5 Signs the Door Appears to Be Closed But It’s Actually Not

Revelation 3:8

Maybe you wanted to be with someone but it appears your desire is not going to happen. Or maybe you wanted to be a published author but it feels like no one will ever accept your book proposals. Or maybe you wanted to start a new career path, but no matter what you try you just can’t get the ball rolling.

Of course it’s always possible this is just not God’s will for you. When God truly is closing a door, you can always be sure he has a better door for you. However, at other times, God is going to open that door but it just doesn’t look that way at first.

Here are 5 signs the door is not actually closed even though it appears that way right now.

1. Sometimes a Closed Door Is Actually an Invitation from God for You to Reject the Old Gatekeepers and Open the Door Yourself

Oftentimes we get into the habit of asking other people for permission to do things we don’t need their permission to do.

For example, maybe you want to be an author. For years everyone has told us we can’t publish a book unless a publisher accepts our work. However, with new technology and social media, it’s entirely possible to publish your own book and have your own audience to sell it to.

Maybe you want to be married and you feel like the proper way to meet someone is at church. Perhaps, however, God will lead you to try online dating.

Or maybe your boss keeps rejecting your application for promotion. Perhaps God is leading you to apply for the same promotion but at a completely different company.

The point is, sometimes you need to reject the gatekeepers who keep rejecting you. Don’t assume you need other people’s permission to do what you want to do. Sometimes a closed door is just God’s invitation to you to find a better path forward.

Revelation 3:8, “Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

2. Sometimes a Closed Door Is Not a Denial But Rather a Delay Meant to Develop Your Character So You Can Handle the Fulfillment of Your Desire

When our children were very little, my wife and I would put up baby gates in front of the staircase so they wouldn’t fall and get hurt. However, when they matured and were able to walk downstairs safely, we removed the baby gates.

Likewise, sometimes God isn’t closing a door forever. Sometimes God is just closing that door for now so you can have the time you need to develop (Judges 3:1-2). Once you can handle the blessing that is behind that door, oftentimes that is when God will open that door.

3. Sometimes the Door Is Not Closed But the Open Door Just Looks Different Than You Imagined

Expectations are often limiting beliefs in camouflage.

A limiting belief is a false conviction that is stopping you from doing something that you could do. When you expect something to happen in a certain way, you often overlook the other possibly ways God might be trying to accomplish that desire in your life.

If you expected to have a stress-free relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but God is allowing issues to come out so he can mature you both for marriage, you might feel like this door is closing but in fact God is opening it even wider.

If you expected your first business idea to work perfectly, but God is using this failure to help prepare you to succeed the next time you try, it might feel like your entrepreneurial door is closing but in fact God is opening it.

An expectation is a belief about how a particular good thing is going to happen to you. When you only expect a good thing to happen to you in one certain way, you are inadvertently closing your eyes to all the other possible ways in which that good thing could come into your life.

When we think we know the future, oftentimes all we are doing is blocking blessings in our present.

Always remember the truth that only God truly knows the future, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand,” (Proverbs 19:21). Follow the Lord and don’t get overly attached to your own expectations.

4. Sometimes the Door Is Not Closed, Rather It’s Just Taking More Time for Someone to Open It After They Heard You Knock

If you go to someone’s house while they are taking a shower, they probably aren’t going to hear you knock on the door. From your perspective, it might appear that they are not home. However, if you wait long enough, they will eventually turn the shower off and hear your knock.

Likewise, sometimes our actions take more time to produce the intended effect that we hoped they would produce.

  • It might feel like your efforts to get to know someone have failed, but maybe they are just really shy and need more time to work up the courage to respond.
  • It might feel like your manager isn’t noticing your faithful service and high level of skill. But perhaps he’s just waiting until a position opens up so he can then give you the promotion.
  • It might feel like there are no new customers for your business. But perhaps they are just waiting for the right season to buy your product.

Sometimes the door really is closed. It’s wise, however, to give it just a little bit more time to fully make sure it’s not just taking longer than you thought for the door to open (Galatians 6:9). 

5. Sometimes the Door Is Not Closed, Rather It’s Simply Funneling You to an Easier Entrance

If you were invited to a small gathering that was taking place in a large building filled with many rooms but you didn’t know the exact room that the gathering was taking place in, you would find that room a lot faster if all the doors were locked except the one door that led to the event. If all the doors were open in that building, you could easily get lost for hours as you roamed around looking for the correct room.

Sometimes God shuts a door to protect us from wasting time (Proverbs 14:12). Sometimes a closed door in your life is just an invitation from God for you to find an entrance that will lead you to where you want to go in a much faster way (Proverbs 3:6).