give me everything I ask for. His protection for me will always override my earthy wants and desires. Even when I have the best intentions in mind, His plan is always better.
The Bible tells us in Psalm 84:11-12, "The LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly … blessed is the one who trusts in you!" (ESV)
To "walk uprightly" means to have a faith that is genuine — to continuously seek after God’s will and obey Him in every area of our lives.
If you’re walking uprightly and God closes a door that you think is a great opportunity, I hope you will remember this devotion and hold onto this truth: God is not setting you up for disappointment or failure. He’s setting you up for something better.
The gifts God has given you and the calling He’s placed on your life are irrevocable. Whatever door God opens on your behalf cannot be closed by anyone. God’s plans for you will succeed and His promises stand firm forever.
Meanwhile, let’s not only thank God for the doors He’s opening, but also for the doors He’s closing. Doors that could potentially lead us to harm, should we get our own way. Let’s be sure to remember: God is not getting in our way — He is the only way to complete victory!
Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and calling You’ve placed on my life. Help me to trust You when things don᾿t go according to my plans and desires. Let me see the potential of a closed door as a divine detour that will lead me closer to You as I wait for something better. I’m so grateful Your promises stand forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 1:6, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (ESV)