I’ve heard it said that in the end your Christian walk is you and God and “Yes.” Which I take to mean saying yes to Jesus’ commands, even the unpopular ones. Yes to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Yes to making your life a living sacrifice and using everything God has given you for His purpose. Sometimes the journey of “yes” is exciting, terrifying, miserable, and wonderful. It runs the full gambit.
It seems some blame God, and saying yes to Him, for the rough waters that come along in life. I’ve even blamed Him a time or two. It’s easy to assume that the yes-journey will be smooth sailing; and if it’s not, to say that life apart from “yes” would be smooth sailing. But really, rough waters come whether you’re Holy Spirit directed or self-directed. Life is inevitably a mix of smooth sailing and rough. At least with God the whole lot has a purpose and gets caught up into the great redemption story of Jesus.
It makes me think of that passage in Revelation, “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:8 NKJV) This is near the beginning of Jesus’ letter to the church in Philadelphia. This church. Though small in strength still managed to keep the word of God and remain steadfast to His name. Which leads me to believe that results like that takes more than mere strength.
What’s the secret ingredient? It doesn’t say directly in this passage, but I have a theory of my own. I think the church of Philadelphia used what strength they had and added to it resolve. When we resolve in our hearts to follow through it is easier to actually follow through. When it’s easy or hard we just find a way through and persevere because the decision is already made.
I think this is why a daily quiet time, perhaps in the morning, is so key to a walk of faith. In that quiet time we are able to hear God’s whisper. We are able to realign our hearts with His. To remember our decision to say “Yes”. When its daily it keeps that decision fresh in our minds and in our hearts. It only strengthens our resolve so that whatever strength we have, whatever talent we have, it can be put towards our yes.
How amazing to plod on with resolve and meet, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.” (Rev. 3:7) Jesus has the key of David and we have the key of “Yes” and when they work together Jesus opens a door and we don’t waste time and energy trying to shut it again. Rather, we go through the open door and fulfill God’s purpose in our lives. Until we overcome and become pillars in the temple of God with the name of God written on us like the church of Philadelphia. (Rev. 3:12)
I would rather struggle through the yes-journey and come to the end as an overcomer than struggle with the consequences of “no” and the emptiness that seeps in at the seams of quitting. I’d rather fight for something than nothing. I’d rather struggle with the abundance of God than the scarcity of selfish living.
So I’m learning to rest when times of rest come, work diligently through the drudgery, and push through when times are hard. But like the times I help my four year old push open a door when it’s too heavy for him. I find when I’m pushing through, the Father is right behind me pushing on the same door with me until that door opens and becomes a door that cannot be shut.