Whether we stand in need of forgiveness or spiritual enablement, the God of the Bible makes an offer that asks for our invitation in return. In the Bible, Jesus pictures Himself standing at a door knocking, and saying: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).
At the sound of knocking, we panic or get angry. Our first reaction is apt to be, “Oh no! He is here! The house is a mess! We cannot let Him see us like this. If He gets in, He will make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already feel.”
Overwhelmed by fear, we forget that because He is God, He already sees us as clearly as if there were no door. He sees every dirty dish, every messy room, every shame, and every addiction. He knows all our “little secrets” and every thought we have ever had — and that scares us, because we know what we have been thinking.
In addition to being afraid, we are angry. We are sure He is part of our problem. We do not want to let Him in. He has let us down too many times before. He could have prevented our pain. He could have given us the kind of life He has given others. He hasn’t been fair. Yet now He wants more. We sense intuitively that He wants our hearts. He wants to control us. Inviting Him in feels like we’re inviting the enemy in.
Yet He knocks. He knows what we find hard to believe. He has come with an offer of relief and comfort and forgiveness and rest. He has come with an offer of enablement. He wants to sit down and eat with us at the table of our heart. He is waiting for our invitation – for us to say something – like, “Lord, come in. I have made a mess of things. Please come in and have mercy on me.”
When we finally invite Christ into our mess, we discover that He has not come to condemn us. Neither does He demand that we work harder to fix our broken lives. On the contrary, He comes as a loving Savior to the door of our hearts, knocking, waiting for us to say, “Yes, Lord, come in. Take over. Forgive me. Change me.”
At this crossroads of invitation, there is an opportunity for change. It is an opportunity to discover life through a process of admitting our addiction, acknowledging our pain, accepting responsibility for the damage we’ve done, pleading for mercy, choosing surrender, and caring for others. Here at this crossroads, our hearts can come alive in the presence of One who – while knowing everything about us – still wants to come into us and be the God and Friend we’ve been looking for.