Don’t open the door.
For three days, I heard the same warning.
In John 10, Jesus talks about a door and He also mentions two people that will come.
The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (vs 10).
When God shuts a door, he shuts it because what’s behind the door has the potential to destroy you, or even worse, kill you. It is the door that the enemy uses to steal from you. He steals your time with distractions, wrong relationships, or worry. He tries to steal your praise, your joy, your faith and even the word God gave you.
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts (Mark 4:15).
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart (Matthew 13:19).
A door is a means of access. It opens and it closes. It allows you to walk into some things as well as walk out of some things. It takes you from one place to another.
I thought I understood what God was saying, but I really didn’t. I thought he was telling me that someone from my past was coming to my house and to not open the door. I thought he was talking about a physical door, but he was actually talking about a spiritual door.
If God shuts a door in your life, he is sparing you from what’s behind that door because it does not lead to abundant life.
Remember the last time you did something that God told you not to do. Your disobedience opened a door. For some of you, that door led to heartbreak, trouble, anger, financial loss, depression, suicidal thoughts and sickness. For others, it affected your marriages as well as your children.
But remember also how God forgave you. Remember how He brought you out of what you put yourself in. Remember how much He loves you and how He only wants what is best for you.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Become like the psalmist who would rather be a doorkeeper and guard the door of the house of God than to live in the tent of wickedness.
Please don’t open what God has shut.
While John the Baptist was in prison, he heard about the works of Christ. So, he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the one they were expecting or should they keep looking for someone else.
Jesus told his disciples to tell John ‘those things which you hear and see’.
The disciples saw ‘the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead raised, and the gospel preached to the poor.
When a person’s visual acuity is 20/20, it means that he/she has normal and clear vision (at 20 feet).
The church has been hearing the word of God for years, but 2020 will be the year that we will ‘hear and see’.
We will see what we have heard.
Happy New Year!
[Scripture reference: Matthew 11:1-5]
Come to Me.
Talk to Me.
You have My ears.
Tell me what concerns you. Tell Me what bothers you. Tell Me what hurts you.
I told you that I would do it. I will bless you. I will restore you. I will heal you. I will fix it, but you are trying to do it on your own and now it has become a burden to you.
You have carried this burden long enough.
Give it to Me.
Put on My yoke and let us walk together and as you walk with Me, you will find strength and the help you need.
You need Me.
You have talked to everyone else about it.
Now, talk to Me.
Come to me, all of you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
settled: to stand firm, be stationed, take an upright position, to be fixed, to be ready, to be planted
And wherefore have you made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink (Numbers 20:5).
When twelve spies were sent to investigate the land, they brought back grapes, figs and pomegranates for the children of Israel to taste and see. O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusts in him (Psalm 34:8). God promised to bring them up and out of Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey, but they were complaining because where they were, didn’t look like what God promised. They no longer believed what was told to them.
They were tired of the wilderness, but the wilderness was necessary. They acted like their new home was the wilderness, but it was designed for them to go through, not to live in. This place was preparing them for the next place, but they didn’t like this season of their life and what was good for them was now labeled as evil.
Seed makes things grow, but even in a place that had no seed, God always made sure they were fed. There was no water in the wilderness, yet they drank water. But they were still not satisfied.
I know they say that nothing grows in the wilderness, but the children of Israel should have been growing and maturing. The wilderness journey was their time to learn how to believe, trust and to depend on God. They couldn’t see Him, but they saw His works, signs, wonders and His glory. They didn’t know Him and this was their opportunity to learn of Him. This was a time of testing to reveal to them what was in their hearts. The word of God should be hidden in our hearts, but sometimes we have things hiding in our hearts that shouldn’t be there.
The lack of seed wasn’t the problem. The problem was that they refused to become a seed. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24). To become more than a seed, it must first die. Then, it can bear fruit.
I loved that the Israelites remembered what God said, but they still didn’t believe what He said. God wanted to bless them, but if they didn’t allow Him to prepare, teach and train them for where He was taking them, what was supposed to be a blessing would become a curse.
Both the Israelites and Jesus faced temptation in the wilderness, but the difference between them was Jesus knew who He was (Son of God). When satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and tempted him with power and glory, He already knew that the earth was His (Psalm 24:1). Also, He just didn’t know the written word, but He knew the God of the written word.
We know that the children of Israel walked a lot during their journey because the scriptures tell us that their feet never swelled and their shoes were never worn out, but not everyone crossed the Jordan and not everyone entered into the land that God promised. Jesus also walked a lot during his ministry and he walked until he walked to Golgotha. He walked to his crucifixion. He walked until he fulfilled the will of His Father.
I’m not telling you that Jesus never grew weary. According to John 4:6, he did. But like Jesus, I pray that we all walk in obedience, faith and belief in what God said until we walk into what God has promised us.
The word of the Lord is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). May we become settled in what is forever settled in heaven.
walk: the way you conduct yourself; to live in obedience; to move; to go through
Throughout his ministry, Jesus walked a lot. There was this one time that he needed to travel through Samaria. When he arrived to Sychar, a city of Samaria, he was tired (John 4:4). What I love about this passage of scripture is that when Jesus got tired, he didn’t quit. He didn’t give up. He stopped and rested.
