Latchkey

“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Genesis 11:6, emphasis mine)

This is God speaking amongst Himself at the Tower of Babel. It’s one of those passages in the Old Testament that speaks to the Trinity (in my opinion) before the Trinity was clearly and succinctly defined. The next verse says “Go to, let us go down…”. And so they intervened. When we read the story of the Tower of Babel, we tend to see it a story of a Divine Intervention along the lines of confusion and misunderstanding. When Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians (14:33) that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace”, he qualifies it with “in all churches”. Granted, this is the New Testament, the New Covenant between God and humanity through Christ’s sacrifice. But at Babel? It would seem the inherent confusion came, not from God’s “confounding” their language, but of the Babel-onians (?) seeking to obtain re-entry to Heaven through means other than ordained.

Coming and going as we please…

“Now nothing will be restrained from them…” As in “held back”? As in “hidden”? I shudder. God is watching and speaking. We as a race are well on our way to unraveling the mysteries of God’s universe. It would seem nothing is restrained from us. As an aside, there are over six-thousand languages the world over. How much more confusion and misunderstanding can we as a race bring upon ourselves? Not because of language, but because of pride? Food for thought.

“And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do.” (Genesis 18:17)

God knows

A rhetorical, if exasperated expression. In spite of the complexity of our brains and minds, we know relatively little. And it’s not that God is unwilling to show us anything. It’s a matter of humility and of timing and of calling. We also tend to do something called forget. And so we trust. Because “knowledge shall vanish away”, (1 Corinthians 13:8) trust and love are the order of the day. Abraham was called by God to start something huge. And so God could be open and honest with him. I would wager that we’re all called to do something earth-shakingly huge for God. As everyone is a piece of Him, having been created by Him, the desires of our heart are limited only by the sky—i.e. our imagination (read: faith). God will show you what you need to know.

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14)

Turnkey

It’s what you get when you breed terns and turkeys. Not really. A turnkey business is one that’s ready to go, for sale. A deli, for instance, or coffeeshop. One that is fully furnished and equipped. All you need to do is sign on the dotted line—assuming you’d like to run your own establishment—and it’s yours for a price.

Oh, and the word also is another name for a jailer. The keeper of the keys. The key to your cell, your hell.

“I am He that liveth, (this is Jesus speaking) and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.” (Revelation 1:18)

From one, to the other.

Remember, we’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s not the “valley of death”, and also, we are going through. But to where? Honestly, as long as it’s not still in the valley, or the desert (unless God ordains, and so gives the grace), I really don’t care. Provided that it’s where He wants. There are places to which you’d never want to return but you also hold out the card that says that you’d be willing to go wherever God leads. Because where you’re going can’t be worse than where you’ve been.

God is taking your order. What is it that you want from Him after your period of trial? A simple question, no? When you realize that the Person who has everything asks you what you want, I think it necessarily puts us on tilt for a while. Don’t leave Him hanging. God wants to know. “What will ye that I shall do unto you?” (Matthew 20:32) Sometimes the simplest questions take the hardest thought to answer satisfactorily. Oh, God will take a non-specific answer along the lines of “whatever you want, Lord”, but only for so long. God’s a busy guy and when He pesters you for specifics, don’t keep Him waiting with unformed and half-hearted desires. He wants to give you exactly what you have the faith to believe for. And, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34) Think about it and then get back to Him. Write it down if need be, don’t be shy.

But going back to the whole prison/incarceration aspect to life’s difficult times. Who knows how long you’re gonna be in the place you are? You know, instinctively, that you’re bound for better things, but now, you’re just bound. Hold out. Don’t stop believing. Love will find a way. A surefire way to shorten your sentence is to praise and worship God wherever you’re at. The lessons to be learned in a period of abject suffering are succinctly explained, but answers are life-changing as the Holy Spirit has now been released to imbue and suffuse your words with the Power of God. Learn to know God ever better. To hear His voice. To become more Christ-like. These three things cannot be lived with the same mindset that we had before God called us higher.

“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:7) The last verse of a psalm penned by David. One written while he was hiding from an insane King Saul who was hunting him through the deserts and caves of backcountry Palestine. Notice that David cites the one reason for being released from prison: “that I may praise Thy name”. God will accept that. He’s not a sadist, He’s just holy. And if you’ve endeavored to know Him in a deeper way, you’ll necessarily go through a figurative prison sentence in order to learn the love and compassion and forgiveness and patience of Jesus. We get the privelege of feeling a bit of what Jesus felt when He went through hell.

“If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

The point I’m getting at here is that God has prepared the concrete dream that you’ve been wanting during your time of suffering. When you’ve done your time, He’ll give you the key to your establishment knowing that you’re wise enough in Him to see that it succeeds. Some lessons are learned this way and no other.

“…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:2b-4)