Jesus wants into your heart. We talk about Him knocking on the door and waiting for you to open it. An interesting thought,especially with the seeming simplicity of the statement. Just open up and all is well. Still, I feel there’s more to this image than we might initially believe.
Let’s dig a bit…
Say you have a guest coming over. You’re aware of this guest’s imminent arrival, so you tidy up as much as possible. Maybe do some vaccuuming, taking out trash, shoving every piece of misplaced clutter into a closet. Closing doors to off-limits or uncleaned rooms. You know the routine. And if you don’t, you grew up in a far more organized house than mine. As yurt guest enters, they start reaching for door handles around the house, just waiting to open one of the rooms you haven’t cleaned, or a private room that’s certainly not where you want your guest to wander. You can steer them away, but of it happens too many times, you simply find a way to get them to leave the house altogether. No big deal–just a nosy guest.
Now this is the comparison: we often treat Christ as an inconvenient guest in our homes, welcoming Him when our tidy appearances are enough to stay comfortable, but quickly pushing Him out when things start getting awkward.
But that’s not the full depth of letting God into our hearts.
He’s not coming to visit.
You are His temple. His home. He’s taking up residence PERMANENTLY. No escaping this fact: Jesus is coming in, and He’s coming in to stay forever.
Think more like a roommate. Except that every inch of your heart is His. No separate accommodations, and no taped line down the middle of the house.
Scared? It still scares me sometimes, and I’ve been a Christian for more than half my life. God isn’t looking for cohabitation as we know it, and that can make a person severely uncomfortable for numerous reasons.
We like our space as people, but God wants to be right there, right beside us, behind us, in front of us, within us, and around us. Forget your personal bubble: for a Christian, God is the bubble.
We like our identity, but God has a new one picked out. And it looks a lot like Him. Forget your personal ambitions: when God is in you, He becomes your whole identity. No room left for selfish desires when you’re working for His kingdom.
We like our vices, but God has better ways to fill our hearts with joy and comfort. It’s hard to give up bad habits, especially when the temporary and immediate results seem so pleasing. We love building on sand. After all, who doesn’t want to live on a beach? But for the faithful, there is no foundation but the virtues of God’s incredible being. Forget storing up treasures on earth; God has a storehouse in heaven that could never be exhausted or consumed by plague.
What this brings me to is this: if God is knocking on your door so He can come and live in your heart, are you prepared for a renovation? Because it’s going to happen, one way or another.
There are certain rooms we’ll probably be willing to give up quickly. Maybe just a bit of redecorating, repurposing, or updating will be enough to accommodate what God has in mind. Maybe you’re already a cheerful giver. Perhaps you have little trouble helping a friend in need. Forgiveness might come easy. Good news: God’s all about charity, kindness, and grace.
But there’s always something we cling to with great effort that isn’t in God’s plan for our lives.
Take pride or anger. Maybe it’s greed. Maybe lust or stubbornness.
We would like nothing more than to lock up these rooms and just tell God to ignore them.
And there’s a chance that God will let these rooms go untouched for a while. But don’t kid yourself: the day will come when God will move into those “sacred” places and rebuild His temple.
Some people may put up a screaming, kicking fight to keep God out. Some may open the door only to slam it quickly again. Some may let God in, begin the renovation, and suddenly kick Him back out again.
But in God’s vision for your life, it’s going to eventually get changed into something beautiful. It may be painful to watch it happen–not to mention feel it happen–but the result is a pure, lovely, holy, and altogether incredible temple worthy of the King of Kings.
So are you ready to give your keys over?