Jesus, therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well (John 4:6, KJV).
So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well (John 4:6, AMPC).
As believing Christians, we walk a lot too. Well, we are supposed to.
Let us walk honestly (Romans 13:13).
For we walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16).
And walk in love (Ephesians 5:2).
Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).
That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing (Colossians 1:10).
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments (2 John 1:6).
Throughout the bible, we are told how we should walk. I know we don’t always walk how we were taught to walk. I know you’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I want to encourage every person who is reading this.
Do you remember when Paul was in a ship with some other prisoners? While they were sailing, Paul perceived that they would suffer hurt and much damage (Acts 27:10). He wasn’t just talking about the ship, but he was talking about their lives being in danger. But the centurion wouldn’t listen. He believed the master and owner of the ship more than the words spoken by Paul.
Sometimes we believe the words of people more than the word of God.
When a violent wind came, they were tossed about on the ship. To save themselves, they had to throw things off the ship to reduce the weight. They experienced seasickness, stress and they were without food for a long time. Have you ever thought back to some decisions you made and said, If I had only listened? Paul told them that they should have listened to him, but he knew they were already feeling bad so he didn’t make them feel worse. He didn’t condemn them. He told them to cheer up. There will be no loss of life among you, but only loss of the ship (Acts 27:22, AMP).
Maybe you didn’t listen when God warned you, but don’t dwell over it. Don’t beat yourself over it. Cheer up. The enemy wants you to feel like you’re a failure. He wants you to think that you can’t do anything right. You’re always messing up. You do good for a little while, but then you do something foolish just before the breakthrough or before the promise can be fulfilled in your life. For some of you, there are people who have blamed you for the choices they made. They made you think it was your fault. They made you feel like you were a bad person. Yes, you have made some bad choices, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. Everything wasn’t your fault.
I don’t care what people have said about you. You won’t miss it this time. You have been the tail for too long, but things are about to turn around for you. No, God hasn’t changed His mind about you. He wants to bless you. If you will obey His voice and do all that He has commanded you to do, God will make you the head (Deuteronomy 28:1, 13). You don’t have to force it. HE will do it.
So don’t look back. I don’t want you to regret anything. I don’t want you to worry about it anymore. I don’t want you to sit too long. Get up and ‘walk’. Don’t stop doing what works just because it seems like it’s not working. I know you wish you could have done some things differently, but guess what? You still can. It’s not too late for you. Every day that God gives you is another chance and another opportunity to do things differently.
I told you earlier that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. When Jesus sat down to rest, he ministered to a woman who was ‘tired’ too – tired of going from man to man, tired of the hurt, tired of the disappointment – looking, searching and hoping. Is he the one? Will this one love me the way I deserve to be loved? This woman was so busy looking for someone to love her that she never learned to love herself. But she met Jesus – and he spoke to her like no other man had ever spoken to her before. What this MAN did for her made her forget about what all the other men did to her.
You need to go through what you’re going through. It’s going to help somebody. Someone has lost hope, but you’re about to give someone hope again. I know you get weary at times along the way. Sometimes you want to give up, but keep walking in what God told you to do.
And when you get tired, rest.
Rest in the promise God made to you. Become like Paul who believed God and believed that it would be as it was told to him (Acts 27:25). Be at peace with what God said and as you place your hope in Him, He will renew your strength and you will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Rest, but don’t quit.
There are some people who fall, but get right back up again. Then, there are others who fall, but have a harder time getting up. Sometimes it’s not what people have said about you that keeps you down, but what you think about yourself that keeps you down.
In John 5, the writer tells us of a sheep market or gate in Jerusalem. Sheep were led through this gate to the temple where they were sacrificed. The sins of the people were placed upon the sheep to cleanse them of their sins, but right next to the gate was a pool, called Bethesda, filled with a lot of people – a great multitude – who needed to be cleansed of their sicknesses. They were impotent, blind, halt and withered. Some of them became a burden to others because they had to be carried, lifted and transported from one place to another. These people were overlooked, forgotten, abandoned and rejected. No one wanted them while they were not well. Where were their families? Where were their friends?
But Jesus was there.
One of the people lying at the pool was a man who had an infirmity for thirty eight years. The scriptures didn’t tell us that he had been this way since birth, but thirty eight years was too long. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10b). Jesus knew how long he had been in that condition and asked him if he wanted to be made whole. The man told Jesus, Sir, I have no man to put me in the pool (John 5:7). Not only was he waiting for the move of the water, but he was waiting on someone to carry him into the pool. He sounded helpless, but he also sounded like he was blaming others for his current state. If someone would have put me in the pool, I wouldn’t be here. I’m still sick because of them. It’s their fault. But Jesus never asked this man about other people. He asked a question so that the man may examine himself, not others.
Jesus didn’t say it to this man, but I believe He is telling a lot of us this: You could have been up a long time ago. In fact, you should have been walking by now. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe God will carry you, but at some point He wants you to learn how to walk. He wants you to grow up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop thinking everyone is against you. Stop regretting what happened. Stop living in the past.
