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Summary: The majority of the body of Christ believes that God opens doors (a "yes" answer to prayer) and closes doors (a "no" answer to prayer) in their lives. Does scripture support such a belief?

The message today is one that I believe is going to challenge traditional thinking in the Body of Christ.

How many of you have heard the following statements and, perhaps, even said them?

? When God opens a door no one can close it.

? When God closes a door no one can open it.

? When one door closes God opens another one.

Don’t raise your hand (like I can really see you if you do?): do you tend to agree with these statements?

Let’s consider “Open Doors” first.

? What do we mean when we say “God opens a door”? Let’s be honest. Most of the time we say “God has opened a door” because it something that we really, really wanted.

? Is a door open because it’s something that we want to do?

? Was a door that was previously closed now open because God opened it?

? And this raises another question: how did we know the door was closed? And what was the reason for the door being closed?

? Do we believe that when something good happens it’s a sign that God has opened a door?

Now, let’s consider “Closed Doors” for a moment.

? What do we mean when we say “God closed the door”? Again, let’s be honest. Many Christians will say things like “I wanted that job but God closed the door. I guess He didn’t because it was the best thing for me.”

? Is the door closed because we believe God has our backs and is keeping something from us that can hurt us? Is that why the door is closed?

? Or, is the door closed because we want it so much but God says “no, not now”?

Many of us pray and when our prayers are not answered we say “It wasn’t in God’s timing.” Or “God is saying ‘no’ to this prayer”. Or “God is saying I need to ‘wait’.

Why do we say God opens and closes doors in our lives? How do we even know it is God who is doing this? More than likely, we believe that God opens and closes doors in our lives because we have been taught this by someone we trust and respect. And oftentimes that someone is our parents, grandparents, another relative or the pastor.

If we subscribe to the notion that closed doors are now being opened or open doors are now being closed by someone other than us, is it possible that God isn’t the only spiritual being who can open and close doors in our lives?

This is going to be the challenging part.

If God opens and closes doors in our lives, this raises some very serious and troubling questions:

? If God is opening and closing doors in our lives, doesn’t that mean He is making decisions for us?

? If God is opening and closing doors in our lives, doesn’t that mean He is taking away our options? Think about this for a moment. Based on what we say this issue, when God opens a door and I cannot close it. Right? And when God closes a door, I cannot open it. Do you see this?

? If God is opening and closing doors in our lives, doesn’t that mean He is violating our free will when He does this?

Let’s take this line of thinking a little further, shall we?

? Suppose I don’t want the door that God has opened for me. Can I refuse to walk through it? Am I allowed to seek “another door”?

? Suppose God has closed a door and I disagree with His decision. Can I walk through it anyway? Will I receive an electrical shock like the dog who tries to walk through an invisible fence?

Why do many Christians believe it is God who is opening and closing doors in their lives? Why is it that they rarely, if ever, consider the enemy of the soul as also being capable of opening and closing doors in their lives?

God is a spirit. Satan is a spirit. So, if God can open and close doors in our lives, doesn’t it stand to reason that Satan can do the same thing?

Is it possible, ladies and gentlemen, that neither God nor the enemy of the soul is opening and closing doors in our lives? Is it?

The answer is yes, it is possible.

When we say “God opens a door” or “God closes a door” it implies that we have no choice in the matter. It implies that we believe God, and God alone, controls “the doors” and that He is pulling the strings in our lives and that we’re merely the puppets on the strings.

It also implies, ladies and gentlemen, that to God we are nothing more than chess pieces that He can move at will for His own pleasure.

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