Sunday, April 19, 2015

Teach us to pray, part 54: those who knock

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10 NASB)

There is an amazing fact about knocking that I need to remember. I am not the only one knocking. Christ Himself is knocking, too. 

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20) 

Imagine that! Christ longs to visit with me and knocks on the door of my heart while He waits for me to invite Him in. "I will dine with him and he with Me" is just one more example of the relationship for which I was created, for which you were created. 

This verse is generally held to be a verse related to salvation. Certainly, that first opening of the door of our heart when Christ knocks is our salvation moment, but that is not the only time He knocks at the door of our hearts. Our Lord longs to have times of intimacy with us on a daily basis, just as God walked and talked daily with Adam and Eve in the garden. 

Knocking with unbridled enthusiasm as we ask repeatedly that our requests be granted is one of the prayer-actions Christ has granted to us. In our determination to achieve the desire of our heart, however, let us not overlook the quiet, persistent knocking of our Lord Jesus, who longs for us to swing wide the door of our heart so that we might spend time with Him.

You may be thinking, "Why does Christ knock if His Spirit in already residing within me?" Perhaps the metaphor of a house will be helpful. When a guest wants to enter my house, they usually knock on my outside door. Once inside, they have free reign to make themselves at home in the open rooms. 

It is when I go into a room, wishing for a bit of privacy, that I close the door. Before entering that private place, the one in which I have cloistered myself, those who wish to enter usually knock. 

In that same way, I can withdraw from Christ, metaphorically shutting the door of an area of my heart, and stepping away from closeness with Him. I can "hide" by distancing myself from Him. It is in those times that He gently and quietly knocks with the same persistence as at the start, for He longs to share my hurts, my sorrows, my confusion. He longs to turn my isolation into companionship, my sorrow into joy.  

It is all too easy to drown out the sound of His knocking with busyness or the clamor of sin. When I allow myself to be still and silence the clamor, I can hear that gentle knocking. It is then that I face a beautiful decision and a divine opportunity. Will I allow Christ access to more of me or not? 

Only in eternity, when we are made perfect in the presence of God, will we fully abandon ourselves to His presence. Only then will the knocking end, for our communion with Him will be made complete. 

For now, He knocks and we must answer, so let our answer be "more of Christ in me". Let us swing wide the doors of our heart in utter abandon to the One who longs to fill every empty place with the sweetest presence imaginable, heal every hurt, and fill our lives with the love, joy and peace that only He can give. 

He is knocking. What will be our answer?