Thursday, May 29, 2014

Deadbolts won't do

God wants to do so much for us - our part is just to enter into what it is he is doing in and through our lives.  There are many kinds of doors in this world - some quite elaborate, others simple, but effective.  Back in the day, we didn't lock them when we left our homes - now we secure them with two or more locks.  There are also doors of a different kind - not physical in nature - but kind of "immaterial" doors.  These are the doors we keeps securely "latched" in our lives so as to keep others out, limiting our "exposure" to the general public.  In essence, these doors act to keep others out and to keep our "mess" under wraps!  God's plan is to have those doors opened to him - not so he can criticize our "mess" of a life, but so he can help us clear out the space and allow it to be put in right order.

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.   (Romans 5:1-2 MSG)

We enter into God's door by faith - his door is open wide to those who will take the first step toward him, admit their need for his grace in their lives, and then allow him to gain access to the doors of our heart and mind.  In time, he will set in order what we have been straining hard to keep under wraps!  He does this by setting us right with him - we get put into a position of being on "right-standing" with him - not through our own efforts, but through the efforts of one - his Son, Jesus Christ.  This right-standing is what helps us to "fit" for his purposes.  All of us were created with a "space" into which God's Spirit "fits" - fill it with anything else and it just will never be the "right fit".  It is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole - it could be done, but it sure doesn't fit right and takes a whole lot of altering to get it to fit!

Part of the reason we have all these "secured doors" in our lives is the belief that these areas of our lives are beyond fixing.  God wants to assure us today that if we open wide these doors, we will discover he has already opened wide the exact doors we need in his kingdom which will help us to set right what is behind those sealed doors of our lives.  This should be good news for those of us with "secured doors" - or let me put it another way - those of us with a whole lot of junk in our trunk!  It isn't until we open the door that we discover what Christ has available to us to help us with what is contained within those sealed places.  We know he has "good stuff" for his kids, but we don't come to appreciate what that "good stuff" is until we see how it begins to help us with the "cleaning up" of our messes in life.

Open doors not only allow access, but they allow egress.  That is a fancy term which really means a way of escape.  Those things we have bottled up so tightly in those sealed places of our hearts and minds are finally free to find a way of escape once we open the door to Jesus' grace.  The truth is that we must open up if we are to recognize the path to escape.  It isn't that we escape the hurt that has been bottled up behind those closed doors, but we finally realize a means by which the hurt may be removed so it no longer causes us hurt and it cannot be used to hurt others.

Sealing away life's hurts and disappointments may be a means by which we deal with stuff we find too difficult to handle, but it is not God's plan for us. He wants us to open wide the doors of our hearts and minds so his Spirit may find his place of "fit" in our lives.  This is the means by which grace enters and hurt leaves.  Where grace abides anger and bitterness cannot.  Opening the door actually creates the egress for the anger and bitterness of past hurt to escape.  Once the places of concealment are emptied, they are open to be filled again - only this time, they are filled with grace, love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace.  

So, we all have doors.  Some are sealed with lots and lots of locks and bolts. The only one with access to open those locks and bolts is the one who secured them in the first place - and that would be us.  All Jesus asks is for us to open the door.  He does the rest.  In opening the door, we might feel a little vulnerable, but trust me on this - grace doesn't mistreat our vulnerability. Instead, it embraces it and loves us through the discomfort of being open and real with him.  Just sayin!

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