Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for July 22nd

Open Doors

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.

Rev 3:7-8a

Everyone knows that our historic city of Philadelphia means brotherly love. The biblical city was located about 28 miles southeast of the city of Sardis. The church in Philadelphia is unique among the seven churches because it is the only church the Lord registers no complaint against.

The Lord begins by telling them plainly who he is and what he does. He is holy and true. He is holy — morally perfect. His character is without flaw or blemish. And he is the true one, the one behind all that really exists. What he does is: he holds the key of David. In the days of Hezekiah, the Lord raised up a godly man named Eliakim, of whom God said, I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David. What he opens, no one can shut, and what he shuts, no one can open (Isaiah 22:22). Our Lord refers back to that passage in Isaiah and applies it to himself: I am the one who shuts and no one can open, and opens and no one can shut. His will cannot be opposed. He governs the events of history on earth. He will open some doors; he will close other doors. What he opens no one can shut; what he shuts, no one can open. No human power can contravene what he determines.

Jesus tells the church that he has placed before them open doors of ministry and service, and no one can shut them. The Apostle Paul uses this analogy about himself. On his second missionary journey, he tried to go into the province of Asia to preach the gospel but was forbidden by the Holy Spirit; it was a shut door. Then he tried to go into Bithynia, but was not allowed of the Lord — another shut door. But when he came to Troas, he learned that the Lord had opened a door for him into Europe. In past years the Lord opened doors previously closed — in Poland, East Germany, The Czech Republic and Hungary. It is wonderful to see how the people have responded to that open door. Other doors still remain closed and Christians are forbidden to practice their faith there. They are tightly closed doors. We are encouraged to pray for these, but it takes the One who opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens for those prayers to succeed.

Lord, thank you that you open doors no one can shut, and close doors no one can open. You are sovereign over my life and I pray that I would have discernment to follow you in the way you lead. Amen.

Life Application

In your own life and ministry, can you identify closed and open doors for ministry?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Little Church that Tried

Listen to Ray