NO 3RD DOOR
Back in the mid-60s, I occasionally watched “Let’s Make a Deal” with my grandma. I don’t know how it compares to the modern version but nothing really tops the effect of the original. In his day, Monty Hall made the show exciting & you played right along with the contestants. The bargaining appeal made it feel like you were emotionally involved. As game shows go, there was a lot of dramatic hype & sounds effects & music to spur contestants on. If you were chosen, you traded in something you brought with you, for the opportunity to explore “greener pastures” behind 1 of 3 doors. Door number 1! Door number 2! Door number 3! Which will YOU choose??? The audience would be in a cheering frenzy, while waiting to see if the contents were the grand prize, a secondary “so-so” prize, or the impractical worthless prize. If your choice was the latter option, you were “zonked.”
Many Christians, specifically those professing to know Jesus Christ through a born-again salvation moment, unknowingly live their lives with this game-show-3-door mindset. An authentic believer will testify that God’s sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift they’ve ever received –the Grand Prize. They will also agree that overtly choosing anything connected to Satan reaps life-altering destruction. Getting spiritually “zonked” can leave you feeling emotionally crushed & trashed. For the most part, we are aware of evil- since the Holy Spirit lives in us. Therefore, Satan employs a “back door” approach to temptation. He appeals to our flesh (memories of our Before Christ days) & the draw of the world to say, “There IS another option. Let’s make a deal.”
I’d like to make note that most Biblical lessons & truths are presented in stark contrasts…the grand prize versus the trash (in game show verbiage). Two doors. Two options. Life/death, light/darkness, heaven/hell, Spirit/flesh, love/hate, right/wrong, freedom/bondage, wisdom/folly, truth/lies, humility/pride, riches/poverty, sheep/goats, the beginning/the end, good/evil, mercy/judgment, narrow/wide, good fruit/bad fruit, law/grace, & the Spirit of God /the spirit of the anti-christ…just to name a few. Observing this teaching pattern was the foundation for my long-ago spiritual lesson of No 3rd Door.
In practicality, the 3rd door would best be described as compromise. It’s the human blending of the best (God) & the worst (Satan). The results aren’t the greatest, but you still have something to show for your bargaining efforts. Spiritually speaking, this manmade alternative can best be described as MY WAY. I first saw this as a spiritual discovery in principle…until God showed me that MY WAY was my default protection plan. I struggled with this erroneous belief pattern, particularly in situations where I felt vulnerable. This included physical needs (trusting God’s timing for food, clothes, paying the bills), relationships (trying to help people not hurt so much), serving (over-extending myself to the point of physical detriment & wrong priorities that affected our home) & safety (going overboard in making sure things were ok & not taking any risks).
MY WAY will rationalize why the situation warrants your control. MY WAY will settle-- for less than God’s best. MY WAY will deduce why you should get what you want. MY WAY is self-focused & can be motivated by people-pleasing or immediate gratification. When we are tempted to ignore the truth in the Word & disregard God’s voice, when we do our own thing, when we won’t let go of our agenda, when we fight the conviction of the Spirit, we are playing into the enemy’s hands. Satan is using our spiritual pride & independence for his purposes of blotting our testimony & robbing God’s glory. MY WAY is not neutral. MY WAY is not without consequences. My WAY is why we need lifetime sanctification. God shows no partiality with sin. Christ Jesus died to put an end to the power of MY WAY. He was resurrected to give us His Life so we don’t rely on the false hope of MY WAY. When we yield & submit, He directs our steps. Even if we have to wait. Or it doesn’t look like everyone else. Or the right thing is uncomfortable to do. Or faith is sightless…right down to the wire.
I am still of the mindset that if God said it, I believe it. It’s settled, even if I don’t totally understand how everything will play out. He is God. I am not. And neither are you. 😊 I find solitary comfort & hope in the truth that Jesus, THE WAY, replaces the need to default to MY WAY. In I John 5:12 it says, “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” I can’t say it any better than that!