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The function of a key as a noun is as follows:
a small piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, and that is inserted into a lock and turned to open or close.
A key will not work if it does not match to its lock.
In fact a key is fashioned and designed to fit each particular lock. The door, safe, lockbox or gate will NOT open if locked and the correct key is not used. No matter how hard you try!!!!
With all those fun facts being said, let’s look at one place where keys are mentioned in the Bible.
Check out Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? (Matthew 16:13 ASV)
Make a long story short!! Peter got it right away with saying that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God!!
It’s starts with having a revelation from above of who Jesus really is to you. That revelation has to come from above. Jesus even reminds Peter further along in the passage that the His Father revealed this to Peter.
With that being said Jesus proceeds to tell Peter….
“And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Now keep in mind there are a couple sermons just in those two verses alone. But let’s just focus on the word, “key”.
Jesus is giving the specific tangible piece of metal that was cut to perfectly open up the kingdom of heaven to Peter.
Peter was the only one of the disciples at the time of asking who truly got the revelation of that Jesus was the Son of God. You know the One that Jews had been eagerly waiting thousands of years to come and save them from their enemies.
I know that as a follower of Christ being discipled by His Word and teachings that I can qualify to hold those same keys.
Part of the Lord’s Prayer that we more than likely can all recite from memory goes along this theme.
Jesus encouraging us to model our prayers after The Lord’s Prayer.
“Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
That there is a pretty big key in my mind’s eye!!! Imagine a key to the door of the kingdom of heaven.
It’s my understanding that we have permission from Jesus to have thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We as followers of Jesus seeking and knocking hold the key along with Peter to heaven that involves some binding and loosing.
Pause and think about what that means to you? Trust me, I have known these verses for over 30 years and I am just NOW receiving the understanding of the key and starting to turn the lock to loose heaven all over the earth.
(Old, slow learner would be me)
I never asked before now. dahhhh!!!
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
Get out your key and open that door and see what you discover on the other side.
Gals!!! & (Guys) -He has set us FREE from so much!
I know we hear that all the time, but those of us that have truly been set free from an addiction, negative thinking, old patterns, habits, insecurity, people- pleasing…WHATEVER…
We truly know what it means to be free!!
The cool thing is we get the CHOICE and the excitement to choose freedom and feel more and more free EVERY SINGLE day! Yea!
I’m speaking for myself here, there are areas in my life where I still feel like one foot is stuck in my old thinking or behavior, and the other is free…
BUT, oh the DIVINE BUT,
I have the hope and power to choose each and every day otherwise!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~ Galatians 5:1 NIV
~ Stephanie Wanic
Archive Reblog from 2014
Early Morning on the Delaware River, September. In the after, there were dreams–and lies.We stood together–and apart, divisions growingas the wind …Even When Time Stops, the River Flows On
Genesis 1:1 NKJV In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband,The Lord of hosts is His name;And…God is God of the Whole Earth
Your Mommy’s Alright,
Your Daddy’s Alright
they just seem a little bit weird…..
I loved me some Robin Zander & Cheaptrick back in the days.
But dont give yourself awaaaay….
Have you ever looked at the stance of someone who is surrendering?
Like on TV or Newspapers that portray people standing with their arms outstretched up high or on their knees with their arms bowing down low towards the ground. Policemen shouting “On The Ground!” And finally they are completely face down eating some pavement. Usually next we see a borage of officers jump and hold them down till they are handcuffed and bound.
They have given up their stand of whatever they were doing, things weren’t quite working out for them anymore. There is nowhere else to run and hide. They are now in a state of surrender, at the mercy of their captor.
I started to think of that is exactly the same stance for how we are when we come to the Lord and Worship.
I used to be a no hands lifter worshipper. Nope, I sang and would clap but that hand lifting stuff got a little weird for me.
Then I would lift my hands halfway no full on arm pit winking at my neighbor stuff.
Then eventually I progressed and would throw caution to the wind and let my arms raise all the way up my ole batwings flapping, hoping I had shaved my pits.
I have not gotten on my knees much in public, only a few times that I recall. I know I was desperate for a word or touch from God when I did and didn’t care who was watching.
I do that at home some and I have also gotten smack dab flat on my face eating the carpet when I have reached the end of my rope and am needing God to save me from myself. No one jumps on me or puts their knee in my back and no binding of my hands. Thank God!
I was the one binding my own hands – when I worship face down giving everything I got and am to God is when I actually feel the chains that held me bound start to disappear.
I think the more we love God and the closer we get to Him our surrender …our Worship …changes and we change. We finally let go of our control and let God take us fully captive. We don’t listen to Robin, as the song says, we instead take great comfort in being able to give ourselves completely away to God.
