Portals of Progress (Part 1)

         The Lord sometimes sets a door before us through which we must pass. It often arrives as a result of much prayer and searching. Upon arrival, we sometimes do not recognize the door as the answer we seek because it doesn’t necessarily appear as an opportunity, but something to avoid.

         Walking through such a portal begins a journey into the unknown.

         It portends a Door of Discipleship—an Avenue of Advancement—a Portal of Progress.

         Going through such a door will cause one to surrender one’s supposed security. It will demand the leaving of one’s safe and guarded sanctuary composed of the known, where all is seemingly predictable and routine, and head into uncharted territory.

         This moment will demand great faith. Though one must receive clear confirmation that such a move is God’s will and though one may feel a great tug in the spirit and the Lord’s leading, the much greater tug must actually be a push, in that even though we feel something drawing us forward, it is never enough to force us or carry us along.

         We must act. We must choose. We must compel ourselves. We must obey. We must step through.

         I wrote a post two years ago entitled He Steadfastly Set His Face To Go To Jerusalem. The Lord knew all along the cross was His fate. It was a portal through which He had to pass. None of His loved ones agreed with His choice, though the choice was made eons before.

         We know that God had already integrated the cross into His master plan before He began creating anything.

         Regarding the fate of humanity, long before He created Adam, God planned His own crucifixion.

         …Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. [1Peter 1:18-21]   

         The Lord knew in advance of His creation that a sacrifice would be called for. He knew as soon as He began planning to create free-willed beings like Himself that such beings must be allowed to choose, even to the point of choosing against Him, or they would have no such thing as a free will. In this—choosing against God—choice allows for the opposite of what God intends.

         We know what Adam and Eve eventually did. We know that at some point they both violated the command against choosing evil. But we also know that prior to their spiritual fall, Adam and Eve spent an undetermined age in perfect purity and union with the Lord, a time in which they continually chose correctly. It was their time of obedience, and thus, innocence.

         The Word of God says that Adam and Eve were made in His image. God had created two people who were like He was, with the ability to choose as He did, and thus with a completely free will. He had granted them the ability to make their own choices.

         They were thus not robots. Robots, no matter the level of sophistication, are programmed. They are built and programmed by a higher intelligence. Human beings, as the creators of robots, continue to make them as “intelligent” as possible. But regardless of appearances, robots will forever be the result of programming—robots cannot possess free will.

         Even so, people who think deeply about such things have long speculated about the possibility of robots eventually gaining the upper hand and becoming so intelligent and pervasive they will somehow take over. After a century or so of such speculation, of predicting the future, and of science-fiction writers coming up with all manner of end results regarding the subject, we can now fully appreciate just how far-thinking many of them were. Most people back then never believed our present was possible and had very little to do with its arrival.

         And this is the problem with humanity. People in general have a strong tendency to remain with the tried and true and traditional, to remain in their zones of comfort, to lasso life to their liking and drive it into a small and crude corral. In this they can control their lives, as rudimentary and small as they are.

         Now, in their defense, there are certainly good traditional things to establish and limits one knows will cause great problems if transgressed. There is a reason the ancient Greek writer Hesiod penned the tale of Pandora’s Box (actually a jar), in which all the evils of the world were contained. As long as the large jar remained unopened all would be okay. For those who have not heard of the story, it’s not hard to figure out the ending.

         This is why some people insist on a low level of progress or none at all. They fear the bad consequences of wrong choices. They see the terrible results of sin in the world and some human beings becoming total idiots as a result of stupid choices. They know well that stupid is as stupid does and would rather do nothing regarding progress for fear of doing something wrong.

         They’ve also seen much “progress” that was not progress at all, but the opposite. Thus, they’re content with less instead of risking an advance toward better things and possibly upsetting their small gains. Fear of failure has shanghaied their necessary discipleship, progress, and advancement.

         In their effort to stay a million miles away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they also stay a million miles away from the Tree of Life.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]

Posted on November 13, 2014, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. True words of wisdom. Change can be scary and very difficult. Sometimes humans will stay in a bad situation, such as an abusive, “marriage of convenience” simply due to the fear of the unknown. The Lord Jesus had to leave His previous glorious existence with the Father to do God’s will. Even though, He knew what lay ahead, it must nevertheless have been a tremendous challenge, even for Him.

    For we humans, to “walk by faith”, is something akin to stepping out in this air, not knowing what will happen. Will the Lord catch us, to keep us from falling and perishing? This we must face. Leaving our comfort zones to step out in faith “should” be learning to trust the Lord Jesus in all things, if we are indeed lead by the Spirit through prayer and much seeking. This said, He WILL keep His promises to us, if we are willing and obedient. That is the best “comfort zone” and safest place to be that I can think of.

    Thank you and God bless you for such a needful post.


    • Thanks Scarlett. What you say is so correct regarding the balance the Lord has for us and that which we should be seeking. I also think we want to be productive and must make sure productivity will follow a new move. Of course, the Lord defines what that may be. At the end of the day it is obedience that makes His community function properly. There are millions of intricate parts and time-sensitive decisions that must be made. We must therefore honor God and others to do our part, though it may be a strong challenge. We know the Lord gives everything. We can do no less. Blessings to you this day!


  2. Thanks RJ for this post. My husband and I are about to enter a major transition in our lives, so this was timely for me to read. It’s a time when I, especially, need “to surrender [my] supposed security. It will demand the leaving of [my] safe and guarded sanctuary composed of the known, where all is seemingly predictable and routine, and head into uncharted territory. . .”

    But it also holds forth an invitation to experience not only God’s “new thing” for us, but to see again His fresh anointing for the sending forth, and His provision for all necessary changes and challenges.

    Good post for me to read today. Blessings, Marcy


    • Thank you, Marcy. And thanks for remaining a long time reader. You were here close to the beginning, and I appreciate it. I hope all is well with y’all.

      I am also in one of those times, though drawing close to the end of the initial time of a new beginning. It was not easy getting to this point but very fulfilling. We always know when the Lord initiates the plan and gives us the strength and ability to carry it out that it will all get done, as long as we remain in faith and continue our commitment. I know you know this, of course, but I am encouraged that you are encouraged by the post. Thank the Lord. He gave it to me. Fresh, new times are a great thing. I ask the Lord’s blessing on your journey…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A fellow blogger today asked, “Why can’t people just be HUMAN and stop hurting each other?” My instant response, of course, was, “We hurt each other BECAUSE we are human!” I didn’t say it. It wouldn’t have done anything but cloud the issue. But it’s something I’m thinking on today, and this post of yours highlighted it.


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