Enlarge your territory

What do keys do? They give you entrance to something. And spiritually there are two particular keys that will help open doors and let you enlarge your territory.
Doing what God has said can lead to many blessings in people's lives, even miracles. It opens doors, while disobedience has the opposite effect - doors that should be open will remain locked.

When the prophet Elijah asked the widow at Zarephath for a little water and bread (1 Kings 17 v 7-16), she informed him that she only had a small amount of oil and flour, enough for their last meal before they died of starvation. Elijah told her not to be afraid; he told her to go home and make him a small loaf of bread and then a meal for her son and herself - and spoke God's word to her: "For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land' "(1 Kings 17 v 14). The widow did just as Elijah had told her and obedience led to a miracle.

So obedience opens doors to God's care; by submitting to God's direction He will care for us. James says it is important to listen to God's word, but more important to obey it (James 1 v 22-25).

It makes us mighty

Obedience has its rewards, you know. God's army in the time of Joel became mighty because of obedience; 'Mighty are those who obey His commands' (Joel 2 v 11). But it's not always easy. There will be times when God will test us. Thankfully, He will always give us grace to find a way through. His grace is sufficient in our weakness. We can find strength to obey.

In the Garden of Gethsemene Jesus needed strength to go all the way to the cross. He needed strength to obey (Matthew 26 v 37-38). Jesus' strength to obey came from His close friendship with His heavenly Father. The friendship with your Father in heaven is also your strength. He will help you obey.

Sometimes God wants us to do something special for Him and obedience makes us extra effective. I was once speaking to thousands in Africa at an open air arena in Lagos, Nigeria. When I finished, I sat down... and then God spoke to me. He seemed to want me to get back up again, very slowly and deliberately, and move into the crowd throwing out copies of my book to people. Never having seen this done before, I am having this debate in my mind: 'Shall I do this, or not? Will the pastor like it or not? Am I showing off? Will it cause offence?'

Well, if you think an idea is God's, there comes a point when you have to go with it, or it becomes disobedience, so I made a move. I picked up a bag of books, stood up to face the huge congregation and started to walk towards them. Dozens of books were given and the people loved it. It was a joyous occasion. My minders were close by my side as I moved in amongst the crowd and kept saying to individuals 'be a giver, it's better to give than receive'.


Confidence is the other key. The Christian's confidence starts with what Jesus has already accomplished for each of us. Let the word of God build your confidence: 'Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus' (Hebrews 10 v 19-22).

When Jesus died on the cross, He tore down the barrier between God and us. We can therefore have boldness and confidence to freely approach our heavenly Father in prayer. This will spill over into other areas of our lives. Christians should be the most bold and confident people on earth! Confidence boosts ability; and what we lack in ability can often be made up through being confident.

And the reverse is true; you know what its like when a professional footballer loses his confidence; his game and performance deteriorate. His great ability is reduced and goals are hard to come by!

In every area of your life... be confident. First have confidence in Christ's wonderful saving act. God has confidence in you. God believes in you!

You are a key

Barnabas opened doors for Paul. Although Paul was dramatically converted, the early church still did not trust him, because Paul had persecuted it terribly. But Barnabas took Paul to the Church and explained Paul's conversion experience and that he was now preaching Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. The church knew and respected Barnabas and believed what he said of Paul and therefore accepted Paul as well. Barnabas was the key who opened the door for Paul.

A few years ago God led me to help my friend Dave, who was working as a hospital cleaner; he had potential as a Christian communicator. So I offered to raise money for him to go into full-time Christian ministry. He jumped at the chance, and so I proceeded to approach people, to explain the potential and gained commitment from them to fund him for four years. He went into full-time schools work and soon also became a church plant leader. After theological training he was ordained and is assistant pastor of a church. One day soon he will lead his own church.

You and I are keys that can open doors of blessing and opportunity for others. Sometimes opening doors can be exciting, other times it's just plain ordinary. You may not be able to do a particular thing, but you can cause someone else to do it. You may not be able to go and preach overseas, but you can give to help someone else go instead. And in return for opening doors for others you will receive the Lord's joy.

Never belittle yourself or what you think you can accomplish. If we can do big things let us do them, but we can all do little things. Let us do those little things well; there is value in them also.

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