We raise our hands…we fall on our knees … and lastly we completely lay out face flat on the floor. We finally are willing to totally surrender our wills to God’s will.
There’s nothing weird about that.
What an awesome way to live!
Lord, forgive me for the times I offer you anything less than my complete and total surrender. I want to be filled so full with You that there is no room left for me and my rebellious spirit. Help me to release all control. I want to be a Jesus freak; not a control freak. Put me on my face before you. Make me, Mold me, Shape me into what You will. I surrender All! Thank You for your grace and the freedom to worship You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
Reblog from September 2014
This article is one that I wrote last September. I recently pulled it out again to remind myself of what it means to “lay things down” and “wrestle with God.” Situations in my life are causing me to seek Him in new and deeper ways. I am truly “wrestling with Him” as I ask these questions.
I am reposting this article as my last post for a while. I have requested to take a break for several months as I am in this period of wrestling. I will continue to write as HE gives me thoughts and ideas. I pray that you will continue to seek Him in Spirit and Truth.
I’m so excited I’m not sure where to begin. I wrote last week about “submit and surrender.” I mentioned that I was going to talk to Hebrew speaking friends to get their thoughts because the word “surrender” isn’t really in the Bible.
What I wrote last week is that “surrender is a willingness to give something up.” There is that element and concept in the Bible, yes, but as I have done a deeper study, I’m moving away from the idea of “surrendering to God.”
It started when I realized again (I had heard it before but it never truly resonated with me) that when Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” it is because he “wrestled with God.” That is the meaning of Israel – “wrestle with God.” Therefore, because I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel), I need to understand what it means to “wrestle with God.”
My thoughts are going a mile a minute, but I was just talking to a friend and pieces are coming together. So, all I can do is start typing and pray that Holy Spirit writes through me and that the thoughts become fluid enough for others to understand.
Let me say that this post may rub some of you the wrong way. I pray that you just take what is written and ponder on it. I’m not saying I am “right,” but I have shared this with a few friends and it resonates with them.
My question is: What if, “I Surrender All” really should be, “I Will Wrestle with my God”?????
When I heard back from my Jewish, Hebrew speaking friends and contacts, they told me that there is NOT a Hebrew/Jewish thought of surrendering to God. This kind of blew me away. And my brain started to spin.
What if the idea of surrender to God isn’t really what we think? We say that because Jesus “gave His life” He surrendered to the Father. But, did He?
The definition of “I surrender” is: What does I surrender mean? (Entry 1 of 2) transitive verb. 1a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort. b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another.
The definition of “surrender” according to the Cambridge dictionary is: to stop fighting and admit defeat:
Hmmm… If Jesus “surrendered to God” than that means He felt defeat. And yet, in that moment He had more VICTORY than ever before. Satan THOUGHT He had won, but we know he did not. GOD DID.
So, if I surrender to God, that means I admit defeat. Does God really want me to admit defeat? He wants me to admit when I am wrong, but to feel defeat? He wants me to be victorious! An overcomer.
There is a New Testament Studies professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I had the privilege of hearing her speak at a local synagogue when we lived in Nashville. Her name is Amy-Jill Levine and she is an Orthodox Jew. She has studied the New Testament in depth and brings to the table lots of Jewish History and understanding that Christians often miss. When I asked her about the idea/concept of “surrendering to God” her response was this:
“The Jewish tradition is sufficiently diverse that there may be a surrender idea somewhere, but I am not familiar with it. The tradition is more inclined to argue with the divine, as the Lament Psalms, Jeremiah, Moses, Abraham…. all indicate. “Israel” traditionally means “to wrestle with G-d” — that is not the image of surrender.”
Since this was not the first time I had heard that there is NOT a concept of “Surrender to God” in Jewish thought, my mind began to ponder things more.
What if we had it wrong? What if we have been teaching something the wrong way? And then I asked myself, What does it mean to “wrestle with God?”
I reached out to a friend in Florida tonight. We sent WhatsApp messages back and forth. She gave me the verse Matthew 16:24:
Then Yeshua told his talmidim, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution-stake, and keep following me.
In this there is the idea of self-denial. It isn’t truly the concept of “surrender.” My friend used the words, “humble yourselves, deny yourselves, crucify…”
When she used those words, I immediately thought, “these are a form of wrestling.” We are “struggling against something.” When we “humble ourselves” we actively have to “lay something down.” When we “deny ourselves” we “give something up.” But, in NONE of these situations does it say we admit defeat, or that we are defeated.
