“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – NIV). I’ve read this scripture many times and often ask myself, “where is this door?”, “I wish I could actually see this door Jesus is taking about.” He responded through His Word: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (John 14:13 – NIV).
He shared with me a vision of my life. I saw myself standing in a large room surrounded by many doors, not just one door. I was moving forward at a steady pace, much like standing on one of those moving sidewalks you see at airports and some malls. I looked forward and backward, and when I looked back, I saw the good things, and the bad things that I have done and that have happened to me in the past. Sometimes the past seems better than the present or the unknown of the future. I stood there a moment and reminisced and then I tried to take a step back to those “good old days”. It was OK to remember those things, but I wasn’t allowed to go back. What has happened in the past shall remain there forever. The future is unknown, and all I have is the present place where I stand.
I am allowed to choose to turn in any direction and move whichever way I choose at will, except I cannot go backward. The sidewalk of time never speeds up or slows down. The doors that surround me are familiar. I’ve seen and known them most of my life. Many I have walked through before, some many times, others I’ve never ventured to open.
To one side, I see a door that looks like the door of a vault. It’s big and heavy and obviously is protecting much money and things of great value. I’ve been through that door so many times before seeking wealth and material gain. It is a door that cries out “come in, help yourself. Take all you can – there’s no limit”. That sounded pretty good. Once inside, though, I discovered I was far from alone in responding to this call to partake. There are countless others in that room as well; each one trying to grab and take all they can get no matter who else may get in the way. Most of the people in there seem happier taking what’s in your hand rather than picking up the endless riches that are there for the taking. In this room, there is constant fighting and battling to get and keep as much as possible. The ironic thing is the more one has, the faster it seems to slip away and the harder each one works to grab even more. It’s a vicious cycle.
No matter which door I choose and walk through, all of the same doors appear around that room as well. The doors never change. Some are open beckoning me to come in; others are closed and raise my curiosity. Some you can look at and recognize immediately what must be on the other side, much like the vault door.
Next to the vault door is one with many colorful blinking lights and signs. The lure of this room is to bring what money you have and gamble with it with the promise of making even more money quickly. It promises easy money, quickly without working for it and having “fun” at the same time. I tried this door a couple of times in my life. It wasn’t much fun and I always lost all I had. Some of the people in there seem to win, sometimes even win big. But, the lure gets even stronger when you’re winning and the winners never seem to know when to leave. They just keep on trying to double what they have until they, too, lose it all, and then some. The promise is a lie. Not only is it a lie, most leave with a hidden anger demanding they return and “win” back what they lost and more.
Not far away is a glass door where you can easily look inside and see a wonderful, mouth-watering display of food. It’s an endless buffet that says “eat and enjoy”. I did and I just couldn’t seem to get enough. It was so good; I keep coming back to this door again and again. I know I always eat too much there, but now I just can’t seem to walk away. I go out for a while, but always come back.
On another side, there are beautiful double doors that obviously lead to a very comfortable mansion that calls to come in and let myself go in the utmost comfort. Another door is translucent, and I can see the silhouette of attractive females calling me to step in. Another set of doors look like that on an old saloon. I hear music and laughter and voices saying to come in, have a few drinks, and “loosen up”.
There’s a door with a dark figure standing at the door asking me if I’d like to feel good. He has some drugs I can try that will make me forget about all of the choices I need to make every step of the way. Just come in and I can just “let go” and feel good all the time.
One of my favorite doors is the one that opens to a large showroom of beautiful and exotic cars. Each one says “imagine how you’ll look to others when you’re driving me”. “They’ll all know you’re a success in life with me.”
Many of the doors are unmarked and offer no clue as to what hides behind them. I’ve tried some before, some were good, others were terrifying and I had to flee for my life. What is remarkable is that no matter which door I go through, all the other doors seem to follow and be the next room too. What I’m learning is that every step I take is nothing more than another choice. Where I am today is the sum total of all of the choices I’ve made so far. I constantly have to decide do I choose this direction or that direction? Do I go through this door that offers to make me feel good, feel proud and successful or do I choose some other door? So many decisions… so many choices to make!
Many of the doors look a lot alike. They’re plain, wooden doors, usually double doors with an arch to the top. I recognize these… they’re church doors. I’ve looked behind many of these; some I’ve gone through and walked that way, only to be disappointed and left feeling more lost and alone than before. I know Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 “Here I am”, but where are You really? I’ve looked behind those doors and someone resembling You and saying he’s You were behind each one, yet it wasn’t true. How do I find You, Lord?
I went in one of those rooms once because it said it was the one true church and it would lead me to God. The people in there said I didn’t need to read the Bible because they would tell me everything I needed to know about God. All they told me, though, was how I “sinned” all the time and I would never see God that way unless I started doing good things for everyone else and stopped thinking of myself.
One day, I decided to try another of those doors and find the “truth”. It was an interesting journey because it made me feel good and gave me hope and promised prosperity. I liked that. It even taught me that the real “god” was me! Imagine that! I could have and do virtually anything I wanted, as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else, of course. With all that power and hope, I went back through that vault door and grabbed all I could and took arm loads through those mansion doors as well as some of those nice cars too. Things were looking pretty good! fire door suppliers
A strange thing happened though. The more I was able to grab, the faster it disappeared and the more I needed to feel good, and “in charge”. Others I met along the way who had ventured through some of those other doors with the women, drugs and alcohol, told me they found the same thing. The more they got, the more they needed and the less satisfied they were. This just doesn’t make any sense! How am I supposed to know what is true. Which door offers real hope and security?
It took me a long time before I realized that all of the doors had something in common. They were all some form of a church. No, they didn’t all worship the God of the universe, but instead, the god of money, greed, food, alcohol, drugs and most often, the god of “self”. Each one was really a lie. Each said “worship me – give your life to me and I’ll make you great, and prosperous, or at least feel good, great and prosperous”. The lie, though, was each one made a slave out of each one of us that dwelled there for long. Before one knows it, the lure is too great to walk away; to say “no”. I don’t want to listen to these lies any longer, but I don’t seem to have the power over them. That’s because I made a choice in some cases, much like others had, to sell my power to choose in exchange for a promise that was never delivered. When I wanted my power of choice back, the god of that room said “no, you’re mine and you must worship me.” Now, I’m afraid. What can I do? Have I lost my ultimate power of choice forever? Who can I turn to for help?