Summary: God is not concerned with how much faith we have; He is concerned about what we do with the faith He has given us.
Over the years, I have had many opportunities to travel. And in my travels, I have had numerous opportunities to visit old houses, churches, and other famous sites. I’ve been to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and I’ve toured a catacomb in Italy. I’ve seen the Houses of Parliament in Ottawa, and I’ve toured the Legislature downtown. I’ve visited old farm houses in Fort Edmonton Park. And the more I tour and visit old buildings and sites, the more I realise that I make a terrible tourist.
It’s not that I am bored with the tours; quite to the contrary, I love walking through old buildings and seeing what they’re about. I have just decided that I am not a tourist; I’m an explorer. I am not content to see only what I am shown – I’m not satisfied with just what I’m allowed access to. In many of the places I’ve visited, I’m convinced that there are many other things they’re not showing me – many other sights that they’re keeping hidden.
I remember church in Paris, called the Church of the Sacred Heart. It’s a magnificent structure that’s a few hundred years old, and there were three parts of the church you could tour. Of course, you could walk through the sanctuary. Then there was a tour of the catacombs, and finally, a tour of the towers and walkways on the roof. Well after visiting the sanctuary, Angela and I took a tour of the catacombs. And at the end of the catacombs, you could do one of two things: you could either exit through a door and go back up to ground level, or you could enter a tower and go up a spiral staircase to the roof. We’d been on our feet all day, and it took a bit of convincing to get Angela to walk up several hundred stairs from the basement to the roof of this building, but we made the trek.
The church is built on a hill overlooking the city, and the view was amazing. But what took my attention more than the view (and Angela will tell you it’s the truth) – what I was captivated by were the dozens of little doors built into the roof. I tell you, it took all that was in me not to try and open the doors. And if it wasn’t for the fear of getting into trouble, I probably would have tried to open one or two. Well, that and the security bars. The fact of the matter is, I always wonder what lies on the other side of such doors. Where does the door lead to? What does the room hold? And the more closed doors I see, the more I wonder just what it is I’m missing out on.
I remember making a comment to Angela after visiting that church, that I would give anything to have the master key to the building – the key that would open any door I wanted, that would grant me access to whatever portal piqued my interest. I remember saying how much I envied the man who had that key – how exciting it would be to be able to gain entry through any door I liked. And again, as Angela would tell you, on every tour we take, she usually has to drag me away, because there is so much more I want to explore –usually that I’m not allowed to.
There have been a couple of times in my life where I have been able to hold a master key. And there’s something exciting about seeing a locked door, and knowing you have the power to open it. I’ve done some exploring when I’ve had a master key, and I’ve solved some intriguing riddles while on my expeditions, about what actually lies just beyond the closed doors. Now, sometimes it’s nothing that interesting at all – the door leads to a broom closet or a spare bedroom. But the excitement is not in what’s on the other side of the door, so much as opening the door itself. Once a door is open, you can enter in – no one can keep you out – the barrier is removed.
I would invite you to turn with me please, to the letter God has written to the church of Philadelphia. In Revelation chapter 3, starting at verse 7, we read God’s letter to the church of Philadelphia, and it says this: (read vv. 7-13)….
Here in this passage, we find a church that has encountered some doors through which it was not allowed to pass. Doors which were barred against the church, preventing them from experiencing what was on the other side. But that has changed, we are told in verse 7, for a Man has come who holds the key of David – a Man has come who holds the Master Key. And as we study what He has done with this key, we learn from verse 8 that He has given them access to a door which they did not have access to before; but because He has opened it, they will have access to it forevermore.