One of my favorite Bill Johnson quotes is this:
Favor opens doors. Favor opens doors you’re not supposed to walk through.
I’ve been presented with a few unexpected opportunities lately. This isn’t something that usually happens in my life, to say the least. More commonly, I’ll see one big opportunity every few years, and definitely not several at once. Since this is not the norm for me, I believe these open doors are a sign that God is up to something.
None of these doors have felt right, though. Some have felt very wrong, in fact, even though they may look pretty wonderful at first glance. None of them have been wrong in the sense that they’re sinful or immoral. They’re just wrong for me. I’ve felt it deep in my spirit. Even though they’ve been great opportunities, I’ve felt hesitation or actual grief at the thought of saying “yes.”
I’ve shared my philosophy on dating before, which, in a nutshell, is this: I know what I’m looking for, I know it when I see it, I don’t see it very often, and I’m willing to wait for it.
Over the past few months as I’ve been pleading with God for direction, knowing I will never have some of these opportunities again if I let them slip away, he reminded me of this philosophy and encouraged me to apply it not just to relationships, but to life.
What it really comes down to is discernment. I think a lot of us convince ourselves that some of the open doors we’re faced with are “good enough,” even when we discern otherwise. Whether that looks like dating someone who’s bad news or taking a job that feels like being voluntarily handcuffed, we ignore that feeling in the pit of our stomachs telling us not to walk through the door, and we walk through it anyway. (I’ve done this for sure, usually under the guise of being “logical” or “realistic”!)
As Bill Johnson so simply states, though, we aren’t supposed to walk through every door that opens to us. The favor of God will open doors, but that doesn’t always mean we’re supposed to enter them! I once heard Bill give the example of being asked to speak at two churches on the same day. Favor opened both of those doors, but it’s physically impossible to be in two places at once. You physically cannot walk through every door that favor opens. At some point or another, favor will open a door – or maybe even multiple doors at once – that you are not supposed to go through.
When the door’s right, you will know. I’m preaching to myself here, because I’m having a hard time saying no to every door when I don’t see the right one yet. I’m struggling to say no to good doors when I don’t see the best one and I’m not even sure I know what it will look like.
I ask God:
“What if it doesn’t come?” It will.
“What if I miss it?” You won’t.
“What if I don’t recognize the right one?” You will know.
God whispers these reassurances to my questions, and he’s there to reassure you, too.
Listen for his voice. Wait for his peace. Have the courage to say no to the good doors while you wait for the best one. You won’t miss it. It will come. You will know.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.Habakkuk 2:3 ESV