To read Part 4, click here.
I drifted in and out of consciousness. My mind swirled with terrifying images, voices of condemnation, and personal shame. After three days, I heard a voice speaking through the turbulence in my mind.
I opened my eyes, expecting the harsh reality of defeat to destroy what had to have been a dream. Instead, I found myself gazing into the eyes of the gatekeeper. His body appeared to be strong and vibrant again. As I responded to this revelation, I realized that I was also free of the prison my flesh had become. Thorns and fruit were gone! I was no longer rooted to the earth! I was free!
I sat with him in the meadow, keeping my back to the grove of trees. This time, my eyes remained fixed on him alone. I now understood his words,
“I will deny you no good thing.”
There were many other things that I did not understand. As he tended to my physical needs, he patiently answered my questions.
“The fruit you ate seemed harmless to you, but it contained the seeds of this thicket. As you consumed these seeds, they began to grow. It was not possible to contain all of this within you, so they grew outward. Finally, they took root in the fertile ground of your desires, resulting in a full harvest. All of the fruit was the same; it simply took different forms according to your appetites.”
“But you lost the battle. I saw it.”
“Are you not free from your prison? Do not think that I lost the battle. You did not meet the requirements to overcome the power of the thicket; I did. There was no other way to win your salvation.”
“But there are so many others trapped in the meadows…in the thickets…so many that listened to my voice and ate of my offerings. I called them to their destruction.”
“So many that will call out to me. I cannot free those who do not ask, but I will deliver all who seek it. You cannot undo what you have done. What you can do is change your message. Let your voice be one of deliverance.”
“How can I speak for you? I am not worthy to even follow you. Why would you want me? I…cannot.”
“Child, after all that I have done to set you free, do you now choose to remain in this world? I offer you forgiveness and freedom. I desire to begin our journey anew, to enjoy our fellowship, to share with you from my abundance. I have always loved you, and the place where I have prepared room for you is still waiting. Follow me.”
I arose and followed him, a much wiser person than I once was. I now knew the consequences of making my paths. I understood the character of the one I had chosen to follow: his great love, his wisdom, his provision, and his promise. There is no wiser decision than trusting him. My choice is to follow him, to fully yield my heart and mind, and to place my life and future in his hands.
I have also accepted his challenge to make my voice one of deliverance. That is why I am sharing my story with you and with all who will listen.
“Why risk everything for him?” I know what he did for me, and I know where I would be without him!
“Why can’t I just be silent?” My voice may be the difference between bondage and freedom for someone. It could be the difference for you.
So I ask the question. Where has your path led you? It is a question that only you can answer. Are you following the gatekeeper? If so, do not be led astray by voices that call you from his side. They will only lead you to a thorny trap baited with your deepest desires. Are you in the meadow or imprisoned deep within the thicket?
The gatekeeper is waiting to deliver to you just as he did me. He offers forgiveness, freedom, and fellowship on your journey home to the place he has prepared for you. Call out to him, for he is already there with you, just waiting for you to ask him. When you are free, do not be silent! Make your voice heard, whatever the price! He is worthy of it! May we meet again at the journey’s end!
Co-authored by Brad Poplin
Featured Image By Dominik Bednarz