May I please have the keys? –Declaring Independence

May I please have the keys?                     

                       –Declaring Independence

“May I please have the car keys?”

That question just might still be ringing in your head if you currently have or have had a teenager with a driver’s license.

When he walks out the door, car keys in hand, he experiences a new independence that was not his just a few years, months, or days ago. It’s a great feeling. Do you remember what it felt like yourself? (In my example, I’m using the male gender only because we have sons. All is the same with girls. I know that because I am one.)

That teen may try to hide the grin on his face but you can bet it’s there.

Independence! Ah, yes—master of his own destiny—in control—call his own shots! For the teenager clutching car keys, it’s a new freedom—kind of a personal declaration of independence.

With the possession of keys comes power and authority. In the case of car keys, one has power and authority over a vehicle and command over the direction in which it will go.

When we come to faith in Jesus and become His followers, He gives us keys. It’s at the point of our realization and proclamation of who He is, that He hands over to us the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter spoke right up and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:15-16 NKJV).

Peter nailed it—right answer!

When reading this dialogue, one can sense Jesus’ pleasure in Peter’s response. I’ve always loved what Jesus said next:

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17 NKJV).

Did you catch that? The source of the revelation that Jesus is Lord, is God Himself.

Rest assured, the Spirit of God, helps us come to a revelation understanding of the deity of Jesus. This is why, when we pray for lost loved ones, we should ask that Holy Spirit to deal with them on a spiritual level, helping them come to their own aha moment.

When Peter gave Jesus the right answer, the Lord made a proclamation. It is upon this belief, and confidence in the identity of Jesus as the Christ, that He builds His church. Jesus said “… on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:18b-19 NKJV).

If you’re in prison, a key will unlock a door and set you free. Early in Jesus’ ministry, He declared He had come to set free those who were bound (Luke 4:18). Any of us who are in bondage to sin, oppression, addiction, anger, loneliness, guilt, fear—the list can go on and on—are given the keys of God’s Kingdom when we’re born-again. The Bible describes the Kingdom of God as righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

55 Free indeed

Keys also give a person authority over something. When I buy a house, I’m given the key to the house. At that point the house is mine and I’m free to live in it, decorate it, entertain guests in it and do things I may not feel comfortable doing elsewhere, like sing out loud.

When Jesus gives us the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, we have the capability to unlock a whole new dimension in our lives. We’re then qualified to be in His family and live in His Kingdom in Heaven.

We don’t have to wait until we get to Heaven to use the keys though, because with them, we have access to abundant life on earth. The choice is ours. We can do the things that help us access God’s abundance or we can deprive ourselves of the freedom Jesus bought on the cross, and continue in bondage and oppression.

If the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, let’s just do it! Let’s make full use of the keys our Lord has given us. If our friend has freely given us the keys to his beach-front house, why would we pay to stay in a hotel two blocks away from the beach?!

55 Freedom- photo by DominikLange

The best way to utilize all the wonderful doors we can open with the keys God put in our hands is to read and study His Word. Connecting with a good Bible teaching church is essential as well, in addition to communicating with God through prayer, both by talking and listening.

Those beach house keys may open the gate to the pool, the hot tub, the closet full of beach chairs, umbrellas and toys, the dune buggy, the grill and even the free passes to the putt-putt and nearby golf course!
Our friend’s keys may give assess to a full, exciting beach experience. But if we don’t use them we miss out on so much we could have freely enjoyed.

The keys to the Kingdom are given to every follower of Christ Jesus, so we can access our best possible and exciting life experience. We’re free from the bad stuff and can open the doors to the good stuff.

When we believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, we need to open our hand to receive the keys of the Kingdom and live a life that is free indeed.
As we celebrate freedom in the next few days here in the U.S., let’s also celebrate the freedom we have as citizens of the Kingdom of God. Both of these freedoms were attained through blood sacrifice. One great thing about our freedom through Christ is that it continues on into Eternity! Let’s choose to be FREE!  

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1 NIV).


From what has Jesus set you free? Your comments are welcome.

©Connie Wohlford 2016

Prayer of Protection—Putting on the Armor of God

Prayer of Protection—Putting on the Armor of God 

Do you feel as though life consists of one battle after another?

It often seems like we no sooner take a breath after finishing one battle that we’re hit with another, perhaps even worse than the previous.

As soon as you put out $2000 to fix the car, the refrigerator breaks down. <> Right when you and your spouse get over an argument the kids get into a major fight. <> You finally win a battle with cancer just to find out you’re diabetic.  <> The very next week you get your daughter over the long fought struggle to graduate high school, and she tells you she’s pregnant.

Life can clobber us with one challenge after another until we feel overwhelmed and battered much of the time. The above trials are but a sampler of the kinds of battles we encounter. Moreover, your personal trials may involve much worse problems than those mentioned here.

BUT, no matter what we’re going through, we’re not without hope and we’re not without help when we are in Christ. Our Heavenly Father has provided for us battle gear that’s better than anything issued by the Pentagon.

Earthly battles affect us in the spiritual realm—or should I say, “The spiritual realm affects our earthly battles.”?

The Apostle Paul articulated this well in his letter to the Ephesians: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Eph. 6:10-13 NIV).

As followers of Jesus, we are warriors in His army. As such, it’s imperative that we recognize that and dress appropriately. A warrior does not go into battle without his gear.

My friend, James Rathman, recently posted this declaration of God’s warrior, donning the armor God supplies for our preparation to meet the battles hurled at us:

“Heavenly Father, Your warrior prepares for battle.

Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole Armor of God.

I put on the Girdle of Truth! May I stand firm in the truth of Your Word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies.

I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness! May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the Blood of Jesus Christ.

I put on the Shoes of Peace. May I stand firm in the Good News of the Gospel so Your Peace will shine through me to be a light to all I encounter.

I take the Shield of Faith! May I be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial, and deceit so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.

I put on the Helmet of Salvation! May I keep my mind focused on You so Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts.

I take the Sword of the Spirit! May the two-edged sword of Your Word be ready in my hands so I can expose the tempting words of Satan.52 Armor of God

By faith your warrior has put on the Whole Armor of God!

I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory! Amen.”*

Let us not neglect being prepared for battle. Satan is relentless and wants to take us down but we have, at our disposal, the means by which to stand and to keep standing.

I want to let you in on a secret I’ve learned through years of battle.

Sometimes we take on too much responsibility. Much of our fretting and gut-wrenching slugging it out is just not necessary. As the “Silver Fox” once sang, we need to “know when to fold ‘em.”  (Kenny Rogers – The Gambler)

I have found that the best way to have that knowing is to systematically read and study God’s Word.

God often says to me, “This battle is not yours. It’s Mine.” –Not in an audible voice, but in my spirit—His Holy Spirit to my spirit. This too is part of our preparation for battles of life.

Photo by Shlomit Wolf, from Upsplash

Photo by Shlomit Wolf, from Upsplash

Like the Boy Scouts, lets “Be prepared.”

*Used with permission from James Rathman,

©Connie Wohlford 2016

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Death — Fear No More

Are you ready to celebrate Resurrection Sunday (Easter)?

Jesus accomplished many things when He left His throne in Heaven and came to earth.  Have you considered His main accomplishment?  Please check out my latest blog post. Here is the link:

45 Jesus

I want to encourage you to attend a Bible believing church or fellowship Easter Sunday and each and every Sunday–for He is RISEN!

May God richly bless you and your loved-ones.