I was visiting one of the famous sights in a creative access country in Asia, a famous pagoda. Built in 1601, it has seven stories corresponding to the seven levels of enlightenment.1 The design was originally intended to help seekers move from one level of enlightenment to the next, like other physical actions (labyrinths, body postures in worship, etc.) that
correspond to spiritual ones.
But the door is closed. It is locked, and according to my guesthouse host, it is never opened. Only one person has the key, the abbot of the monastery, and he never opens the door.
I wondered, How can one find enlightenment if the door is never opened?
The seven stages of enlightenment are interesting. A person moves from letting ego and possessions control oneself to becoming a person of giving and loving from a place of humility. One becomes a seeker, a more spiritually oriented person. Sounds good.
The flaw is believing we can do this through our own effort.
We cannot, and anyway, the door is closed. Locked.
But Jesus opens doors (Revelation 3:7,8). Jesus is the open door through which we can find salvation, enlightenment and hope (John 10:9). We are invited to knock, and the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).
Walking through the monastery, I witnessed an interaction between a monk and a young girl. The monk was very displeased at her dancing and flitting about in the presence of the Buddha. He scolded her.
Again, the contrast is stark. Jesus loves little dancing, silly girls and boys, as well as the worst sinner and all in between (Matthew 18:1-5). The door is open for all.
The Christians I met while visiting this beautiful country are a determined, passionate, committed tribe. God is opening doors. Children are dancing, the elderly are laughing, the broken are finding healing, and salvation is being offered to all.
The Lord of open doors is at work in Asia. Pray for FMWM Asia and the Set Free Movement in Asia.