Tuesday’s Torch 532
April 16, 2019
Revelation 3:20 states “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.”
A lot of times in life we will seek the Lord, sometimes very enthusiastically, wanting to know and follow his will for us. And as soon as he gives us the direction that will be best for us, we snatch the control back. Consider that in the context of the scripture just referenced. Here we are willing to hear the Savior, he appears at the door, knocks and we open the door. Upon seeing his smiling face, his arms held out, seeing the marks in his hands where he paid the cost of our sins, shortcomings and even pains, can you imagine then slamming the door in his face?
Or last week we discussed taking his yoke upon us and that when we do that He will ease our burden and also lead us down the right path. Do we take his yoke upon us, he lifts our burden and then as he starts leading us a direction we don’t want to go, we say “Nevermind Jesus, that’s not what I want to do. Give me back my burden and let me continue in my path, I don’t need your guidance”
There is so much danger in this. I’ve done it many times in my own life. Go to church, receive inspiration and be determined to change, to finally live righteously and then just as quickly switch it up when temptation comes calling. Our ability to withstand temptation is directly related to our steadfastness in keeping the commandments. As we do what is right, we can withstand temptations and resist sin far more easily. Keeping the commandments is also the way that we are even worthy to hear the voice of the Lord.
So often in the past I would find myself pleading with God and wondering why I’m not getting an answer, why is He not responding to my pleas or why is he not helping me only to realize exactly why: I wasn’t living worthily. Something was standing in the way of my being able to feel the spirit or receive the answer I was seeking. It wasn’t that he wasn’t hearing the prayer or even that he wasn’t answering it, I just could not receive the answer while not living the commandments.
We all have agency that allows us to choose for ourselves what we will do. I am still trying to more fully trust in the following that I have learned, our agency is best used by turning it over to God. When we try to control everything by ourselves, we are extremely limited in what we can accomplish. Our options are limited. When we decide to align our will with Gods will, when we decide to keep his commandments as fully as possible, to live his Gospel as completely as possible, our agency is magnified. The things that God can do are not limited by our mortal limitations. That’s why the scripture says that with God, All things are possible. He doesn’t just say “All things are possible”, he says that with Him, all things are possible. Because again, he is not limited.
There is a picture on the wall at my church of Christ knocking on a door. My kids have now learned the following when they see that picture. I ask “what is this picture”, they say “Jesus knocking on the door. I ask them what do you say and they excitedly answer “Come in Jesus”. Let us all strive to answer “”Come in Jesus”. Right now. I messed up so many things in my life by thinking something along the lines of “I’m just doing this wrong thing for now and I’ll repent later and live the Gospel completely later.” In essence telling Jesus to go away and come back later and I would welcome him in. Don’t do that. Trust me. Do not do that!
Because the door he was knocking on then may have been what you thought was the door to a happy home. The next time he knocks may just be after everything has been turned upside down due to the consequences of those actions while planning to do the right thing later.
I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. A lot of big decisions to make. My messages haven’t been nearly as happy and as sweet or nice as those delivered by Tim. I am going to strive to bring more happiness and hope to these devotionals. But while my buddy Tim could stand as a shining example of how to live and what to do. By contrast my experience stands in many cases as a warning of what not to do. And that is why I share what I share. So that if any of you are on a path that will lead you to somewhere you don’t want to go, maybe I can somehow help you not do that. So to anyone reading or listening to these words. Open the door now. Tell Jesus to come into your life now. Don’t be like I used to be. Don’t say that you’ll make everything right later. If you do, you might as well be slamming the door in the Saviors face. The way I did so many times. Don’t do that. Please don’t do that. In the name of Jesus Christ who stands at the door and knocks, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16