Just because an opportunity presents itself, doesn’t necessarily mean it is from God.

In last week’s blog, I talked about the faith and courage to walk through the door that God is holding open for you. But one of my readers asked how you can tell if God is the one opening the door. It’s a great question and one worth considering.

Sharing from my experience, and principles from God’s Word, here are three ways to tell if that “Open Door” is really from God:

1. The Door that God Opens Will Never Contradict His Word.

Many Christians see opportunities to make more money as an open door from God, even though the opportunity means a job on Sunday mornings or additional hours that will keep them from regular fellowship or service in their church. Some women have even told me that God opened a door to a new love relationship for them, even though they were already married.

God will not put an opportunity in front of you that contradicts what He clearly says in His Word. We have an excellent way of turning a clear mandate of God’s completely around and justifying it by our circumstances but that is not how God works.

If there is a compromise in any way, or we have to bend Scripture to justify our action then it is likely not a door that God is opening for us. I would call anything that contradicts His Word a test or temptation, rather than an open door from God.

2. The Door that God Opens Will Be Accompanied by Confirmation.

In Matthew 18:15-16, Jesus laid out instructions for confronting sin among believers saying, “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’” I believe the same applies when it comes to God confirming something in His Word.

He will often confirm or establish a matter by “two or three witnesses” whether they be verses from the Word of God, advice from a pastor or well-respected person who is grounded in the Word of God, or a circumstance that continues to present itself. Through prayer, discernment and seeking godly counsel, you should be able to tell if that “open door” (and its confirmations) is truly coming from God.

3. The Door God Opens Will Require You to Depend on Him.

God is not going to give us something that will alienate us from Him or make us believe we no longer need Him. He is a God of relationship, and a God who insists upon being first in our lives. Therefore, if you find yourself saying “I can’t do this unless God goes before me,” or “I can do this, but only with God’s help and leading” I would say, in my personal experience, it’s probably something God is calling you to do.

Hebrews 11:6 says: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Many times an “open door” from God is one that allows our faith to be stretched and strengthened. That, after all, is God’s objective for us: to grow in faith and Christ-likeness.

Take your opportunity or “open door” to God and ask for His confirmation —  through His Word and godly counsel from others — and His peace in the decision and you can have the assurance that you aren’t just choosing a door at random, but you’re carefully walking through the ones He wants you to enter.

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