Ephesians 6:12 For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.
We have to “wrestle the flesh” inside of us. Just like Jacob “wrestled with God” to get rid of his flesh, we are “wrestling with the flesh daily.” My friend in Florida quoted it this way:
“The spirit of God nature part of us wrestles with the non-God part of us, our flesh. So in a sense, we wrestle against the Spirit of God that lives in us.”
We all know that we wrestle our flesh often. Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41 Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test — the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”
My thought is this: understanding the concept of following Jesus might make more sense to people if they do not feel like they are “losing control” by surrendering. Sometimes to “surrender” seems so overwhelming.
But, I can wrestle against something. It is difficult to feel like you are “losing control” when you wrestle. You “fight to win.” And when you are “fighting WITH God, how could you lose?
My friend responded with this: “I feel like this is good – surrender you are giving up your will like as a prisoner, but Jesus never asks us to be His prisoners. He calls us friend, brother, beside, daughter etc…”
SO TRUE!!!!! I got chills when I read that message from her.
We are called to “fight the flesh” and “wrestle against our flesh.” We WANT to give it up and follow Him, but we don’t admit defeat to Him. We actually walk victorious WITH HIM when we yield to the Spirit.
Friends, take up your cross today and fight the flesh. Wrestle with God and His Spirit within you. When you do, you will RISE UP and find victory! This is what it means to FOLLOW HIM in Spirit and in Truth.
We admit our flesh is there, but we ACTIVELY fight it. We actively WRESTLE with it. HE is our friend and HE is our brother! HE walks beside us. That is NOT an attitude of surrender, but one of ACTIVELY working together to bring HIS KINGDOM on earth as it is in Heaven.
Friends, I pray this resonates with you. I pray that you take hold of knowing and understanding how to “wrestle with God” and LET HIM WIN. If we all take on this idea of “wrestling with God” seriously, can you imagine the VICTORY we could have????
Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash
Do you struggle finding your voice?
Do you feel pressured into saying “yes” when inside you’re really screaming “NOOOOO!”
Do you say yes out of pressures or not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings? Do you complain and dread that you ever said yes to something? Do you make yourself miserable or compromise your integrity trying to get out of that dreadful yes you didn’t really mean?
Do you feel aggravated or upset at people or their actions? Do you get on the phone telling all your girlfriends about all your frustrations, but never address it directly with the person that upset you or hurt your feelings? Do you have a problem setting boundaries?
I love Joyce Meyer. She does not sugar coat anything. She talks about overcoming all these areas and so much more in real, sound, biblical ways. She has really been instrumental in my spiritual transformation over the years.
One of her books that really helped me years ago was Approval Addiction. I always thought of myself as a person that really could give a rat’s behind what other people thought, but I actually did all those things I just described above. I couldn’t find my true voice for most of my life.
I took all my frustrations to others or out on others. I filled my friends and families ears with all my frustrations, instead of taking it all to Jesus. What Joyce means by “Take it to the Throne instead of the Phone.”
I was horrible at setting boundaries too. I constantly let others poop in my yard till I got the courage to put up good fences. If they got through my fence, I got good at asking them to pick up and take their poop with them. (That is another amazing message by Momma Joyce on boundaries that I highly recommend.)
I was a stuffer. I stuffed my emotions for many years. I stuffed with food, shopping, and one compulsion after another. When I got so full from the stuffing my words and emotions, I finally erupted in anger. I would blow and everyone around me better take cover. I did not blow very much when I was younger, but when emotional stuffing and hormones and being a mother of twins got all mixed up together, it was like all the ingredients needed for a Mt. St. Helens type of blow. I am so thankful for recovery and Jesus. I still work the steps of recovering to this day.
Growing up I did not feel that I had the right to express my opinions if they differed from what I witnessed in those of authority around me. To disagree was to be hostile. To have your own opinion apart from others meant you had lost your ever loving mind. I remember having a differing opinion from my grandmother growing up and getting slapped across the face for it. I learned early on to get comfortable just going with the flow and pleasing others. I got real good at keeping it all inside and was not able to find my voice for far too long.
It wasn’t until going with the flow and not expressing my true feelings almost killed me. I felt like a powder keg about ready to explode most days, and most days I did blow! I started to resent others because I could not find my voice or set boundaries effectively. I was stressed out and ready to run far far away from it all. Fear kept me drowning in a sea of debt and food and misery.
Only God was able to take all that dysfunction and restore and transform it into something beautiful. His Spirit and His word will transform us if we let it.
A verse that speaks to me is Matthew 5:37;
“Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 NLT.
