We all know that keys hold the power to unlock doors. So why do so many people stop short when they have the keys of the kingdom?
“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
Many people hold such power, yet let the keys rust away and go unused.
I recognize that there are many people who hold various spiritual beliefs. There are clearly many drastically opposing worldviews that are out there. I’d like to direct this post to anyone who would call themselves a Christian or a follower of God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. I want to talk about our use of those keys that Jesus bought us through His death on the cross.
Many people profess to be Christian. Wikipedia says:
The majority of Americans (76%) identify themselves as Christians, mostly within Protestant and Catholic denominations, accounting for 51% and 25% of the population respectively. Non-Christian religions (including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism), collectively make up about 3.9% to 5.5% of the adult population. Another 15% of the adult population identifies as having no religious belief or no religious affiliation. When asked, about 5.2% said they did not know, or refused to reply. According to the American Religious Identification Survey, religious belief varies considerably across the country: 59% of Americans living in Western states (the “Unchurched Belt“) report a belief in God, yet in the South (the “Bible Belt“) the figure is as high as 86%  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States).
However, despite this seemingly high level of religiosity, only 9% of Americans in a 2008 poll said religion (or their faith) was the most important thing in their life, compared with 45% who said family was paramount in their life and 17% who said money and their career was paramount. 
Are Your Keys Rusting?
So many Americans continue to profess to be Christians. But many, perhaps, either never made that step within their heart, or worse yet succumbed to societal pressures to fit in and stop short when they had the power of the keys to the kingdom of God all along. In doing so, they become paralyzed, lukewarm Christians who never truly experience the abundant life in which God has called each of His children.
God desires more for His children. He desires for each genuine Christian to live in power and fullness. He doesn’t want us to stop short and settle for simply being affiliated with a local church. Below are some practical steps to encourage you to move forward, utilizing the keys you possess, even if they are currently rusting. A stagnant spiritual life is a sure formula to breed corrosion in life. If you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then you can rest assured that the keys to God’s kingdom continue to dangle from your belt. You just need to pull them from the key ring, and insert them into the doors that God puts into your path each day. You will know when it is a door that God has presented in your life path because your motivations for opening walking through it will be focused on bringing glory to God.
Doing Something with Your Keys
I am convinced that there is a spiritual realm that is as real as the physical realm. People don’t want to acknowledge it because they simply struggle to believe in what they can’t see.
The reality is that Scripture says that we don’t struggle against mere men. We struggle against powers, authorities, principalities and spiritual forces within the spiritual realm. One such reference is found below:
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
As Christians, we have the privilege to be a part of God’s glory here on earth. It is a sweet, sacred charge to be a part of growing spiritually and opening ourselves to more of God throughout each of our days. If we do so, He can show us how we can be a part of releasing the fullness of life He truly called us to through the power and work of the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose and plan for humanity has always been for His children to advance the gospel message and to bring His kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.
A great first step in advancing His kingdom on Earth is by incorporating this sort of a prayer into your daily life:
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a] but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, whom dwells within us. Furthermore, we are God’s dearly beloved children. Through God’s gift of salvation, we are given the keys to God’s kingdom that can be accessed through His Spirit. He wants us to not only understand that, but take His proverbial keys and open each of the doors that He has placed in our path. In doing so, we can truly live the abundant life on earth that He desires for us (see John 10:10).
In life we will be confronted with much adversity. For some of us, our dreams and things we keep dearest to our heart seem dashed forever. Even in the midst of such circumstances, doing the right thing is another way we can be a part of the advancement of God’s kingdom. Many times, doing the right thing requires using the keys we’ve received from God so we can intentionally move forward in faith, not knowing what is on the other side of a door. We meet what is behind the door full of a heart that is intentioned to do the good works that God has for us to do.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
If we focus on our expectations of others, our circumstances in life, and what we can see, then we are missing out on hearing promptings from God. We can miss out on much of God’s best for us, which includes how we could be a part of the advancement of His kingdom. The Holy Spirit wants to renew us day by day, and bring glory to our heavenly Father, by shaping us more and more into the image of God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Use the keys to the kingdom of God to help you access what is unseen rather than relying on is physically visible. I encourage you to memorize this verse:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Are you ready to use those keys the next time God puts a new door on your life path? Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or insights to share. I’d love to hear from you.
I help my coaching clients focus on important life lessons like these so they can achieve better balance both personally and professionally. If you’d like to find out more about my life coaching company, Live With Purpose Coaching, feel free to contact me at (717)283-2377.Visit www.livewithpurposecoaching.com for more resources.