By Gerald Shuler
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Wow! What a promise! As Christians, we should be the dominant force on the face of the earth. Satan’s minions should be trembling with fear at the power we wield. We should be paving highways of peace and health every place we go.
We should be...
That’s just it, we should be.
So, why aren’t we?
Why don’t more Christians live the promise-filled life God has supplied for us? Why do we continue cowering to diseases, compromising our beliefs and canceling our faith? We were empowered with the full authority of Jesus Christ. He expects us to carry on the work He started in the brief years of His walk on earth.
The early disciples understood what they had been given. They preached throughout the known world and thousands were saved each time they preached! Even the touch of a Christian’s shadow had the anointed power to heal. (Acts 5:15)
Why isn’t it that way now?
Actually, I think I might have it figured out. I used to be a security guard for a large manufacturing company. Part of my responsibility was to check each door of each office to make sure it was locked. If it wasn’t locked for some reason then I was to lock it using the correct key from a huge chain of keys that I carried with me. Usually, of course, the doors were already locked so I didn’t have to worry about which key locked which door. Sometimes, though, I found a door unlocked. I hated when that happened because then I had to take the keys and systematically try them one by one until I stumbled onto the correct one for that door. The key was always there and I knew it... I just needed to find it!
I believe the same thing has happened to far too many Christians. We find ourselves facing doors in our lives that are either locked, separating us from what is on the other side, or unlocked, which allows us access to whatever blessings (or problems) await us on the other side. Here’s the thing, though: Most of us Christians don’t have enough spiritual maturity to even know which doors would be good for us and which would lead to disaster. Most of us think we know what is good for us, but, in fact, all we know is that there is a “door of opportunity” that has been made available to us. It could be in any area of our life: big raise, better house, more prestige. We have become conditioned by society to rush through doors of opportunity before anything can close it.
That is where Christians need to start learning how to use our Christ-given keys to the kingdom. We need to learn that some doors need to stay locked so we WON’T rush through them! How, then, can we tell a good door from a bad one? After all, most opportunities have a tendency to look good or we wouldn’t be calling them opportunities. We have to understand, though, that calling it an opportunity doesn’t make it one. More often than not our “opportunity” is actually only a deceptively disguised obstacle.
It was stated clearly at the beginning of this article. We should be the dominant force on the face of the earth. But we need to understand why that power and authority was given to us. It was given to continue the work of Christ. Jesus went about helping others, but we seek only doors that will help ourselves. Jesus healed the sick and brought peace to their troubled souls, but we stumble at the door of believing what the latest doctor’s report says about our ailments. Jesus sought first the kingdom of God, but we seek first the things of this world.
And that is where we ALWAYS miss it!
The things of this world (riches, fame, prestige, etc.) are of NO eternal value. We have been called of God for a purpose and that purpose isn’t to get rich. Our purpose as Christians is to draw nearer to God. Everything we say, do, or think should be for the purpose of getting in a position to know God better. After all, the better we know Him, the better we will understand what he wants us to do.
But, then, if we actually lived that kind of life we would be ridiculed as “fanatics”... right?
And, of course, we don’t want that.
So we decide by peer pressure to go through the wrong door again.
And so the body of Christ continues to suffer because WE won’t use the keys we have been given to lock those doors!