As a talker, that verse is not one that is very easy for me. I still have to surrender my words and mouth to God to let my words be worthy and few daily. Some days I am better at this and some day’s not so much. It is a learning and growing process. You can bet the more you focus on certain areas the more slip ups in that area you will experience. The evil one likes to use our words a lot.
It is a testing and purification process of ourselves making us to become more Christ like. God can use it all for His Glory if we let Him, but first we have to surrender our control and our mouth to Him. Only the Holy Spirit can work it all out through us if we let Him have His way.
When we can’t find our words, take comfort in these Promises!
I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. ~ Psalm 81:10 GWT
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ~ Colossians 4:6 NIV
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. ~ Exodus 4:12 NIV
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and in His grace gave us unfailing courage and a firm hope, encourage you and strengthen you always to do and say what is good. (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 GNB)
If we take all our words and situations to God and ask Him to fill our mouth, we will be much better at saying:
I am sorry; I don’t have peace about that so I don’t believe that is God’s will for me.
No, that doesn’t work for me.
Let me pray about that and get back to you.
Yes, that works for me.
Yes, I would love to help you.
Yes, I will
No, I won’t
Or whatever else He needs us to say!
Lord, help me to release every situation to You before I respond. Your ways and words are perfect Father. Open my mouth and fill it with what You will have me say. Forgive me for going against the rhythms of Your peace and perfect will. Teach me Your ways of setting the appropriate boundaries I need to. Forgive me for running off at my mouth. Show me areas I have built up bitterness and resentments that need to be released and help me to let them go. Forgive me for bypassing Your Throne and running to the phone. Let me see every situation as an opportunity to grow in Christ. May my words be worthy, truthful, and few. Let my Yes be Yes and my No be No. I thank You for changing me and helping me to find the right words and boundaries that help me flourish in this life. Transform me and restore me Lord. May my words always be seasoned with Your Love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
~XXOO, Michelle Bollom
A reblog from September 2014
At day’s end when golden rays slide silently into shadowrunning through the shorter colours of the rainbowwhile sun’s bright disk is swallowed by …Reflecting at dusk
When we as women do not know who we are in Christ, it leaves a void and a deep hunger within.
If this unaddressed area is not dealt with, it makes it easy for the enemy and every unhealed person we come into contact with to decide who we are and give us a false identity. That in itself is a dangerous place to find ourselves as godly women, when we allow unhealed people to be at the steer of our lives.
I remember many years ago, one Sunday morning going to the altar for prayer. Prophet Hennie prayed over me and God showed him a mirror and me standing in front of the mirror. He said that God wanted me to see myself the way He sees me. I remember sobbing uncontrollably, my heart torn to pieces and my face telling the story of a daughter who loved her heavenly dad with every fibre of her being, but also a daughter so deeply wounded and broken.
Looking back at that morning it was a turning point in my life. If only we know the heart of Papa God for the rejected, the wounded, the betrayed, the prodigal, the outcast, the ones still in their graves clothes. It is beyond human understanding how He never gives up on us, never lets go of our hands, even in our deepest sin, His love chases us down and draw us back to Him.
Some times we make the DECISION to change and then there are times that a DECISION is made on our behalf. Mine was a mixture of the two. After finding out about the infidelity of my husband, I just knew that there had to be something more to the mediocre life that I was living. It was only when I went through my personal wilderness journey with God, that I began to understand the heart of Papa God for the wounded and hurting ones.
Alone, away from all eyes I began to see myself through His eyes, and what I saw and experienced would change the course of my life forever. It was like a light bulb has been switched on over me and for the first time in my life I saw what Papa God saw and knew all along, that I was precious in His sight, altogether lovely and beautiful and that God was madly in love with me, a daughter in pain.
What a journey it was, painful but so worth it!!! I would not trade my wilderness for anything. The challenges and dying to self daily were tiresome and many times my past begged me to turn around, but I pressed through into Papa’s new for me.
I had to do it for myself, my children and for every wounded person that would cross my path.
I want to encourage Papa’s beautiful daughters to step out into the unknown with Him. I always tell women that if I could make this brave decision, in my deepest pain, with no self confidence and identity they can too. Today I am mentoring and cheering other women on in their healing journeys and I love to share my testimony of how God transformed my life with His wild, untamed love. I did not deserve it, but still He thought I did.
It would never have happened had I clung to my past and pain. I love how Papa chose the weak and foolish things to confound the wise. How He looks for the one with the most issues to show His greatness. I love how Papa God always leaves the ninety nine to go after the one lost soul that happened to be me a few years ago.
— Ebigale Wilson