A Little Strength

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
— Revelation 3:8

Each time I come across this verse, I’m reminded of its usage in my favorite movie, Facing the Giants. Though it is a film centered around a football team (which is typically not my thing), the spiritual applications within the movie have impacted my life in so many ways.

Grant is a failing coach with a losing team. His house is falling apart. His car breaks down regularly. And though he and his wife long to have a family of their own, the possibility of conceiving seems unlikely at best. On the verge of losing all faith and hope, Grant is visited by an older gentleman who claims to have a message from God. The man reads Revelation 3:8, which encourages Grant to view life from a different perspective—God’s perspective.

I won’t tell you the outcome because I don’t want to spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it, but I wanted to outline the premise for those of you who can relate. Those who are frustrated about things being harder than they should be, taking longer than they’re supposed to, and leaving you grasping for any thread of hope. You’re tired. You’re weary. You’ve tried so hard to serve God, but it seems like your only reward is fatigue and frustration. You’re ready to quit and looking for one good reason to keep going.

To you, my dear one, God offers these words: “I know thy works.” Yes, God is keeping track. He is aware of your faithfulness. He knows all you do for Him and is working on your behalf night and day. He loves you and wants only what is best for you. So. . .

He has set before you an open door that no man can shut. Yes, my friend, God has made a way. He has opened that door of opportunity. Of ministry. Of relationship. He has given you something to do, and it’s up to you to do it.

Then, notice this next phrase: “for thou hast a little strength.” Not a lot. Just a little. Just enough to grasp that last thread of patience. Just enough to keep your mouth shut when you want to tell that coworker what you think. Just enough to keep from throwing in the towel. A little strength.  

It doesn’t sound like much of a compliment, does it? But, in God’s eyes, a child with a little strength is much better than a mighty warrior king. The strong are self-sufficient. They think they can do anything and everything. They have no need of God. Those with just a little strength, on the other hand, are at the point where they have nothing left to give, and they know it. In their weakness, they are made strong because it is when they turn it all over to God. And so, God looks on and says, “Yes, she has a little strength. I can do something with that.”

This verse has reverberated in my mind over the past couple of weeks. As I’ve crawled on my hands and knees to stretch protective coverings over the floor and climbed ladders to tape off the moldings around the house, I’ve heard God’s voice reminding me, “You have a little strength. That’s good. I can use that. I can multiply that. I can use that weakness to show you just how strong I am.”

Sometimes a little strength is all you need. Hang in there, dear one. God is doing a mighty work. Look for those open doors and rely on His power. He’ll see you through.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
— II Corinthians 12:9

Watch Out for Open Doors!

Okay, I have to admit something to you, but promise me that you won't laugh.  Promise?  The other night, I ran into a door. (Hey, you promised!)  Really, though, I did.  I woke up in the middle of the night to answer the call of nature, stumbled around the bed, then the next thing I know, there was a resounding thud and excruciating pain.  I cried out, both in pain and frustration.  The whole thing was loud enough that even Jason woke up and immediately asked, "Are you okay?  Please tell me that was your foot that hit the door."  He knows I hate walking around barefoot, so I usually put my house shoes on.  Unfortunately, I didn't this time.  Not that it would have mattered because I didn't hit the door with my foot.  I hit it with my face, and I have the bruises to prove it.

Go ahead and laugh.  Yes, I'm the poor girl who walked face-first into a door.  Ha ha!  Although, in my defense, it wasn't entirely my fault.  The problem was that the door was only partially opened.  It was opened enough for me to see beyond it, so I naturally assumed that it was open all the way.  But it wasn't.  It was only halfway opened, which means it was also halfway closed--a deadly trap in the darkness of night.  Honestly, I don't know which one of us left the door in such a precarious position, but I think we've both learned our lesson.  If we're going to leave the door open, it's going to be open all the way.  It's just better for my poor face that way!

In life, we must be wary of open doors.  Yes, sometimes God opens a door with every intention of allowing us to walk through, but an open door isn't always an indication of God's will.  Sometimes, in the darkness of night, what seems like an open door may be a deadly trap, just waiting for you to run into it.  You think it's open because you can see beyond it, but trust me on this one, test it out first.  Pray about the door you're facing.  Ask God to make His will perfectly clear.  As the Bible says, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (I John 4:1)

Going through an open door in perfect submission to the will of God is a great thing.  Running into an open door because you're stumbling around in the darkness is not.  Beware.  As the old saying goes, "Not everything that glitters is gold."  Likewise, not every door that appears to be open is the right door for you.  The Lord will lead you through the proper doors--doors that no man can shut. Trust in that.  Your face will thank you!

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. - Revelation 3:7-8