See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can shut. I have done this because you have limited strength… Revelation 3:8
There is no turning back from here.
Last evening, as I talked with the Lord in prayer, the thought came to me: I can never go back. There is no turning back from here.
These are the defining moments. There are some moments, steps that the Lord asks us to take in faith, that when we say “yes” to him, there is no turning back. We are forever changed and can no longer go back to life as we knew it.
These are never easy yeses.
If I’m honest, I thought that when I said “yes” and left my ordinary full time job and stepped into leading Unveiled full-time, that I’d eventually return to normal. You know, eventually Unveiled would begin to look like a normal job or perhaps I’d even get a normal job again one day. No matter what the future holds, I felt the Lord remind me through this exhortation last night. When you say yes to me, you are forever changed. There is no going back.
I had been asking the Lord about the passage in Revelation 3:7-8 that talks about open doors:
“These are the words of the holy One, the true One, and the One who possesses the key of David, which opens the possibilities so that no one can shut them. The One who closes all options so that no one can open: I have seen your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can shut. I have done this because you have limited strength, yet you have obeyed My word and have not denied My name.” (The Voice)
I asked him to help me understand what he was saying to me personally about “open doors.” And I felt him impress upon my heart with such clarity, as though putting a mirror up to my current pathway, revealing this intersection at which I had arrived:
If you enter these “open doors” I have prepared for you, there is no turning back. If you enter these doors – the way of trusting me in all things, for all things, you can never go back to life as you once knew it. There is no going back.
It came as a gentle but firm encouragement to help me see what is true. To make sense of the reality that I now stand in: There is no turning back from here. I will never be able to go back to life as it was.
So the question before me is now clear and direct: Am I ready to enter in?
Am I willing to walk through the open doors the Lord has set before me? The way of trusting him in every single thing. Looking to him solely and completely to supply my every need. At the point of realizing this clear choice, there is also a beautiful freedom; confirming that this invitation is from the Lord. I do not feel backed into a corner. It is a choice that simply says: you may walk with Me here through these doors, and experience Me in this new way. Or, you may choose an alternate pathway. Both permissible, and both with the assurance of Jesus walking with me. But one path – the path of his invitation – will certainly be of both greater risk, and greater benefit.
Because Jesus is always good, we know that anything he invites us into is better than we could imagine. His invitation is always to more goodness. To more of himself.
But the choice, it is mine. How will I respond to this invitation to walk through these doors of abandonment? To walk where I have not gone. Nor do I know where I am going. To trust only that he has gone before me.
There are not complex answers in response to this question. There is zero explanation needed. It is a simple yes or no.
The answer – if it is yes – means I’ll never return to a “normal” life. I will eat from the Master’s hand forever.
But is this not what the “normal” life of a Christian ought to be?
It is not. I am self-reliant far more than I am Christ-reliant. And that’s just it. He is not interested in my partialities – sometimes I rely on you for these things, and other times I rely on myself. That is not the heart which Jesus is after – he wants none of it if he cannot have all of it.
Jesus is worthy of my heart’s total surrender.
He proved himself trustworthy when he gave his life on the cross. Why then? How then, is it that I so easily distrust him? How do I look into the eyes of Christ of the Cross and tell him: “No. You gave up your life for me but you cannot have this part of my life?” I have become so fully dependent upon “me and mine own hand” that I could no longer clearly see it has always been his hand. Everything I have, he gave it. The breath that I breathe is his. So what am I withholding from him? And for what? What is worth more than the price that Jesus paid for me?
There is nothing.
It is Jesus who even gives us the grace to say “yes” to him. Left to my own strength and my own devices, I will most certainly tell him no – again and again. Of that I am certain. I am incapable of saying yes and fully surrendering except by His grace. The Scripture says: “It is God who works in us both to will and to act according to his purposes.”
So, this question now begs my response: “Are you willing to walk through these open doors I have placed before you? Are you willing to enter in?”
Only by your grace, Lord, let my heart’s response be always: “Yes, be it unto me according to your will.”