Only With Him
Tucked under the covers, readying for sleep, thoughts of my day and my life began intruding, causing me to wonder what new thing I would do next that would give me some sort of satisfaction, validation, or meaning. I could feel the lack of whatever it was eating me alive. Up to that point, everything I had tried had fallen miserably and unbearably short. What could I want more of? All I knew was that my heart was lonely, and there was an insufferable longing that always seemed to hang on after the newness of whatever venture I had undertaken had worn off.
At that moment, I heard a still small voice in my left ear, whispering, “Why don’t you try Jesus? At once, a light went off in my head and I knew that what I was longing for and needing was not another accomplishment, or thing to be attained, but a Person.
Finding Validation In Jesus
Revelation 3:20 says that Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If anyone heeds His voice and opens the door and welcomes Him in, fellowship begins. That night I invited Him in, and He’s been rearranging the furniture ever since. Just as Jesus is, so are we to be in this world. We look for opportunities and open doors with the foreknowledge that we are being sent out as sheep in the midst of wolves. We place our hope and trust in God knowing He will be a wall of protection to us.
When Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts, he is inviting us in to dine with Him. This brings us to a place where we can begin to take down our walls of self-preservation trusting in God to be our sole source. If others open their hearts to us, they also begin to dine with us and we with them. We are then given the opportunity to introduce them to their Savior, being His emissaries in this life.
If we welcome the people God sends us to and they heed His voice, as we did in the beginning of our walk with Him, then He will enter their world and begin feasting with them also. Just as I opened the door to Jesus, by not being put off when He knocked, so they too can open up to us when we knock on their door. I need to be ready, because at any given moment He may open my eyes to someone with whom He would like an introduction. We are His emissaries, introducing Him to the world. Just as we let Him in, others can let us in also.Prayer: Father, help me remember that it’s a privilege to be let into another person’s life. Help me use every moment, every look, and every word in such a way that the person on the receiving end can feel Your love, Your wisdom, mercy and a ‘way out and on’ for their lives. Help them know that You see them and that You want reconciliation. Father, You are Lord of the Harvest. One plants, another waters and still one reaps. You know what each person needs, in the moment you cause our lives to intersect with theirs. Let these moments be meaningful.
Giving validation in the name of the Lord.
In Acts 3, Peter and John directed their gaze and looked intently at the man crippled from his birth, lying at the Gate Beautiful, and they said, “Look at us!” In a moment, in the gift of Jesus, the man walked. Ephesians 5:16 says that we are to be ready in season and out of season to share this message, making the most of every opportunity, another version reads, “…Redeeming the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).
We are to work while it is still day, for night comes when no one can work. (John 9:4).Prayer: Help us Father to take advantage of every opportunity You bring our way and not be caught off guard.
If we heed the Holy Spirit’s voice, we will know what doors to knock on. Only the Holy Spirit knows those who are ready to receive Him. If God’s Spirit guides us through the induction process with each person He sends us to, then, just as He sent Elijah to the widow to be fed, so too, we can trust God to lead us to those who are ready to receive Him.
Luke 4:25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were closed up for three years and six months, so that there came a great famine over all the land; 26 And yet Elijah was not sent to a single one of them, but only to Zarephath in the country of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
May we be full of and led and controlled by the Holy Spirit just as Jesus was.
Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit.
If people open up to us and receive us, they are letting us come in. Sometimes we let others in, but only so far. We have to know we can trust them before we let them come further. If they do not prove themselves trustworthy, we put up roadblocks and no trespassing signs. However, God’s knock is not like that. When we invite Him in, He comes in, but we have to be willing to give Him the run of the place. When we welcome Him in, we let Him rearrange the furniture, throwing out the old and bringing in the new. He makes it a home where He is comfortable living. The more we allow Him to arrange it as He likes, since He knows how it should be arranged, being the Builder, then our fellowship deepens and He satisfies the longings of our hearts.
Revelation 3:20 keeps coming into view. Jesus stands at the door and knocks; if we hear and listen to and heed His voice and open the door, He will come in and eat with us, and He says we will eat with Him. Fellowship. It’s like that in getting to know another person, isn’t it? If we try to begin a friendship with a person, we’ve got to knock first, but if they don’t open up to us, we can’t really enter in. People have to be willing to let us into their lives and we have to be willing to let them into ours. The more honest we are with each other the closer friends we become. The same is true with Jesus. We have to be willing to let Him in, and we also have to be open to His movement in reaching into the lives of those around us. We are not God. God’s timing is perfect and only He has the keys to unlock someone’s heart. I love the story of Lydia as told in Acts Chapter 16.
