Into the Book


Based on the concept of God “setting before us an open door” that is found in Revelation and coupled with a Dr. Seuss-esque style and appeal, John Ortberg’s latest book encourages people not to submit to the lie that we are meant to stay where we are, but that we are called to rise up and walk through God’s open doors. They may be big, they may be small – from a move across the country, to simply talking to a neighbor for the first time – but one thing is for certain: God has called everyone to an open door. And if we choose to walk through it… Oh! The places we’ll go!

First and foremost, John Ortberg’s writing style is delightful. His quirky comments and sense of humour makes what could be a talk at you topic one that is easily grasped, yet deeply thought provoking. Unlike many books that encourage moving forward and going forth into the world, this one does not leave people discontent with their current circumstances that may appear stagnant, which I very much appreciated. The theme for the book is not, “go somewhere, do something”. The focal point is obeying God, and becoming the person He has called you to be. Living a life that chooses open doors is not a life of reckless abandon, but one of consistent obedience to the Lord’s voice – regardless of how we may feel about it.

The book explores open doors that are depicted in Scripture, chiefly such as Abraham, Jonah, and the Prodigal Son. It shares abundant wisdom on learning to hear God’s voice (not always the audible kind), make wise and informed decisions using the brain God gave you, debunking popular myths about open doors (“I just don’t have peace about this”), and encouraging people with the concept that, though we may desire the whole plan, God only gives us enough light for the step we’re on, and that’s okay.

God says, “I have set before you an open door” not “I have set before you a finished script”. An open door is a beginning, an opportunity, but it has no guaranteed ending. It’s not a sneak peek at the finish. If it is to be entered, it can be entered only by faith.

Challenging, inspiring, and uplifting, John Ortberg nails it with All the Places to Go. For people who may need a kickstart for making better decisions in life, recognizing opportunities, or want wisdom on how to better navigate the many doors that remain unopened before us, this book is a must. In the end, it actually isn’t all about where we end up. It’s who we become. Which is why it is important to know which doors to walk through – for though hard valleys make for difficult times, they are often worth it for the character it builds in us. So let us choose our doors wisely, and obey God’s voice when He calls us to get up and go.

In other words, God’s basic will for your life is not what you do or where you live or whether you marry or how much you make; it’s who you become. God’s primary will for your life is that you become a person of excellent character, wholesome liveliness, and divine love.


Published on 30 June, 2015. Last updated on

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