But not every open door is good for you. Some doors aren’t of God, and if you leave them open in your life you can lose everything.
You Have an Enemy
Don’t forget that you still have an enemy. In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter warns us:
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
The devil, or Satan, is also called a thief. In John 10:9-10, Jesus contrasts His desire for our lives with the intentions of our enemy.
In verse 9, Jesus again refers to the way He has opened for us through Himself and the freedom that He has in store for us:
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.
But notice what He says about our enemy in verse 10:
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
When you have an enemy like that on the prowl, the only door you want to be open in your life is the door that Jesus opened for you.
If you knew a thief was coming to steal from you, you would never leave your house unlocked. If you knew a murderer was coming to attack you and your family, you would never leave your front door open.
In Matthew 24:43, Jesus says:
Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into.
He’s actually talking about His second coming, but I think His point is clear. If you knew that somebody wanted to rob you, you would take measures to prevent it.
Somebody does want to rob you, and you need to take measures to prevent it.
Here are some of the wonderful things God wants to give to you:
But if there’s a dark door open in your spiritual house, when you’re not looking somebody is going to come and steal those things away from you right under your nose.
How do I know this?
Because it’s happened to me. Over and over again, it’s happened.
Let me give you a tip:
Any time you feel overwhelmed by restlessness, despair, hopelessness, anger, or some other unsavory, all-consuming hunger, it means that something is trying to keep you from the presence of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says:
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Sometimes I feel restless and I know I’m not at peace. That tells me that something isn’t right in my relationship with the Lord, because if the Holy Spirit were filling me up, I would be full of peace and other evidences of His presence.
Whenever something isn’t right between you and the Lord, the solution is always to repent.
Repentance is a very important topic, so I’ll try to cover it in-depth in the future, but for now, think of repentance as saying sorry to God and meaning it.
But what if you already repented but you still feel restless? Did it mean your repentance wasn’t genuine? Did you drop the ball somewhere?
This happened to me just recently. I knew I’d sinned*, so I repented, but it felt like nothing happened. I still felt restless, grumbly, and empty.
Then my pastor preached a sermon out of Nehemiah 2, and it was about the importance of inspecting our spiritual walls and closing evil doors that had been opened in our lives.
I had repented of one sin, and my repentance shut the evil door the sin had opened, but it made no difference because there was another door that I had opened through a different sin. I had been vaguely aware of that sin but had fallen into the trap of thinking that it wasn’t a big deal. I was wrong!
Because of that “small” sin that I didn’t think would matter, another dark door was wide open, so evil spirits were allowed to come and plunder the good gifts that God had given me.
My pastor used the analogy of a vessel with a crack. God keeps giving us good things, but as long as we have cracks – our evil open doors – those good things keep leaking out, taken and devoured by pests who have no right to them.
How do you find the dark doors open in your spiritual house?
Sometimes it’s obvious. You did something you know God doesn’t like, and that opened a door.
But sometimes it’s more subtle, like the “little” sin I’d been ignoring. Sometimes it’s just allowing something other than God to give you comfort. Sometimes it’s just desiring your own will more than God’s. Sometimes it’s being in the wrong place and being “jumped” by evil spirits.
If you aren’t sure what dark doors you may have opened, ask God to show you.
I knew something still wasn’t right after I repented of the first sin, so I asked the Lord to show me what else I was missing. And the next day He told me through my pastor.
How do you close dark doors once you’re aware of them?
Repentance, repentance, repentance.
Like I said before, repentance is so important that I hope to do a longer post just focusing on that. But the key thing to understand about it here is that repentance is an indicator of a changed and remorseful heart.
Sometimes we can’t truly repent because we aren’t truly sorry for what we’ve done. Sometimes we think the thing we did wasn’t so bad, so even though we apologize to God with our mouths our hearts are still feeding that pet sin.
If you can’t repent sincerely, ask the Lord to enable you to repent sincerely.
Repenting without meaning it is the same as not repenting at all. God doesn’t want you to keep hurting yourself with your sin. He wants you to stop so He can heal you and fill you with good things. So if you ask Him to help you see the negative effects of your sin, He will. If you ask Him to help you understand why He doesn’t want you to do that thing again, He will.
When you realize just how much pain you’ve been causing by choosing that sin over God, repentance will come naturally.
You won’t be able to rest until you say sorry to God and mean it, and until you’ve taken steps to make sure you don’t commit that sin again.
But once you do repent, peace will come like a river.
So check your walls for cracks, and make sure the only doors that remain open in your life are the ones that Jesus opened up for you.
*A full discussion on sin is beyond the scope of this post, but think of sin as doing something that God doesn’t like because it hurts you or other people.
Join the Discussion
When have you realized there was a dark door open in your life? What happened when you closed it?