Acts 16 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the [city’s] gate to the bank of the river where we supposed there was an [accustomed] place of prayer, and we sat down and addressed the women who had assembled there. 14 One of those who listened to us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in fabrics dyed in purple. She was [already] a worshiper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And when she was baptized along with her household, she earnestly entreated us, saying, If in your opinion I am one really convinced [that Jesus is the Messiah and the Author of salvation] and that I will be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay. And she induced us [to do it].
We can only follow His lead. There is no pressure; it’s all God, really. All we have to do is be available. I am glad about that, because I really have nothing to give that is going to save anyone anyway. They definitely do not need a lot more of the religious mumbo jumbo that is being pedaled out there today. It’s like clouds that don’t deliver any rain; only teasing people causing their hearts to further harden to where they can’t or won’t hear anymore. People need their Savior. They need, the realness of the gospel and the closeness of Jesus, in a tangible, life giving relationship that only a Person can give. People need the truth and reality of the gospel message delivered by brave saints of God who are willing to take off their masks and speak the person’s language, no matter where they are.Prayer: So, God, help me introduce You the way You would like to be introduced, so people can get to know You and not some religious relic that is not real and has no power to save, heal, lift, or set free.
Being empowered to validate
II Timothy 3:5 says they will have a form of godliness, but deny it’s power.Prayer: Without Your Spirit and Your leadership, without Your building the house we labor in vain and build only temples made with men’s hands which are destined to crumble and fall at the first gust of wind. We need You to be our firm foundation, You to be our leader, You to open the doors to men’s hearts as You give us guidance for each individual person. We need Your heart of compassion, grace, power, love, and mercy to see the captives loosed and set free.
Just as when the groom began knocking on the door of his brides chamber and she was too tired to receive Him, also, at the end of this life it will be too late to open the door. His knocking will have ceased, and we will no longer have opportunity to enter in. In this life, we must take advantage of every opportunity knowing that the days are evil and short lived. Our lives are but a handbreadth, a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. They do not consist in the things we possess.
Luke 12:15 amp And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs. Luke 13:23 amp And someone asked Him, Lord, will only a few be saved (rescued, delivered from the penalties of the last judgment, and made partakers of the salvation by Christ)? And He said to them, 24 Strive to enter by the narrow door [force yourselves through it], for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house gets up and closes the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door [again and again], saying, Lord, open to us! He will answer you, I do not know where [what household—certainly not Mine] you come from. 26 Then you will begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets. 27 But He will say, I tell you, I do not know where [what household—certainly not Mine] you come from; depart from Me, all you wrongdoers! 28 There will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves being cast forth (banished, driven away).
A few weeks while having my morning walk, a man approached me and began ‘trying to save me’. He didn’t ask me my name, he just started reciting some scripture and telling me that God was right there with us. I thought, wow, is this how we sound to the unsaved? We don’t even take the time to check in with the Holy Spirit to see where He is with the person, or where His Spirit wants to move with them? I felt inconsequential to this man, as if he were promoting his church and trying to get another notch on his belt. When I shared that I was a believer, he just moved on, as if I was of no value to his goal. I’ve run into many people from this church and they have each treated me in this same manner. As I pass their building, I see it is constantly growing and expanding it’s building, and I think to myself, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain.” I wonder if they are just interested in numbers, or if they really care about the people within their walls. I don’t know, but when I meet others, I hope they can somehow feel that God sees them and that they matter to Him. I hope at least a seed of His love is planted within their hearts.
I visit my local coffee house every morning. It reminds me of our marketplace today, sort of a community center. I meet people from all over and I love to hear their stories. Every once and again God will open someone’s heart and they invite me in. I am trying to move with Him during the course of our conversation, feeling His heart for the person and listening to His still small voice and where they are. I can see that I need a lot of practice in keeping tuned in with Him and with them. Each person is His unique creation with whom He would like an introduction, but one that is special to them, because they are special to Him. Only God can open the door and only He knows the appropriate time. I listen and wait. Sometimes we just walk, sometimes we run, and sometimes we fly, but He leads and I am learning better how to follow.Prayer Father, help me with each person that comes into my view today. Help me hear Your voice and Your heart for them and where they are. I ask that I speak their language in a way that respects them as the person You created. Help me to somehow let them know that You see them and You are inviting them to come in.