Revelation 3:19b-20 – Be earnest, therefore, and repent. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (NRSV)
My annoyance over telemarketers has occasionally caused me to answer legitimate calls with a rather unfriendly tone. Once, I even hung up on someone. How rude! Thankfully, that person called right back.
That got me thinking: How often have I "hung up" on my Lord — in other words — failed to "open the door" when He came a-knocking? How often have I missed His knock because other "sounds" occupied my focus? Perhaps, now you wonder about your own track record in hearing God's knock. Regardless, there's always room for improvement.
Today's Bible passage was addressed to Christians who were immersed in affluence. Abundance had blinded them to their spiritual impoverishment. It had dulled their ears to God's knocking in their lives. Doesn't that resemble our own context, our modern churches? Whenever challenges face us as God's people, we seem inclined to react like everyone else, to seek solutions within the wealth of societal resources, not just materially, but through the overall wealth of our Western ways — such as knowledge, skill, and organizational structures. Since everyone around us operates that way, it feels right. Thus, we can't see how our clever strategies will leave people just as spiritually impoverished as before. They will continue to leave our churches weak and immature, wrought with issue upon issue. That's why God wants to get our attention — one by one.
Psalm 95:7b – O that today you would listen to his voice! (NRSV)
This requires personal responsibility. It requires you and me to reorient our ways of thinking and doing — in other words, to "be earnest and repent". Then, we are more able to recognize God's knock. I've learned that He'll often use life issues to get our attention. These are His knocks and our opportunities to pause and ask questions — such as: God, what's Your take on this? How do You want me to view this? What shall I do?
I tried that one night recently. That day, an issue had popped up that I found disheartening. I decided to interpret it as God's knock. So, at bedtime, I asked God what to do with it. He said, "Just go to sleep!" Right then, I knew that I was to drop it. It was not the right trajectory for me. Sure enough, the next day, my Lord opened up something entirely new. And best of all, I found myself enjoying sweet fellowship with Him — a wonderful "meal" together — just as He promised.
Surely, if we belong to God, He'll have much to say to us, and we'll want to hear it. That's especially true when we face uncertainties. It's critical that we wait for His call before proceeding.
As we learn to expect His calls, we'll be less inclined to treat them as just another telemarketer.
John 8:47a – Whoever is from God hears the words of God. (NRSV)
Prayer: Lord, train us to expect and to recognize Your knocking in our lives. Amen.
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