Our Father Will Speak (If We Are Willing to Listen)

So many of us think our prayers are the time we offer up our wants, needs, and desires. In other words, to sit before our Father and talk to Him. The problem is that we don’t wait for His response. He is looking for communication. A dialog with His children. Now when the word “dialog” is used as a Noun, it is defined as:

  1. a conversation between two or more persons.
  2. an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.

Ooh, pretty good, huh?

However, if it is used as a verb, it means:

  1. to carry on a dialogue; converse.
  2. to discuss areas of disagreement frankly in order to resolve them.

Wow! That is obviously describing an active participation between two parties. There is no demeaning or belittling going on, because it would no longer be a dialog, but rather a directive.

What I am attempting to show you is that our Heavenly Father does not consider it to be demeaning to have a conversation with us. Picture yourself sitting down to dinner with Him and allowing Him to speak to you. Despite being El Haggado, The Great God (Deuteronomy 10:17), He wants to converse with us, heart to heart, on anything, no matter what it is

Am I stretching this too far? Well, our risen Lord said: “I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in, and we will eat together” (Revelation 3:20).

Oh I realize many believe this was spoken to the unsaved. And we have seen paintings of Jesus standing at the door of the sinner’s heart, attempting to gain entrance. But, that cannot be. Read the verse in context:

I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I’m going to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I’m rich. I’m wealthy. I don’t need anything.’ Yet, you do not realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you: Buy gold purified in fire from me so that you may be rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them so that you may keep your shameful, naked body from showing. Buy ointment to put on your eyes so that you may see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act. Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together (Revelation 3:18-20)

See? Christ is speaking to the believer! The magnificent and risen Lord is talking to those who are clothed in white in righteousness; who have bought gold tried in the fire; whose eyes are anointed; who are loved; corrected and punished. And He only disciplines those He loves. “Oh! That doesn’t sound very loving.” Oh no? Well, as my children were growing up I disciplined and punished them and not the neighbor’s kids. I had no right to correct and punish them, did I? Jesus added that he only corrects and disciplines those He  loves). These are repentant, holy people who want to know the voice of God!

When I read and reread verse 20, three words kept leaping out at me: “Open the door! Open the door!” And then I heard the Spirit of God explain: “The reason you have not heard me as clearly and plainly as I want, is because you are not completely open enough to hear!”

I’m not? I thought I was. Well, this door represents a commitment — one that many Christians have not yet fully made. Most believers say, “Lord, all I need is a little advice, a few words of direction — a reminder that you love me. Just let me know whether I’m doing right or wrong. Go before me and open the doors!”

Does that sound familiar? Well, Jesus is responding by saying: “If all you want from me are directions, I can send a prophet to you. If you only want to know where to go and what to do, I can send someone, and you can filter it all through them. But you will be missing me!”

I have used this analogy before, but if you are going to drive over to my house to see me, I could send you directions; maybe even a map. But wouldn’t it much easier for me to ride along with you and as we approach an intersection I could tell you to turn left or right (or go straight through if the light is green). See? Jesus wants to “ride along” with you and give you the directions as you approach your next turn. He wants to be close to you: your deepest emotions; those areas you keep locked-up. He wants to sit down with you and share everything that is in his heart; He wants to talk with you face to face. Go back and read the entire chapter. It is a wonderful picture of this intimacy He is seeking with you:

To the messenger of the church in Sardis, write:

The one who has God’s seven spirits and the seven stars says: I know what you have done. You are known for being alive, but you are dead. Be alert, and strengthen the things that are left which are about to die. I have found that what you are doing has not been completed in the sight of my God. So remember what you received and heard. Obey, and change the way you think and act. If you are not alert, I’ll come like a thief. You don’t know when I will come. But you have a few people in Sardis who have kept their clothes clean. They will walk with me in white clothes because they deserve it.

Everyone who wins the victory this way will wear white clothes. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life. I will acknowledge them in the presence of my Father and his angels. Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

“To the messenger of the church in Philadelphia, write:

The one who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens a door that no one can shut, and who shuts a door that no one can open, says: I know what you have done. See, I have opened a door in front of you that no one can shut. You only have a little strength, but you have paid attention to my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are in Satan’s synagogue come and bow at your feet and realize that I have loved you. They claim that they are Jewish, but they are lying. Because you have obeyed my command to endure, I will keep you safe during the time of testing which is coming to the whole world to test those living on earth. I am coming soon! Hold on to what you have so that no one takes your crown.

I will make everyone who wins the victory a pillar in the temple of my God. They will never leave it again. I will write on them the name of my God, the name of the city of my God (the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from my God), and my new name. Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

“To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write:

The amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God’s creation, says: I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I’m going to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I’m rich. I’m wealthy. I don’t need anything.’ Yet, you do not realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you: Buy gold purified in fire from me so that you may be rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them so that you may keep your shameful, naked body from showing. Buy ointment to put on your eyes so that you may see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act. Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together.

I will allow everyone who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne. Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

See what I mean? That whole chapter is talking about a relationship. It is talking about love and intimacy, of sharing secrets, of tender voices. When Jesus comes in, He brings food and bread — in other words, himself. When you feed on him, you will be satisfied completely!

Nickolas

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)

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