This is a repost of an article I wrote in February 2017. It is one of my more popular posts, and something I need reminded of on occasion.
For some reason, our neighborhood is popular with door-to-door salesmen and religious visitors. Vacuum cleaner salesmen, college kids peddling magazines or books, home security salesmen, Jehovah’s Witnesses. About once a month, someone is knocking on our door. And, about once a month, I want to hide behind the curtains and pretend I’m not home.
Sometimes I do. Good thing the peephole in my front door doesn’t work like a window.
A Door Knocker in the Bible
People have been knocking on doors for as long as homes have had doors. And I’m sure for just as long, some people have ignored the knock. Whether they didn’t want to be disturbed or honestly didn’t hear the knock, some have stood outside the home, their visit unanswered.
Even back in Bible days. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a verse buried in the book of Revelation.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20
Growing up in church, I heard this verse many times over the years. Often, it’s associated with Jesus standing outside of the heart’s door of an unbeliever. People say Jesus wants to come in and be Savior and Lord of your life.
While that is true, does it surprise you to find out that this verse was originally written to Christians?
The book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John. Exiled by the Roman government, John made his home on the island of Patmos, just off the western edge of Turkey.
He wrote to “the seven churches in the province of Asia” (Revelation 1:4).
The verse in chapter three about Jesus knocking was written specifically to the church in Laodicea. You know, the church that was neither cold nor hot (verse 15). The church that was rich with acquired wealth (verse 17).
So, was the verse written with the intent of calling attention to Jesus’s presence because the church innocently wasn’t hearing him knock? Or were they purposely ignoring Him, not wanting to answer the door and face their Lord?
Jesus Knocks on Locked Doors and Hidden Places
It might be helpful if we back up to verse 19, reading it in connection with verse 20. Jesus says,
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
This verse places Jesus at the door of Christians.
- Our Savior asks for entrance to those places that we keep locked from Him.
- Our Lord wants access to those hidden places where sin and complacency lurk inside of us.
- Jesus yearns for us to open the door to Him in repentance, asking Him to come in and make Himself at home.
Encouraging News for Us
Do you know what I find most encouraging about this?
Not only does God seek access to every part of me, even when I’ve purposely tried to keep Him out or become complacent in an area of my life, but He continues to reach out to me. He continues to knock and ask for entry.
Even when He knows I’m trying to ignore Him.
Look again at verse 20. The verbs are all in the present tense!
- “Here I am.” Jesus communicates that God already knows exactly where I am.
- “I stand … and knock.” Here, Jesus infers that He isn’t going to give up and walk away.
- “If anyone hears … and opens the door, I will come in.” Jesus allows us to rest in the certainty that He will be persistent until I answer the door.
God isn’t going anywhere.
Just as the author of Hebrews reminds us in chapter thirteen verse 5, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Amber Yager’s ignored God all her life. Not raised in church, she has no foundation with Him, but when tragedy strikes, she see no reason to give Him a chance. But could He finally have her right where He wants her?
For years, Amber traipsed around the Northwest avoiding the skeletons in her closet. Job-hopping every few weeks, she refused to let anyone get close to her. As winter plants itself firmly across the Rockies, she decides to take a chance on a job at a logging company with a family different from any she’s ever known before. Watching the family interact creates more questions than answers for Amber. Feeling like she’s entered the happily-ever-after written at the end of fairytales, she watches for cracks in the façade. Surely as the days pass, the play-acting will cease and the real family will emerge. Or could she be wrong? Could this family hold the key to what she’s seeking?