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Receiving a ‘No’ as an answer to our prayers can be a challenging experience. I remember a time when I had a scenario all planned out, filtered it through the Word of God, and even sought the advice of my godly friends. Yet, when I brought it to the Lord in prayer, His answer was a HARD ‘no. ‘  It was a difficult season of my walk with Jesus, but it taught me a valuable lesson.  It should be noted that this scenario has happened far more than just one time. It’s a regular part of our Christian lives. God doesn’t always say yes.

We refer to the no’s of God as ‘closed doors.’  It’s a great picture, isn’t it? If you come to a door and it’s open or unlocked, you can walk through with little resistance. If the same door is closed and locked, the unspoken message is that you cannot pass through.   An open door is a yes. A closed door is a no.

Closed doors are discouraging. They tend to stop all momentum and bum us out.

But it would help if you understood this: Ready? Both closed doors and open doors are from the Lord. He directs your life and says yes to some prayers and no to others. They are both precious and helpful as we follow Him by faith.

So what do we do when we face a closed door?  Consider these three things as evidenced in the life of the Apostle Paul in Acts 16.

1. Continue to Move

When we face a “no” from God, we must not give up or become bitter. Instead, keep moving forward in faith. God uses closed doors to reveal His will for our lives, guiding us in the direction He desires.

Matthew 7:7–8 (NKJV) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

2. Continue to Obey

Even when things don’t go as planned, it’s essential to maintain your obedience to God. Disappointment should not lead to disobedience or rebellion. The story of King Saul serves as a warning to us all. He disobeyed God and paid a high price for it.

1 Sam 15:22-23 (NKJV) Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

3. Continue to Trust

God’s closed doors often conceal God’s unknown purposes. While we may not understand the reasons behind the closed door at the time, we are moved to trust in God’s wisdom and continue to follow Him with a deeper faith.

Isaiah 51:1 (NKJV) ““Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.”

I know the closed door is hard. But God is using it. You can trust Him and follow Him. He is very involved in your life.

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