The Key Master

To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: 'He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things: 'I know your works (behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut), that you have a little power, and kept my word, and didn't deny my name.' Revelation 3:7 WEB

I grew up as an outcast. The lowest of the low, the least of the least. Mom left before I turned one, and when the department of social services tried to take us away from Dad and adopt us out, he married the first person he could find. She was special.

She had married at thirteen, then had thirteen children. Her first husband had died in an asylum, said he liked it there. I was the youngest of them all. Each morning, after Dad left for work, my new stepmom would put my brother and me out in the yard, bring her children and grandchildren in the house, lock the door and have breakfast together. She kept the cereal boxes locked in a cabinet with a padlock on it. There was a padlock on the phone.

Every Friday she would go get her hair made into one of those big beehives. After my brother started school and she had no one to watch me, she would occasionally leash me to the huge pecan tree in the yard for a couple of hours, like a dog, except I didn't have a water bowl. Apparently it was out of the question for her to be seen with 'Robert's boy' in public. When Dad got home from work, she would deny it ever happened with a big smile. 'Oh he's crazy' she'd say.

One day my older brother Randy took Ken and me to a revival at Bethlehem Baptist church and at the end, they gave an altar call. Many people went forward, and I went along with them. I was only about six years old, but I wanted to know this Jesus they talked about, and if there was a rapture, I certainly wanted to be a part of it. For the first time in my life, there seemed to be hope. Then the people at the altar turned me away and told me that I was too young to be saved. I was crushed. I still remember that night, going home with the thought that I could not be saved.

I may have been too young in their eyes, but God followed me home that night, and I began to pray from that day forward in my life, whether I was saved or not. After a few summers passed, a preacher drove up in our yard one Sunday afternoon and talked with my Dad. He owned a farm about forty minutes away and wanted to take me on as a helper. He said that I could live with him and his wife, and they would bring me home on the weekends. To my surprise, Dad said yes.

So when school got out that summer, I spent the weeks living with preacher Clyde and working in the tobacco fields. It was hard work, getting up by 5AM and were still checking barns at 11PM, but his wife was the best cook, and I had my own room. I got to go to church and see a glimpse of a real family. Though I was still an outsider, a servant, it was a big step up for me, and I could eat all I wanted.

Out of thirteen children, God set me apart that year and began drawing me. Never believe that your prayers are not heard for they will open a door that no man can shut. It has been a long journey, but here are some things that I have learned along the way:

* You do not need anyone's approval or acceptance on this earth, for God is able to raise you up outside of their circle. Seek a relationship with Him and the doors that you need will open. He is the Key Master, and He will open doors for you that no man can shut.

* No one can stop your destiny, except you. As long as you will continue to follow God and keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will overcome.

* Never give up. This life is not over until you are dead and in the grave. When you fall, get back up and take another step. When you stop getting up, then your journey stalls.

* It is always you that walks away from Him, and never once will it be Him walking away from you. God will never leave you, nor forsake you, nor imprison you against your will. But you are free to leave His house just as the prodigal son left His father's house, if it is your will to do so.

* God is never mad at you. You can perform the most grievous of sins and break all ten commandments, but when you turn back to Him, He will welcome you back with wide open arms.

* God is always right in what He says and does. There were so many times when I wanted something to happen a certain way, and it did not. Most of the time, the way that it happened was better. When it did not happen, it was for my own good and it may have led me away from Him.

* God never says: 'I told you so.' He will wash you as white as snow, just as if it never happened and never bring your past up again. He will remove your sins from you. It is satan that constantly brings up your past, not God.

* It is never too late to get started, but the sooner the better. Just like a wise investment plan, the earlier that you begin, the more fruit that it can bear. Invest your time, money, talents and resources in the kingdom of God and it will have a long term return that can hardly be measured.

This is our time. We were brought into this world for such a time as this. Let us make our lives count for Jesus. No fear, no turning back, no breaking down. We will hold it together and press forward, following Him one day at a time. Though hell breaks loose around us, we will stay the course and see this through to the end. Your prayers will open a door that no man can shut.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I want more of You in my life today. More of You Lord is the cry of my heart. Please fill the empty places inside of me with Your glorious presence. Let me feel what You feel, and see what You see, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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