By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
GROVE, OK (ANS – October 2, 2016) — “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” — Revelation 3:20 (ESV).
While the final book of the Bible can be challenging to read and study, for those who place their hope in Jesus, it’s an affirmation of an eternal future. For me, one verse in Revelation paints a vivid picture of Jesus’ invitation for each of us.
When I first read Revelation 3:20, I could picture Jesus knocking on my door. I’d already opened the door of my heart to Him. However, when I first viewed English artist’s William Holman Hunt’s painting, “The Light of the World,” this scripture came alive. In the painting, a figure representing Jesus is preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door.
According to Hunt, “I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good subject.”
The door Jesus is preparing to knock on in Hunt’s painting has no handle. It can only be opened from the inside. Explaining the symbolism, Hunt said that this represented “the obstinately shut mind.”
The painting is rife with symbolism. The door’s iron work reveals rust representing a door unused for some time. Hunt’s brush also captured a door overgrown with dead weeds and trailing ivy representing a deserted place. Even if we’ve accepted Jesus as our Savior, our relationship with Him can stagnate, rust and become overgrown with the cares of our earthly life.
What does an open, vibrant relationship with our Lord look like?
First, we have to be plugged into our Creator God. We have to be able to hear that still, small voice. How can we hear His call or feel that knock on our heart’s door when we’re plugged into technology? I confess my struggles with this. That’s why I must dive into His Word each morning and spend time in prayer. Without this sacred time, I easily get sucked into the cacophony of noise created by the round-the-clock dissemination of news, opinions and trivial matters.
Second, we must make time to just listen. To listen for His guidance means being alone to discover how much He loves us and wants the best for us. The best of God means serving Him with purpose, dedication and meaning. We weren’t created to wander aimlessly like the lost Israelites, ungrateful for His provision, and constantly complaining about things we cannot change.
Third, we must be open to His leading. What He has planned for us changes with each season of our lives. Spiritual growth requires us to leave our comfort zones. I’m reminded of something my pastor once said, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.”
Daily fellowship with Jesus positively impacts every area of our lives and in everything we do. In our relationships, our jobs, our health, our emotions, we can find peace and fulfillment through receiving His ultimate gift of love, inhaling it, living it and sharing it with others.
Photo captions: 1) Will you answer HIS knock? (www.gatewaychurch777.com). 2) Carol Round.
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