Behind that Closed Door

4 Aug

Revelations 3:7 – 10

Closed Door

In our life, we are always faced with challenges. Sometimes we are able to face the challenge, other times, we tried to negotiate or compromise ourselves to make way for the challenge, such as giving up our hobbies, for example. But sometimes, there are challenges so great that it seemed like it is very much impossible to overcome, and more often than not, we, as Christians, assumed that this must be a closed door.

From Revelations 3:7 we can see that God has put a promise that “he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open”, and it is true. The problem starts when we, as Christians, only take a look from one perspective, instead of the other. Often times, we only pray that God may open the door that no one can shut, and sometimes we forget that He also shuts the door and no one else can open it but Him.

During our hardship, be it financial problem, academic problem, family problem, or any other problems that seems “impossible” enough, like for instance, the permanent residency requirement, sometimes it is easy for us to think either God has closed the door, or we need to try even harder. However, the truth is that, closed doors are actually blessings, or more accurately, postponed blessings.  If closed doors are really blessings, what made God close the door for us?

  1. God closes the door so you can learn to have more faith in Him

Many of us have taken for granted what it is like to be put a wall on our face. We have forgotten what it feels like to suddenly stumble to a roadblock. We are so accustomed to it that we only feel that we forgot we had so many doors opened for us until the time we are hit with a closed door, and then we suddenly realise that we need God. A closed door is not punishment from God that we take Him for granted, but rather, a nudge that we should trust in Him and have faith in Him more. A reminder that we should surrender ourselves to Him, and let Him does His part; to let Him does the rest.

Take example of Joseph. If I had to draw a parallel, Joseph’s story was like a painter who fell down, got hit by his own ladder, splashed by his own paint, and on top of that, ruined his work. Each and every chapter of his story is like a series of unfortunate events, linked one after another. But what’s amazing was that he kept his faith to God’s promises that was shown through his dream, many years ago, and kept doing his part.

  1. God closes the door so you can change your direction and your mind

God certainly has better things in store for us. Sometimes, as we do our daily chores, working or studying, and in the same time contributing to the ministry in our church, we tend to be sitting on the same comfort zone. We tend to accept things the way they are meant to be. We tend to “go with the flow” and meddle with our own business. And that, my brother and sister in Christ, is not good (Revelation 3:16), and for exactly that reason God slams the door shut right in front of our face. So that He can finally have your attention, and actually listen to what He said.

Take example from the exodus of Israelites. The Bible stated that Israelites spent a generation to trail the desert, and if we actually look at some of the maps available online, the Israelites could actually went to Canaan much faster, but God did not do that. There are various reasons, but I believe one of the main reasons was the way Israelites think. The Israelites of the Bible, even though they were brought out from Egypt, but their minds were still lingering and longing for Egypt, that often times they said to Moses that they regret coming out of Egypt, much to the point that God Himself made sure that the first generation of Israelites, save for Caleb and Joshua, would not enter the promised land.

The second generation of Israelites, though, was different, and trusted God. This may be due to the fact that they were born in wilderness and saw the pillar of cloud and flames each day, and truly lived in God’s caring hand. Even when they were faced with the wall of Jericho, they had no doubts that God was with them.

  1. God closes the door so you can prepare yourself better

Would you cross the railroad crossing when the gates are closed? Sometimes we could not see the train is coming, but we know for sure that the train is coming. God knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows our character; in fact, He is the one who created us in our mother’s womb. He knows our limits, and He knows our qualities. Therefore sometimes, He closed the door simply just because He wants you to prepare yourself better on what’s to come.

I want to take example again from Joseph, this time from another perspective. Do you remember what Joseph did when he first learned that he was going to be the ruler of his family? He bragged to almost everyone in his family. While one can argue this might be a simple act of naivety from Joseph as he was a child, but it showed his arrogance, his tendency to brag. Now imagined what would have happened if Joseph finally became the vizier of Egypt without all the process that he had gone through as slave? We probably would not have the story of Moses. In fact, most of the Bible would be moot.

I believe one of the reason why God closed so many doors in Joseph’s life, was to better prepare him, to be a humble and wise ruler. Like a pottery, it needs to be meld again and again until it reaches the desired shape, and even then, it still needs to be burned.

I admit sometimes when I see a closed door, I am very tempted to think that God does not want this, or even sometimes, I just stopped dead in the tracks, pushing the door as hard as I can, where in fact, God actually wants me to stay still and believe in Him, and let Him take over (Revelation 3:8). Isaiah 30:15 said “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”. Next time we face a closed door, take a step back, pray, have faith, and listen to what He has in store for you.

Stay blessed.

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