Yesterday Morley described the process of spiritual failure that can lead us very easily down the path of practicing "cultural Christianity." Today he helps us see a way to stop moving down that path. Not surprisingly, he comes back to the concept of surrender, or to be more specific this time, "resurrender."
One of the really valuable insights that Morley shares comes from the context of Revelation 3:20. This is one of those verses that only sounds "right" to me in the King James Version because that is how I have heard it over and over since I was a child, so please humor me. "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."
Who is the speaker? Jesus. Who is the audience? Morley points out that it is the church at Laodicea. Christ is not talking to masses of sinners around the world who have never heard the Gospel of salvation. He is talking to the church. People who already surrendered themselves to follow Christ but don't live with the fire and dedication any more. People who have become lukewarm. People who have settled into comfortable orbits. People just like--us.
Revelation 3:20 is so exciting because it tells us that even when we lose our way, our hope is never lost. Jesus is still standing at the door. He is still knocking, and just like our first encounter with him, he still wants to come in. He is hungry for our fellowship, and he wants to satisfy our hunger for him.
This is wonderfully borne out in the life of John Wesley. Before his famous Aldersgate experience in 1738 when his heart was "strangely warmed," Wesley recorded that he was "clearly convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved." Aldersgate changed all of that for Wesley. He knew he was saved. "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation: And an assurance was given me, that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."
Even after that dramatic assurance in his life, Wesley experienced times when he felt unsure of his relationship with God. Each time, though, Christ was still standing at the door. Christ was still knocking, still seeking to come in, and Wesley would record the renewed joy of knowing his salvation. As he lay dying, his final words words were, "The best of all, God is with us." The door was open. Christ came in.
Dear Lord, thank you for coming into my life. Even when I let myself become distracted with the world around me, thank you for your continuing hunger for a relationship with me. Thank you for the hunger that you place in me to enjoy that relationship with you. Let me yearn for your fellowship. Give me strength of mind and heart to open the door and let you in again, that we may share yet another meal of fellowship together today. Amen.
Grace and peace--