Friday, May 19, 2023

Turned Away - Martin Wiles

turned away
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelations 3:20 NLT


We made it to the entrance—but no farther.


John was a World War II veteran in his upper nineties who attended the church I pastored. When my wife and I arrived at church early one Sunday morning, we found a note left by his daughter telling us her dad was in ICU at the local army base. Following our service, my wife and I made the one-hour drive to see him.


As we approached the base entrance, a young military man asked to see my ID. I showed him my driver’s license, thinking this would suffice. Wrong. He asked if I had a pass. I told him I didn’t. He pointed me to the Welcome Center just to my right and told me they would help me.


I pulled a number when I entered the building and waited for my turn. “Number 79,” the Homeland Security officer called. I approached the window and told him I needed to visit someone in the hospital. “Let me see your ID,” he said. When I showed him my driver’s license, he told me he needed to see another form of ID as well. I had none he asked for. “I’m sorry,” he politely said. “I can’t let you in.” Three hours of driving, just to be turned away.


Jesus tells of another scenario. During every person’s life, He stands at the door of their heart, knocking to gain entrance. If they open, He comes in. If they don’t, He remains outside.


Jesus’ knock comes in the form of conviction by His Holy Spirit—that little voice we can’t actually hear aloud, but can in our heads. We know something . . . someone . . . is there asking us to do something. When we listen, we eventually determine it’s God’s voice telling us we need Him. He pursues us, like a hound does a deer, a coon, or a fox. If we turn away from the voice, He continues to hound us until we open the door or make it plain we want nothing to do with Him—a decision with eternal consequences.


Being turned away at the army base just meant I couldn’t see a church member. Being turned away by God has consequences now and in eternity. 

God doesn’t force Himself on us. We can be a rebel and shun Him if we want, but if we do, we’ll not enjoy life as He intends.


God doesn’t want robots in His unit. He wants willing followers who will love Him with all their hearts and serve Him obediently. Opening the door entails confessing our sins, repenting of them, and obeying Him. And He’ll never turn away any who open the door for Him to enter.


Don’t fear God turning you away. No matter what you’ve done, you can still open the door, and He’ll come in.


Prayer: Father, we thank You that we can always open the door and let You into our lives. 

Tweetable: Have you turned God away? 

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