“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
Jesus is speaking through John the Baptist via the Holy Spirit’s revelation to him.
John sees Jesus standing at the door of our hearts, asking to come in.
The truth is that Jesus is continuously asking for us to open the door that was once closed to him, so that he can come in and begin the work that he was sent to do; the work of redemption; the forgiveness of sin; and the process of healing from the effects of that sin in our body, soul and spirit. When we receive the gift of salvation, our spirit is “born again” and made brand new into a new creation–we get a new spirit; the new “basic structure” of a person. However, our body and soul are not new; they remain tainted by the effects of that sin. We still have our old habits, our old ways of doing things; many of them very wrong, very twisted, and often quite harmful to us and those around us. We must renew our mind to the fact that we are now redeemed, and begin the process of accepting the mind of Christ, who now lives within us.
How do we do that??
Jesus says: “Open the door, and I’ll come in to you”.
All of my life I’ve heard preachers say that Jesus “fixes things”, solves problems, carries burdens, heals hurts, etc. But the simple truth is that Jesus can’t do a thing if we don’t let him in.
If he’s standing there knocking and we say “Oh, it’s Jesus” and ignore the knock, we miss letting the Counsellor in. We miss the Healer. The Comforter stays outside, and the Prince of Peace is not in residence.
Why do we do this??
Do we not understand the instructions are simple??
Open the door.
Let him in.
We have to let him in.
We have to let him in, because inside is where our heart is. The “seat” of our emotions and will. The place where our attitudes get formed. The place that usually needs healing the most. Sometimes our heart gets “broken”. It ends up jagged and bleeding, and unable to beat with any strength at all; definitely not enough to sustain life. Oh sure, maybe we’re walking around breathing and look alive, but inside we’re only half there. Is that you?? Anyone who has gone through the break-up of a close relationship knows what that feels like. Most of the time, that broken heart gets patched up, and we carry on, muddling through life, hoping that one day the pain will be gone, and we can forget about it once and for all.
But the pain never goes away until we find a way to get it healed. It keeps popping up, over and over again, until we hit rock bottom and admit we can’t ignore it anymore.
Most of the time when I’ve heard Jesus at the door, I’ve kept it closed. Often it’s because I haven’t understood how to open that particular door, or unlock that particular lock. I just think I’ve invited him in to fix the problem but I really haven’t; the door remains shut and my heart remains the same.
Still containing the same lies planted there long ago by the enemy of our souls.
Lies that say I have to live like this.
That’s not true.
Some of you have lived like that a long time. It’s never too late to begin again. Jesus called it being “born again”, with everything becoming brand new. He also said we get ‘new mercies every morning’; any mercy we used up yesterday, we can have a whole new batch this morning. That’s really good news!
When we open the door to Jesus when he knocks the first time; it begins a process of opening the door again and again, because most of us have many doors in our hearts that are closed. Some people call these “walls”. To people, they look like walls; but somehow Jesus can always find the door in every wall we put up, and it’s that door he knocks on. And he keeps knocking and knocking, and hopefully, one day we open that door and let him in to that area of our life. The doors seem to be progressive; they lead one by one to a deeper level of intimacy with him. At first, he comes in and we let him have dinner with us, but all the other doors are closed. We would never dare let him into the rooms that contain our deep hurts and issues; the ones that we would never show to most of our friends because they are too painful or raw. You can only rip the bandage off so many times before you learn to leave it on so the wound doesn’t start bleeding again.
But Jesus keeps knocking even at the doors that house the most painful things in our lives. Loss and grief; betrayal; abuse; loneliness; unresolved and unending conflict; lost hopes and dreams; rejection; misunderstanding. Everything that makes us withdraw from human contact, Jesus is willing to touch. He was willing to touch lepers; the most unclean, reviled people of his time on earth. In the same way, he is willing to touch our unclean hearts and restore them to something viable and pliable; hearts of flesh in place of hearts of stone.
Compassion for our condition is always present with Jesus. He never refuses to discuss something because we already talked about it yesterday.
That’s amazing love. Unending love.
The kind of love that made him offer his life in exchange for ours.
And yet, he’s never willing to leave us in our state of incompleteness. He says that what he started, he will finish; the work that he’s doing will be completed in the end. We can have hope in that. We can believe in that. We must also persevere in that.
We must continue to open the closed doors of our heart, one by one, until he has been into every room and every messy closet and junk drawer. We must not hold back our life from transformation. We are reminded to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices”.
So begin today to open the door to Jesus. He says that if we open the door to him, he will come in and sit down and eat with us like a good friend.
Wow, that sounds good, doesn’t it??