Sometimes, just like this man, we’re waiting on a person. We’re waiting on someone to do what God says we can do. We’re waiting on the pastor to do it. We’re waiting until the wife comes or the husband comes and then we’ll do. We’re waiting until the money comes and then we’ll give. Why don’t you give what you have now? Why don’t you do what God has told you to do now? If you’re not doing anything with little, why would God trust you with much?
Jesus didn’t take him by the hand and lift him up like Peter with the man who was lame from his mother’s womb (Acts 3:7). Instead, He gave him a word. Rise, take up your bed, and walk (John 5:8). The impotent man believed he would receive his healing through the water, but he received it through the word. God doesn’t always heal or perform miracles the way we think. We expect Him to do it one way, but He may do it another way. What I want you to understand is this: Jesus told him to do something, the man did it and he was immediately made whole. This man literally walked in obedience and in faith. Had he not obeyed the word, he would have never received his healing. No one had to carry him anymore.
I can be so hard on myself. Sometimes I beat myself up like a drum. Seriously. But falling doesn’t mean failure. I’m learning now that had I not fallen, I would have never learned how to walk. For the last few months, I’ve been praying Psalm 51:10. Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me. I’ve also been asking the Holy Spirit to help me move on and let go of things (and people). Will the enemy remind you of things you did to someone or things someone did to you? Yes, but every day I am choosing to forgive – and that includes myself. Jesus has already made me free (Galatians 5:1), but now I must choose to walk in that freedom. It’s a choice.
You will recover from where you have fallen. You are going to make it. Time is too precious. Don’t spend another moment living in regret, worry or anger. This man walked for the first time in thirty eight years – and so can you! It doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen. You’ve been lying there long enough. Rise again. Take up your ‘bed’. Don’t use excuses anymore. Don’t blame anyone for what happened to you…and walk.
For though I fall, I will rise again (Micah 7:8).
lie: to convey a false image or impression; to exhibit a false representation
At one time or another, we have lied about something. We lied to get out of trouble. We lied to prevent hurting someone’s feelings. We lied because we thought that was the only way we could get what we wanted. Whether you told a little lie, a big lie or a white lie, a lie is still a lie and according to Proverbs 6:17, a lying tongue is one of the things that God hates.
If we SAY that we have fellowship with Him and WALK in darkness, we lie (1 John 1:6). What we say should match what we do. If we say that we abide in Christ, then we should walk as He walked (1 John 2:6). Telling others that I’ve been going to church since I was child or that I’ve read the whole bible isn’t proof that I know God. If I truly know Him, then I will do what He says. We do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3).
It is what we do – not what we say – that confirms our relationship with God. This is what separates the carnal Christian from the spiritual Christian. The carnal Christian refuses to grow up in the Lord. They refuse to be taught. They live the way they want to live. They do what they want to do and not what God wants them to do. They are like the scribes and Pharisees. They say, and do not (Matthew 23:3). They don’t walk in godliness. They just have a form or an appearance of godliness.
Sometimes it takes years before you discover who a person really is. You may be able to lie about who you are, but you can’t hide who you really are but for so long. Do you remember the parable of the wheat and tares? A tare resembles wheat while it is young, but when they begin to grow, they look nothing alike. The reason why the householder didn’t allow his servants to gather up the tares or expose them is because he knew that the tares would soon expose themselves. You see, the tares have seeds inside of them, but only the wheat brings forth fruit.
Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit (John 12:24).
But when the blade (wheat) was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also (Matthew 13:26).
If I bite into a plastic fruit (fake), I don’t get anything out of it – only disappointment, but when I bite into a real fruit, there are many benefits – health, vitamins, mineral and less risk for certain diseases and illness, just to name a few. Fruit is a sign of maturity. When we refuse to die to selfishness, pride or our way of doing things, we remain the same and there is no fruit, but when we fall to the ground (humility) and die (submission), we will grow and bear much fruit.
A few months ago, I (a Christian) saw someone (another Christian) who hurt me in the past. Honestly, I didn’t want to see or talk to this person ever again. (It’s funny how we remember when someone hurt us, but forget when we hurt others). As I saw the person approaching, I looked straight ahead to avoid the individual. I didn’t speak – on purpose. The Lord immediately said, That’s not Me. In other words, I wasn’t displaying Him. Love doesn’t behave that way.
I admit I need help in that area. I don’t want to teach it or in this case, write it, but not live it. I don’t want to become what I hate – a liar and a hypocrite. If we as Christians are tired of people lying and pretending, then let us stop lying and pretending. Instead of talking about what everyone else is doing, let us examine ourselves and be careful how we live. If you’re going to dress as sheep, then act like sheep. Put on the armour of light (Romans 13:12). Put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24). Put on love (Colossians 3:14). Just as you identify a tree by its fruit, people identify us by what we do.
We are representatives of Christ. We aren’t chosen just to speak for God, but we are chosen to live for God. Jesus just didn’t say what His Father said, but He did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19).
Let us walk as He walked.