A year or so ago I went to the YWAM base in Melbourne, Australia to hear Rhonda Hughey speak. What I heard was inspiring. Here is a woman who, while being a leader with a global perspective on the church, at the same time sees the preeminent importance of a truly intimate relationship with Jesus. I want to quote to you what she says in the introduction to her book, Desperate for His Presence: God’s Design to Transform Your Life and Your City.
In a declining culture, the church cannot fully recover the presence of God
in her midst apart from the catalyst of a true revival from heaven. We are
living in an important hour of history! God is challenging the church’s
self-centered identity and shifting our mindsets and ineffective methodologies.
He is inviting us to respond to one of the greatest challenges we have ever
faced – to return to our first love and to step out of our compromised church
culture into His kingdom!
Do you hear the message here? Instead of being focussed on ourselves, or even on the church, we need to expand our horizon and see that the Kingdom is the true reality. Hughey goes on to speak about three doors that the Lord has placed before us:
In order to fulfill the purposes of God for our cities, we must hear what the Spirit is saying to the church and be obedient to His voice. Isaiah prophesied: “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations” (Isa 62:10 NIV). The Lord is issuing an invitation to His church to pass through a threshold into the reality of His kingdom. He is opening three “gates” or doorways before us.
The first door is the Door of Intimacy. Scripture contains
two pictures of this door. The first is found in the Song of Solomon: “I sleep,
but my heart is awake; it is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, ‘Open
for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one'” (5:2). A second picture is
found in the book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If
anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with
him, and he with Me” (Rev 3;20). Jesus is knocking at the door of His church,
longing for fellowship and intimacy with His beloved. This door must be opened
before the church can become like Jesus. We can only become what we are
beholding in prayer and intimate fellowship. By fixing our gaze on Him, we can
be transformed into His image, from glory to glory.
The second door is a Door of Hope. In Hosea we see the response of God to His
wandering bride: “Behold, i will alure her, [I] will bring her into the
wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there,
and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in
the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt”
(Hos 2:14-15). The Lord is opening the door to invite His people out of their
captivity and compromise and into their true destiny. It’s a door that leads us
out of the Valley of trouble and into renewed covenant with God. This door will
lead the church from her compromise into betrothal and fruitfulness.
Finally, the last door being opened is the Door of Heaven.
In the book of Revelation John writes, “After these things I looked, and behold,
a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which i heard was like a
trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things
which must take place after this'” (Rev 4:1). The Lord, who invited John to come
up higher for the heavenly perspective, is also inviting His church, His
beloved, to “come up higher” and sit with Him around His throne. The invitation
lifts us out of our compromised state and into the revelation of heaven’s
perspective. With heaven’s perspective, we gain revelation regarding our
identity and destiny in God. This door will help the church realize her
Is this not the same perspective that was being sought by those called “mystics” since the beginning of the church, beginning with John, the beloved disciple?