Close your eyes and imagine with me that you and millions of others are standing in front of a celestial door. Great blessings you can’t even imagine are waiting on the other side. You can tell because bright light is shining out of the edges of the door frame. You feel weak and incompetent to open the door even though you have a key in your hand. The key looks so insignificant compared to the key hole in the door. You know that it will not be the correct fit, even before you try to fit it in. You glance around at others around you, also standing in front of their doors, looking defeated, with keys in their hand. Then quite a distance away you can tell that a door has flung open on its hinges, and you see your sister in Christ walking through her door. You look down at your key, did she have a bigger, more powerful key than you have?
Sometimes we are paralyzed in our spiritual walk with God. We feel ill-equipped to handle life, much less to become a victorious warrior for God. Taking a step forward may seem beyond your ability. This is where God meets us. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 we learn of Paul the apostle’s weakness. Paul learned that God’s power was made perfect in his weakness, and he finds a wonderful spiritual truth--“When I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul came to accept his weakness, turning around his perspective. Instead of focusing on himself and the limited attributes he could offer God, he started focusing on God.
Many times in scripture we read of Bible heroes that come to a place where they realize their weakness, understanding that in their own power they can’t be victorious. They are faced with a decision to stay focused on their own inability and lack of resources, or instead to humbly turn their gaze on the one who has unlimited resources and abilities.
We are each given a key that can unlock the celestial door to God’s great blessings and empowerment. We must have the faith to “take action” and slip that key into the key hole and open the door. Let’s think about those keys. When David faced Goliath in the 17th chapter of 1 Samuel, he was the least qualified by man’s standards to defeat the giant, Goliath. Instead of focusing on his own weaknesses and inadequacies, he gazed at God. David’s key was the 5 stones and his sling shot. The action he would take with these items was the divine key he needed to unlock the door in front of him. This door was one of many that he would open by faith through his lifetime, leading him to become the great King David.
Let’s hop into the new testament story in Luke 9:12-17. Jesus has been teaching a huge crowd all day. This is a high point in his ministry to the people. He was teaching about the kingdom of heaven and healing the sick. The crowd has been listening to Christ’s teaching for hours and he knows they are hungry. It’s getting late in the day and Jesus’s disciples come to him to tell Jesus what to do. Don’t you love it? That’s what we do. We tell Jesus how to fix things all the time. The disciples tell Jesus to send the crowd away because they don’t have the resources to feed the crowd. In verse 13 Jesus tells the disciples, “You give them something to eat.” Well the guys mouths probably drop open at this point. I imagine them stuttering when they say, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish…” This was their key to unlock their door by faith and to see the miracle of God. Would they by faith take action, using what they had and leave the rest to God? Praise God they did. I’m sure they gazed into Jesus’ face and made the decision to follow his directions. They gave their uniquely fitted key and opened their divine door. The end of the story is one of the most famous of Jesus’ miracles, Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand. Those 5 loaves and 2 fish fed everyone with 12 baskets of food left over. The disciples could never have imagined what they were about to witness. That’s where I want to be. I want to witness the unimaginable.
All of us have a key. We have some type of resource or ability that God wants to use for his glory. Will you choose to gaze at Jesus, instead of your weakness and take the step of faith to act?
(I love learning from great Bible teachers of our day. One of my favorites is Priscilla Shirer. Her study on Gideon inspired this blog post.)