It seems doors of opportunity open and close before us in life. Is it God opening and closing these doors? For many years I’ve heard the saying, “When God shuts one door, He opens another!” Well, no, those exact words are not found in the Bible anywhere. However, of all the phrases we’ll examine in this series this statement is closer to the truth. I haven’t 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: “When 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.”

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.

“Paul 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, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding [“knit together”] 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.”

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 “no.” 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 didn’t go back, and he didn’t 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, “Come help us!” Paul understood this to be God’s 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 God’s closed and opened doors. As we consider open and closed doors, let’s learn four things about finding and following God’s will.


You aren’t 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
Elva Ewell
August 7, 2015
,I continue to debate the phrase so many people misuse...well God closed that door. There is no where in scripture that says those words. My argument is about that it is about the circumstances that are created, we usually create them and instead of turning to Him, people tend to turn to others, who might join their band wagon when they themselves don't know what is truly going person jumped to a conclusion, was mad, and begin a fire storm that has wreaked havoc and most people have not stopped to ask, I do appreciate this sermon, this message as I am always seeking the right answers and because scripture and other authors such as Blackaby are referred to is all the more reason that closed doors are not biblical but only a way for a person to blame or not to battle the enemy.
Will Langstaff
August 1, 2008
Absolutely wonderful comment that a sermon: Sometimes our disappoinments are God''s appointments