“Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” Revelation 3:20
I have known the verse since I was a little girl in Sunday school. I remember vividly looking at the picture of Jesus standing at a closed door knocking. I sang the song that went with the verse: (I even knew all the motions!)
In my innocent childlike mind I dreamt of Jesus knocking at my hearts door, begging to come in and save me from my sins. I would look at the picture and see how intently He was looking at the closed door. To me it was the door of someone’s heart. I did not want it to be mine. I wanted Him to forgive me of all my sins and to have an open heart’s door for Jesus.
Imagine my surprise, when I found out that verse is not talking about salvation!. To me, Jesus had knocked and years ago – I had answered the knock and let Him in. The door knocking was all done. Jesus was ‘in my heart’.
Christ does call men to be saved from their sins (“whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord – shall be saved!”). In the context of this passage, however, we find the knocking Jesus standing outside the door of Christians. This was a letter written to a church - the church of Laodicea. It was the same church that God described as lukewarm.
There have been times I have been lukewarm. Apathetic. The definition of apathy is: a lack of feeling or emotion, a lack of interest of concern. Apathy happens when what should have been ‘holy’ and reverent” becomes merely “habitual and routine”. It’s when my quiet time with the Lord isn’t worshiping Him; but rather just doing my time. It’s when I go to church because it something that I have always done on Sunday’s. Another week starting – another day for church. It’s easy for apathy to become the default mode if you have lived the Christian life for a long time.
What causes us to become apathetic?
1. Self Sufficiency
We see in this passage that part of the church’s reason for apathy was because “they were rich and increased with goods.” The passage says that their mindset was that they did not need anything. Living in prosperity is ripe ground for breeding apathy. Compared to the rest of the world – American are a prosperous people. For the most part, we can get what we need – and most of us have a LOT of what we want.
Many of the verses in Proverbs deal with riches and caution the readers to be careful of how easy it is to fall into the traps that having riches brings. In fact one Proverb words it this way: “… give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?...” When we are void of needs - we cease seeing God as our provider.
Not always are our needs of a material nature. Sometimes we become self sufficient in our Christian lives. Sometimes I forget that I have spiritual needs. Sometimes I forget that I cannot live the Christian life in my own strength. There have been times in the past that I have lost sight of just how spiritually weak I am. When my daily walk as a Christian is done in my own strength I become lukewarm – apathetic. When I don’t see the need to depend upon God in my day to day life, my heart grows cold.
2. Bad Eyesight
The letter to the church warned them that they were not seeing themselves as they really were. The fact that they had need of nothing had blinded their eyes in seeing who they really were. They thought they were fine; but God described them as “miserable, poor, blind, and naked”. To God they were shameful – but they themselves thought they looked fine. They were not seeing themselves the way God saw them – and they were missing a lot! Spiritually, they were walking around in utter shame. Imagine having your vision that off! (It’s like the classic story of the Emperor’s New Clothes; but from an eternal perspective!)
Apathy blinds us to spiritual truth and standing. So, what is the solution to apathy?
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
He is knocking at the hearts of His children calling them to a life of sweet communion with Him. His knocking is for us – His children. He wants to have close fellowship with us! He is knocking. Have you opened the door to Him? He desires to come in and dine with you. Jesus Christ is the cure for apathy. Does He not regularly knock upon our hearts and implore us to open the door for Him? Have you heard Him knocking?
One thing I noticed about the passage is that He does the knocking; but it is my responsibility to open the door for Him to come in. Even though I am His child, Christ never pushes Himself on me. He knocks and lets me know His desire is to be with me – to fellowship with me; but it is I who must open the door. How many times the busyness of life has made me think I haven’t the time for a cup of tea with my Savior. As long as the door stays shut – as long as I am too busy to answer - He remains outside. The fellowship never happens. The relationship that could be deepening as I get to know Him more – stays stagnant and unmoving. Lukewarm. While my Christian life could be vibrant and exciting because I am in fellowship with His Spirit; I find myself apathetic - just going through the motions.
Do you hear the knocking? Have you responded? Invite Him in – He wants to fellowship with you. Open the door – He will come in! Find the time to enjoy your Guest – you will never regret opening the door and inviting Him in. Never!
Thanks for stopping by, I am so glad you did!