“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other away (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it, and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. … So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door for the sheep. …I am the Door, anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out (freely), and will find pasture.” John 10:3,7,9 (Amp)
In this passage, Jesus identifies Himself both as the true Shepherd who comes through the door and is the Door itself. But He refers to Someone else in that passage also. He talks about the watchman (or the “porter” as some translations put it) who opens the door. Who is that watchman? The Holy Spirit! He is the one who opens the door for Jesus to do what He want to do on earth.
However, powerful as He is, the Holy Spirit doesn’t do the job alone. He works through God’s people. As we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to pray through us, we become the vehicle through which He moves. He utilizes our prayers to open important spiritual doors.
What kind of doors do we help Him open? First and foremost, are the doors to people’s hearts. That’s what happened in Acts 16:6 Amplified, when Paul and Silas went to Philippi. They hadn’t originally intended to preach in that city because they wanted to go to Asia instead. But the Bible says they were “forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word (in the province of) Asia.” Isn’t that interesting? Apparently, there was no open door for them in that area right then.
As many evangelists have discovered, you can preach until you’re blue in the face, but if the hearts of the people aren’t open to the Gospel, it won’t do a bit of good. You’ll just be wasting your time. The Lord didn’t want Paul and Silas to waste their time so He gave Paul a vision in the night: “A man from Macedonia stood pleading with him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us!” (verse 9 Amp). Confident that they’d received directions from God, they headed immediately for Philippi, which is the chief city of that area.
Upon arriving, they went down to the riverbank where the Jews went to pray and addressed those who had assembled there. “One of those who listened…was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in fabrics dyed in purple. She was (already) a worshiper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (verse 14 Amp). Notice that verse doesn’t say Lydia opened her own heart. It says the Lord opened it! He didn’t stop there either. He also moved on her to open her home to Paul and Silas. As a result, they ended up staying there and doing a major work of God and Lydia became an open door to the whole city. The Holy Spirit still works like that today.
An example of this is through a ministry of a born-again evangelist who was once a Muslim. He had received the opportunity to preach in Malawi. This country previously had been closed for many years. But there was a church whose pray-ers frequently prayed for him, and the Holy Spirit went before him and opened people’s hearts in staggering numbers. Hundreds of thousands of people were saved in a matter of days, and tens of thousands were baptized in the Holy Spirit in one service. Ministry is fruitful when the Holy Spirit opens the doors to people’s hearts!
Look for Part 2 of Spiritual Doors next week.