PASTOR COLUMN - Jesus is the key to unlock your destiny

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Have you ever received those letters advertising a big car sale by featuring a car giveaway? You know, the ads that have a car key stuck to the big slick ad? It says, "Must have key to win." To be honest, I‘ve never taken one of those keys to the car lot and tried my luck. Kinda makes me smile at the possibility though.

As I was pondering this column, I asked God what He wanted to chat about and He reminded me of the ads and keys I used to collect when I was little. Funny, I haven't given thems a moment's thought in all these years. One day, my father asked me if I wanted some keys for my own, and I was so excited! I thought keys were actually kind of magical because they represent that there is something very special that needs to be kept safe. That there was something precious in keeping until the person with the right key came to release it.

The Bible is filled with keys that unlock deeper revelation of our potential relationship with God and of Christ.

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2.

I had all kinds of keys. Old ones, new ones, skeleton keys, car keys, house keys, foot-locker keys, skate keys, keys I had no idea what they went to - but was

sure they were important - so, they, too, were added to my collection.

We can do the same thing while looking for keys in our relationship with God. Gathering all the keys, putting them on our "belief keychain." We can have all these keys, but not really know what they unlock or how to use

them.

I have a distinct memory of a beautiful day sitting in the branches of one of our apple trees. Bare feet resting on the branch, my legs were stretched out, holding onto a big ring of keys. I remember their weight, the sound they made as I moved them back and forth from hand

to hand and even what some looked like. Sitting up in the tree, I fantasized about all the amazing places and treasures my miraculous keys could unlock. In my mind, keys were to open what some would consider impossible, and to keep special things safe.

Keys could also to release people and things that had been held captive. I love the life stories of people I get to meet. All people are precious, valuable and beloved of God. Sadly, many have been locked away by emotional wounds, addictions or fears. Some have found that along the way, they'd unlocked a door into a lifestyle that was foreign, where they never should have gone, but didn't know how to get back. Some are locked away by the pain of their own bodies, shame or regret. Everyone is looking for just the right key.

The key is entering into an authentic, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly," Jesus himself said as recorded in John 10:10. It's in that relationship with Him that we are forgiven, healed, released and encouraged to hope and dream again.

I remember when someone explained to me what a Master Key was for. Knowing the excitement of what it was like to have all those different keys that could open so many different doors was one thing,

but, when I had a loose understanding of what a Master Key could do … oh my goodness!

To my 5-year-old mind, when someone told me a Master Key allowed the person to open all the doors, my imagination absolutely exploded with possibilities! With a Master Key, the world was mine.

There wasn't a rocket ship I couldn't fly, a treasure chest I couldn't open, a secret door I couldn't unlock!

I found that my imagination had no limits and there was nothing between me and all the adventures I could ever dream of. Life with a Master Key would be really good, and limitless in its potential. John

8:32 and 36 read, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free." "So if the Son

makes you free, you are free indeed." Too often, along the journey, we can also lose the momentum of expectancy. The expectancy of wonderful and miraculous things that will daily be happen and be revealed. Expectancy that we will indeed see what we thought was impossible happen before our own eyes.

We need to make room in our hearts, minds and spirits for the expectancy that comes from knowing that there is a God who loves us more than we could ever comprehend and He is looking for the opportunity to give us an abundant and free life through a relationship with His Son, and keys to unlock victory in every part of our lives, if we only ask.

As I continue to pursue God daily, I find situations and circumstances that need a key to unlock the moment of victory, peace, joy and expectations answered. Sometimes I need these keys for myself, sometimes God uses us to pass those keys on to others who find themselves locked in and needing help out. The keys on my spiritual key chain unlock the truths of God and open doors to the miraculous every day. These miracles are seen everywhere and in the lives of others. Miracles of freedom from fear, addictions, shame and rage. Lives where the doors of forgiveness, reconciliation and hope are unlocked and flung wide. The treasures of physical and emotional healing, peace and profound joy are embraced and knit into the fabric of someone's life.

The prayer in Ephesians 3: 17-20 is "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width

and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge; that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that

we ask or think, according to the power that works in us ..."

There is just one thing to remember about keys though ... they only work if you actually use them.

The Rev. Mikki Jones pastors Grace Christian Center with her husband, the Rev. Dave Jones. They are also founders of Destiny Missions International. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should telephone Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312 or email her at catherinehicks@wwub.com.

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