19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Rev 3:19-20)
What is the key to life change? Simply this: open the door when you hear the voice of the Lord in your heart. The focus is not so much on the door. The key is discerning that the Lord is in fact standing at the door and knocking. To interpret this correctly we must see this passage in its proper context. The critical decision happens, according to this verse, when we hear His voice and open the door. But there is more to this. The context indicates a correction directed upon believers (i.e. those whom I love). The correction is strong (i.e. rebuke and discipline). The response must be equally strong (i.e. be earnest and repent). And yet the solution, which is to open the door when we hear His voice, leads to something surprising, “I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” In other words, the context here is relational. The Lord wants to have fellowship with His people. Sin hinders that. Specifically, in this context, the sin here is lukewarmness. It is aggravated by spiritual blindness. They are not aware that they have a problem in their relationship with God. So, because He loves His people, He rebukes and disciplines them through His prophetic word. His rebuke is indeed painful, and the warning is terrifying, but the discipline here is the correction or solution offered by the Lord, i.e. to open the door of our hearts. This is true discipleship. We are to discern when the Lord is speaking to us, and when He does, we must be earnest to heed His voice and repent from whatever it is that is hindering our relationship with Him. We must, in other words, be zealous in our relationship with God, not allowing anything to hinder it. Yet the Lord takes the initiative in this regard. He knows when we are not right with Him even before we can be aware of it. The solution is not to fix ourselves but to turn to the Lord again. He alone can heal us of our lukewarmness and spiritual blindness, as the context indicates. Our healing will result not just in spiritual vitality (“18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”), but in intimate relationship with the Lord (“I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”).
How is your walk with God lately? Can you still hear His voice? Is He calling your attention about something? Maybe there is something wrong that He is calling your attention to, because it is hindering your relationship with Him. If so, why harden your heart or pretend that you do not hear? Respond to His voice immediately. Heed His call to repentance. Remember, the Lord’s desire is unhindered intimacy with you. He is not out to punish you, but to bring you back to Himself. There is healing and restoration in the Lord. Consequently, there is blessing only in His presence. So come back to Him and enjoy His love. Shalom! (PB)