Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.Revelation 3:20 KJV
There was a message given at our church recently and the “meat” of it referred to this verse. I am a very visual person so it was easy for me to imagine Jesus, standing at the door of people’s hearts, waiting for an invitation to come in. In my mind’s eye, it was a beautiful picture. It made me wonder how many people see the warmth in these words. Jesus is coming in tenderness, wanting to sup, to visit with us as we would any dear friend.
What I found interesting, while looking in one of my favorite commentaries, is that in this particular context, Jesus is speaking to Christians. Yes, it is a picture of an initial invitation, but it is also for those of us who have formerly let Jesus in. This was said to the pastor of the church at Laodicea who had become lukewarm.
Overall, this verse is for the unbeliever as well as the believer. What happened here, in this context? I guess the pastor forgot or got too busy to let Jesus know it was suppertime and therefore, did not invite Him in. Have you ever been in that position? I have.
I think we take our relationship with the LORD for granted at times. And what I’ve been hearing so often as of late is that people are peddling away at works but their hearts have remained unchanged. Case in point, Bob had been having some pretty intense conversations with Catholics concerning lent. I’ve participated in this sacred practice at various times though I am not of the Catholic church because I feel it helps me focus on the gift that God gave us through Jesus. Bob’s conversations have kind of been in the vein of why bother practicing if the heart remains far from the LORD? Why indeed? What is anyone accomplishing by giving up beer, or chocolate, or cursing for 40 days when the heart remains as far away from the LORD at the end as it was at the beginning? To make matters worse, one of these conversations was with someone who was pontificating about the merit of eating fish on Fridays while living with his girlfriend as his wife. That is called fornication. It is sin. As Bob has asked people repetitively as of late,
“Do you think God is going to say, ‘Good! You ate fish on Fridays. Marvelous! You gave up beer for 40 days. You continued in sin, with your heart remaining far from Me, but that’s okay. You did your just dues concerning lent and that’s good enough for Me.’ Do you think that’s what’s going to happen? No!”
If you think I’m going to go into a laundry list of dos and do nots then you haven’t read me very well or for very long. It’s the point of this knocking on the door. Relationships take effort.
I have a friend who is a great gifter. Over the years I have enjoyed the items, some quite unique, that she has brought to me and to my family. But her gifts pale in comparison to spending quality time with her. Without that quality time, there is no relationship. That’s what’s missing.
Many of us are so religious. We are conditioned so much in our beliefs and in our practices that I shudder to think how any of us would respond if we should meet Jesus face to face as the disciples did. How many of us would be named among the hypocritical religious leaders of His day?
It is my personal belief that part of the fallout from covid will be the ruin of religious institutions as we know them. To that I say, Hallelujah! and Good riddance! I’m fed up with the practices and beliefs and attitudes that have lured me away from the pure, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. In John 14 Jesus says, “These things will you do and more.” But are we doing them? Are we seeing people saved from hell, healed from sickness and disease, delivered from demons? Not often enough for my liking. I don’t resemble the Jesus that I serve to the extent that I desire. Guess what? It isn’t Him who is the problem.
So I go back to that invitation. I love spending time with my family. And I have a couple of friends that I can talk and laugh with for hours and those hours pass as if they were minutes. That’s our Jesus invitation. “Let Me in. I’ll sit and eat with you and we’ll talk for hours. What would you like to talk about? Is there something particular you’d like to know? Do you need direction?”
There are days when I sit at my Savior’s feet and worship Him. There are days when I pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 and repent on behalf of the wicked who know no better and for my own wayward self. There are times when I simply love on Him. It’s so difficult for me to imagine why anyone would intentionally hurt Him. Lest you think our Creator feels no pain from mankind, you are mistaken. We are, at times, no better than those who nailed Him to the tree. And yet . . .
“Do you hear Me knock? I wish to come in. It’s been a while. I want to catch up with you, hear your voice. And I have something wonderful that I wish to share with you.”
It is true. God made us because He wanted family. Jesus paved the way with His very Blood. Holy Spirit is ever present and longing to comfort us. It’s a great, mysterious gift that I desire to unwrap everyday for the rest of my life. Will you join me?