It seems doors of opportunity open and close before us in life. Is it God opening and closing these doors? For many years Iíve heard the saying, ďWhen God shuts one door, He opens another!Ē Well, no, those exact words are not found in the Bible anywhere. However, of all the phrases weíll examine in this series this statement is closer to the truth. I havenít found the original source of the saying, but it sounds similar to a famous quote by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. He said: ďWhen one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.Ē

The best example of open and closed doors is found in Acts 16:6-12. Paul and his friends launched their second missionary journey from Antioch. Along the way, they encountered some closed doors and then an open door.

ďPaul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been KEPT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the SPIRIT OF JESUS WOULD NOT ALLOW THEM TO. So thy passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night, Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ĎCome over to Macedonia and help us.í After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding [ďknit togetherĒ] that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace and the next day to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia.Ē

God called Paul to take the gospel to the Gentiles and he was obeying God. As he was traveling, he decided to try to go northeast into Asia Minor, but Holy Spirit said ďno.Ē God shut the door. Then he traveled on and tried to go north into Bithynia toward Russia, and once again God shut the door. It must have been a puzzling time for Paul. He was on mission for God and the doors kept shutting in his face. But he didnít go back, and he didnít camp out, he kept moving west. When he came to Troas, God opened the door for him to go over into Macedonia, which is modern-day Greece. He had a vision of a man standing in front of him saying, ďCome help us!Ē Paul understood this to be Godís directive, so he took the gospel into Greece instead of Asia Minor. That was the first time the gospel penetrated the European continent, and many of us have a European heritage. We should be glad Paul paid attention to Godís closed and opened doors. As we consider open and closed doors, letís learn four things about finding and following Godís will.


You arenít just placed on this earth to stumble around in the dark trying to find out what you should do. The God of the Universe is interested in you. He has a plan for you; He has a pathway for
Will Langstaff
August 1, 2008
Absolutely wonderful comment that a sermon: Sometimes our disappoinments are God''s appointments