Often at the beginning of a New Year we have a clear mandate or direction from God as to the focus or prophetic significance of that year. We knew that 2013 was a ‘year of alignment’ and we have spent many occasions in prayer regarding this. There are some who interpret the current Hebrew year 5774 as meaning “the year of the Open Doors”. Whilst I don’t feel strongly enough to declare it as THE year of open doors in Golden Valley Church, I do believe that within this next 12 months the Father is wanting to open up new ‘doors’ for us in many areas of life.
Biblically, and in within ancient cultures, the concept of doors, gates, and doorways are more significant than we generally regard them in a modern western society. Clearly doors into our homes or businesses are significant as both entry points and security factors. Whoever would come in or go out must do so via the door and through the doorway. Several centuries ago the same was true for our own city of Gloucester. We still have the four main streets named as Eastgate, Westgate, Northgate, and Southgate, but they are merely roads now reflecting a historical reality that once there were literal gates in and out. In the Bible Jesus describes Himself as ‘the door’. No-one can come in to God His Father apart from via Him.
‘Doors’ and ‘doorways’ represent the only genuine transition points from one locality to another, and the only means of entering of entering an experience of what is on the other side.
First and foremost, we believe, that Jesus Christ through His sacrificial death for the sins of the human race, became the door to the experience of salvation and eternal, abundant life, both in its quality and its continuance in Heaven when this current life is over. He made the way for us all to go through, IF we want to. He Himself became the open doorway into the Most Holy of God’s Presence. His own crucified body torn apart because of sin, opened the way of salvation. This is depicted in two aspects in the Bible. First, Jesus broke the bread of the Passover and as He tore it in two He said, “This is My body given for you”. Second, the Temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom as Jesus died, thus opening up access and exposing to view, the previously hidden and forbidden Holy of Holies. This was a four inch thick curtain, and yet it was ripped from above by Unseen Hands, which were now ready to make a doorway into Holy territory for unholy people. The writer to the Hebrews says:“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” [Heb. 10:19 – 22]
The beginning of all other ‘doors’ in our Christian lives is in this. This is the foundation. This is the place we continually come back to. We reaffirm it and remind ourselves of it daily. Upon this rock we stand. The doorway into God’s Presence stands open. He has made Himself accessible through Christ. Jesus has become our door to the mysteries and pleasures of God’s great love. He Himself is the transition point from death to life, for everyone who will receive it.
From this foundational doorway we want to discuss three other doors, as mentioned in the early chapters of the book of Revelation.
1. OPEN DOORS IN LIFE AND MINISTRY [Rev. 3:7,8]. Jesus appears to His now-elderly friend and disciple, John, who is in solitary confinement on the Island of Patmos, as the Divine Keyholder, the One Who opens doors that no-one can shut, and Who shuts doors that no-one can open. He appears as the One Who has authority in opening up and closing off areas of life and experience. He promises the faithful Christians in Philadelphia an open door which cannot be closed off by anyone. We all need transition points; openings for life and ministry. He is the One Who opens and shuts these areas. It may be homes or jobs, opportunities, missions, or relationships. He is our open-door-giver, let’s seek Him.
2. OPEN DOORS OF INTIMACY WITH JESUS [Rev. 3:20]. This kind of door is not one Jesus can open Himself. This is the door of the human heart. It is the door of a church’s heart. It is the longing of His own heart for true holy intimacy with us.
I remember as a child having a copy of the 19th Century painting, “Light of the World” which the artist William Holman Hunt based on this Bible verse and depicts Jesus outside a door holding a lamp, and waiting to be admitted. The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing “the obstinately shut mind”.
In this scripture the Risen Lord Jesus speaks to the Christians in the ancient city of Laodicea. They have done well as a body of people and are fairly proud of their achievements. They believe they are living clean lives, that they are experiencing spiritual riches, and have a good measure of revelation. But He reprimands them for being lukewarm in their true love for Himself. When the rubber hits the road, God is not interested in His church placing activity or ministry above passion for Himself. God is love. He wants us to be loved by Him in our own daily experience, and to love Him in return. He pictures Himself as One standing outside the door of this church, knocking. He wants the door of the human heart to be opened to Him, and He promises true fellowship and intimacy with those who choose this way. We must open this door. Let’s do so more than ever in 2014.
3. OPEN DOORS OF REVELATION AND ENCOUNTER [Rev. 4:1-3]. This was a call to heavenly revelation and insight, and to encounter the realities of the Throneroom and the Kingdom of God. We can’t make these happen, but as we seek Him, even asking for revelation and encounter, and as we are faithful with doors 1 & 2, He will release revelatory experiences to us, however simple or however unusual they may be. It might be revelation from the scriptures which opens up a new level of faith or expectation. It might be more than that. However, the reality is that God is longing to reveal more of Himself to His people. He doesn’t want us ignorant about the times and seasons, and what He is going to do in the earth. Heaven’s purposes are still unfolding despite human tragedy. Those who are hungry; those who follow through on what He says to them; those who seek to love Him, position themselves for greater levels of revelation and encounter. Let’s believe for more this year.
May the Father bless you.