Revelation 3:19-21 (MSG)
“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God! Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!”
Is that someone at the door? Have you ever heard a subtle sound that made you walk to the window to see if someone was knocking? There are times in the middle of the night when I wake up instantly as though someone is calling me. I used to get up and wander the house checking all the children. Not surprised that there was usually someone calling for me from a bad dream or maybe sudden sickness. There were times that I am not really sure anyone called my name but that the Lord woke me up to care for my little one before they woke up to call me. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had an ongoing nightmare that I would forget I was a mom and leave him somewhere. Anywhere. Before he arrived, I didn’t know how God wired moms with an internal radar for their children. The one that can pick their cry from the midst of a crowd. The little sensor that goes off when something is amiss. I am disturbed by the alarming number of parents who forget that their babies leaving them in hot cars for an entire day without a second thought. What has become so important in one’s daily routine not to think about their child? Please do not think of this as judgmental…I just don’t understand. I forget a lot of things. The older I get the more it seems to happen. Hence I live by lists and constant rechecks. Thank God for the notepad in my cellphone. If I don’t write it down, be wary it may escape me. But not my kids. I think about them every day even those grown and moved away.
Today I hear that voice. The One that equipped me to be a parent calling out to me. He is quietly knocking on the door to my heart this morning asking to come in. Come in to my heart. Inhabit my body. Take over my mind. Filter through my day. Help me. Equip me. Strengthen me. Be with me. Where I do not forget my children, there are days that I forget the Lord. I leave Him standing in that place as I go about my day. These are the days that I am overwhelmed by my tasks and overtaken by my emotions. The Lord whispers, “Look at me. I stand at the door today. I knock. If you open the door I will come sit down with you…” Lord may I learn to be as responsive to you as I am the cry of my children today. Forgive me right now for all the times I have ignored your knock or refused your invitation to be more than a conqueror.
Matthew 7:7-11 (MSG)
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?”
You’re at least decent to your own children. Wow, does this resonate in my heart today. During my early years, my dad was in Vietnam and my birth mother barely out of her teens. When dad came back, they tried to make it work but as most would admit trying to be married without Jesus is near impossible. When they divorced, my mom retained custody of my brother and I. She tried. I remember visiting friends with “normal” homes where mom fixed dinner and dad went to work thinking I want to be this mom. One mom made her daughter lunch with sweet tea every day and I thought she was perfect. It became my life’s goal to be a good mom when it was my turn. By the time, my son came into the world my life was plagued with my own mistakes and the overwhelming feeling that this would not be as easy as it looked. I immediately began seeking God which did not bode well in my first marriage. But I made my bed so I was going to lie in it. I did for almost ten years and three children. When I left my worst nightmare was that I had become my mother. When I met my husband and gave my life to Jesus, I realized that God loved me and applied His Grace to my life. Suddenly, partnered with the Lord I became a better mom the one that He created me to be. I invited Him to help me, equip me and comfort me when I blew it. It changed everything.
Each day the Lord comes to my life and knocks. Lori, do you want my help today? Can I teach you something new about My Love? Can I show you the Way to My Heart? Some days I immediately meet Him throwing open the door. But there used to be more days that I decided I had it all under control. I was doing better. I had it. I knew what His Word said and would try to live that way. Over the last several years, three things have happened that have brought a startling revelation. I need Jesus every single day. How did it happen? The Lord has used my children to teach me this important lesson. My first child and oldest son spent a year in the Middle East as an American soldier. This would be my first experience of my heart being stretched. Second child, a son was diagnosed with cancer not once but five separate times who is now a living breathing miracle although the Lord is still rebuilding his mama’s heart. Finally our oldest daughter got married and then without a few short months moved across the country. See I love being a mother. In many ways, I have invested my whole life into my children. I never expected anything to happen to them or for them to go away because I was a good mom. Is it possible that I hold my relationship with my children closer than my personal relationship with Jesus Chris? I did…but not anymore.
The Lord desires a close and intimate relationship with each one of us. There are a variety of reasons why we do not always embrace His Invitation or welcome His Knock on our heart to come closer. But if we want to live by faith stepping into confident hope, we must not only answer His Call but open the door in every area of our life for salvation sake.
Luke 11:37-41 (MSG)
When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
Now I cannot imagine Jesus calling the Pharisees “stupid” to their faces, but it is novel to think about. Jesus was teaching about the Light of God’s Amazing Love permeating every crack and crevice of our life beginning with our heart when the religious leader invited the Lord to come have dinner. When Jesus came, He purposely did not participate in the ceremonial handwashing that was a Jewish custom. Blew the guys mind, and so when they called the Lord on it. He called them on the condition of their hearts and minds. They were doing all the right things, speaking all the right words and living “holy” lives according to the Law, but their hearts were sinful and dirty disconnected from God completely. Their role in religion had overtaken their relationship with God. The Lord was warning them of the danger of living a holy life without a holy heart. When He comes into our life, it may be like this sometimes…most of the time. Always revealing that one part that is not in complete union with His Word, Will and Way. Maybe that is why we don’t invite Him into our daily lives. Like rebellious children who turn on the water, but don’t wash our hands. I have had children who didn’t want to shower, turn it on and never get in. The same kid would wonder how I knew that he didn’t bathe. (Let’s be real I cannot get the girls out of the bathroom.) He didn’t realize that he was used to his odor but the rest of the world could smell him coming. Other times, he would step in the water and just stand there never picking up the soap. Better but I could still smell him. Other times, he was in the bathroom thirty seconds or less. Moms know things from intuition but a lot of times it is just common sense or the five senses that clue us in. Let’s not be rebellious children, the ones who do not invite Jesus today because we do not intend to act right, do right or be right with Him.
Matthew 25:34-40 (MSG)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’”
Perhaps the main reason that we do not invite Jesus into our day is because it requires relinquishing our priorities to make Him Lord of that day. It means that we no longer can do what we want to do because now we are sensitive to His Discipline. We see others as Jesus does so now we must do something. Our list is crumpled to make way for His Plan. The thing is that if we do not invite Jesus to enter each day and live moment to moment with us, we run the risk of getting off course and when it is our turn to enter in – He won’t know us. Drop the mic. Walk away. To live my life for the Lord has made my life better every single day, but would it be worth it to stand before Jesus and hear the words, “I never knew you.” Living for the Lord has been the greatest blessing in my life. When my world has been completely disrupted, the Lord has graciously come in, gathered every piece of my broken heart, picked up my shattered confidence, and made something good come out of it. My days of ignoring His Knock are fewer and fewer with the knowledge and understanding that I cannot do this thing called life without Him. I asked for the discipline and guidance when I surrendered my life to the Lord but He does not force me to continue. It is up to me. He is knocking…I must answer.
John 14:6 (NLT)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.