In my childhood days there was a picture of Jesus knocking on the door to an old, vine and weed covered house. It hung prominently in my Sunday School classroom. I don’t recall any of us asking why it was there or what it meant, we just accepted the fact that a picture of what some artist thought Jesus might look like was hanging on the wall.
Now, that I am much more mature, (smiling), I think back to the picture that represented many sermons I heard about Jesus knocking on the door to our hearts, asking to come in, and I’m wondering if a little information is dangerous. We humans think it is always about us, right? We think that Jesus is asking, almost begging us to acknowledge Him.
Jesus, Son of God, is a gentleman. He comes in when asked.
That picture was actually painted by the artist to represent individuals, belonging to God’s church, who lost their first love, Jesus, pushing Him out of their lives and out the door of His church! They lost the meaning for BEING the church! (See Revelation 3:20, but read the whole chapter to get the meaning.) When you examine the painting carefully you will notice that there is no handle on the outside of the door. Jesus is standing in overgrown weeds, on the outside, waiting for people to return to their senses, to their first Love, and open the door.
Revelation 3:20 is part of a message to a church. That is the danger for each one of us as Christians. We can allow our passion for Jesus to fade and to become indifferent to sin, or to others in need.
We stop asking, seeking and knocking on God’s door!
We can also become so self-sufficient that we stop asking for what we really need. Revelation 3:20 is not about Jesus wanting to come into the life of an unbeliever. It is about how we as believers can become lukewarm and feel we are now rich and self-sufficient. As such, we can end up pushing Jesus out and leave Him standing on the outside of the door of our lives.
It’s not that the person has never invited Jesus into their lives. On the contrary, they have invited Him in already, but are now crowding or pushing Him out.
Are we pushing Jesus out of our day to day lives by not asking, seeking, and knocking?
The door that is overgrown with ivy and weeds in Holman Hunt’s painting more likely represents the weeds that grow up and choke us, like the parable of the sower in Luke 8:4-15. This is the parable of the Sower. In verse 14, Jesus explains that there are those who have heard the word of God, but then go on their way as they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
So we stopped asking, seeking and knocking.
According to what Jesus is telling us in our next passage, it is we who should be doing the knocking on the door that leads to God’s throne. Jesus died and rose again so that we could walk right up to the door of God’s heart to ask, seek and knock for answers to all our questions for wisdom, abilities in coping with life’s journey along with spiritual gifts that will grow us and ultimately prepare us for our forever home in heaven.
Believers can ask anything of God. Read that again. And God hears you.
When you seek God with a sincere heart, mind and soul who loves God, God stops and listens. Then He responds with His best for our good. Go ahead, just ask Him. See what God, our Father, has for you…and me. His answer may surprise us but will always be just right to fit our need.
Ask, Seek, Knock
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
GOING DEEPER STILL…
Why does Jesus follow his sermon on judging with this lesson on prayer?
You and I are human and fallible; we make mistakes. Only God can judge perfectly. Therefore, we must pray and seek His wisdom and direction. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). Young King Solomon knew that he lacked the needed wisdom to judge Israel, so he prayed to God, and the Lord graciously answered (1 Kings 3:3.).
If we are to have spiritual discernment, we must keep on asking God, keep on seeking His will, keep on knocking at the door that leads to greater ministry. God meets the needs of His children. Where God guides, He provides.
Continue to help us spiritually discern what is right and run from what is wrong. Search my heart. Cleanse every dark corner not committed fully to you. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Then use me to join you in your work.
In Jesus Name, Amen