Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Have you ever hit a brick wall? You were making progress, feeling pretty good about yourself—then suddenly you encountered a seemingly impassable obstacle in your path.
This is more common than you think.
I love the story in Acts 12 about Peter’s release from prison. On the eve of his execution, he was roused from a deep sleep by an angel of the Lord. As his pitch-dark prison cell was flooded with light, Peter’s chains instantly fell to the ground. Apparently invisible to the four squads of prison guards assigned to him, he and his angelic escort left the prison completely undetected.
After Peter and the angel “passed the first and second guard posts,” it might have seemed like the coast was clear. Ah…but not so fast.
After things had gone so smoothly in Peter’s initial release, they came to “the iron gate leading to the city” (v. 10)—which seemed a formidable obstacle indeed.
However, as Peter and the angel approached the iron gate, something amazing happened: “this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through.”
Notice that Peter didn’t have to kick the gate open or even knock. It opened “by itself” and “of its own accord.” The Greek word here is automatos, from which we get our English word “automatic.” Even before modern department stores got the idea, there was an automatic door in the Bible! God made a way where there seemed to be no way. Not my human might, nor by power, but by God’s Spirit He opened a gateway of freedom and blessing for Peter.
But it does no good for God to open a door for us if we’re too timid to pass through it. When Peter and the angel saw the door open before them, “They passed through.” They didn’t wait. They didn’t debate. They went to the other side.
Are you facing an “iron gate” experience today? Then instead of getting discouraged, get ready for the Lord to open a door before you. He has prepared “good works” for us beforehand, and all we have to do is walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
And remember: The most important door is already open—“a door standing open in heaven” (Revelation 4:1). The heavenly voice is beckoning you, “Come up here!”
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn in two so you can enter the open door into God’s presence anytime you want. It’s a door that’s “automatically” open to all who come in faith.