Friday, April 13, 2012

This is JERICHO: (8) Beyond The Open Door

 These are the words of Him who is holy and true, 
who holds the key of David. 
What He opens no one can shut, 
and what He shuts no one can open. 

 I know your deeds.

 See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. 
I know that you have little strength, 
yet you have kept My word 
and have not denied My name.
~Revelation 3:7-8

It is in those quiet, alone moments when we decide who we are. We don't become heroes, villains, or meaningless souls in the charged moments of life that color our character... rather, those situations simply strip us naked to reveal who we are.  How do we deal with fear? How do we face disappointment? What is our response when we are faced with disappointment?

God tells us that a closed door is an opportunity. A chance to turn and go the right way. A moment to understand that it is His provision alone that can lead us out. We will not recognize rescue until we acknowledge that we are stranded.

I was driving southbound on I-75 after a meeting. My mind was spinning with thoughts of all that needed to be accomplished within the next 15 months. I allowed myself to become overwhelmed, and started to become angry. And then... I again thought of Joshua as he circled that city on the 7th day. 

He had been obedient to God... and yet nothing had changed. For 7 days he had led a nation in a circle, always ending right where they had started... and not a single block had cracked. The city of Jericho stood just as tall and mighty as it did a week ago. 

But then I realized... could it be that I was interpreting this wrong? Sure he had doubts, but his actions also showed that he had some faith! This was the critical moment... he was so close to full obedience, to staying faithful. If he had given up at that moment, he would have missed the miracle. He may have had doubts, but he kept on walking.

Yes... I would keep on walking. God was my only answer. I would rather face failure while following God than to find success without Him. Most conversations throughout the week followed the same script: 

"So, you're selling your furniture?" 
"Oh, so you have a buyer for your house?"
"What... you're renting it out?"
"No, we haven't found a renter yet."
"But you're selling your furniture?"
"Yes, we are moving forward."
"But...what if you can't sell?"
"We are moving forward."

Yes... I was resolved. This was not the time to give up now. In a few short hours, our home was to be viewed by Kellie's cousin and his family. We circled these walls. God had promised us that He had already delivered the city.

Today we arrived at His promise. Our house has been leased. The city has fallen. What we were unable to see, God has delivered. Our willingness to be obedient, to have a little faith, and to keep walking... even when progress was unapparent, was honored by God. 

He has made our path straight.

Sure, we allowed ourselves to look a little foolish... marching around our home like some concrete-headed, literal, simplistic fundamentalist... and yet we realized two things. First, we had walked into a situation that could only be solved by God. Second, we could not expect His intervention if we failed to be obedient. And so... we read the story of Joshua, and we focused our hearts, our prayers, and even our actions on the path.

The Robinson's will take residence in our home on June 1st, 2012. They have even agreed to purchase our furniture! They had also been desperate for a solution to difficulties of their own, and our two sets of problems fit together to form an incredible solution. This is the provision of God. From our perspective, it was as if they fell from the sky. Before Israel shouted down a wall... they fed for decades on manna.

We are now readying our hearts to begin our farewells to this chapter of our lives. I noticed Caleb this evening sitting on the couch and thoughtfully looking out the window of our family room. I recognized his thoughts. I took a while to stop and sit with him and our hearts shared an incredible moment of remembering all the happy memories of us in this place. 

We have established tangible testaments to our life here these past 7 years, and we laughed and experienced them all again. We walk away from this place of comfort and security to take hold of an incredible chance to reach out and touch the face of God. 

There are more challenges that face us in the coming 15 months... and we will have more cities to circle. Although we are still stunned by the events of the day, we recognize the undeniable hand of God in our lives, and we are emboldened by this convergence. 

What we could not accomplish, God has delivered. You are witness to His provision.  

Pray for us that we continue to dream big, listen to His voice, and then follow His lead. May our motives remain pure, and may we always be willing to look foolish in order to exercise faith and look for miracles.

Jericho is behind us.

God is our provision and we give Him thanks.

Oh yeah... God must know that sometimes I can be a little thick-skulled and I think He wanted me to understand that today was brought about by His hand. Within a ten minute window today, 3 situations that we had been waiting on for months with absolutely no progress... all collided with resolution: (1) Sterling's U.S. Citizenship document arrived, (2) my ordination process moved forward, (3) our home was leased by people we love. 

Yes... this was God once again grapping me by the collar to tell me that He is aware, and He is in control. 

Loud & Clear. We step through the door.

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