“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Relationship is a process. And man, it is not easy! Enduring relationships are really hard. They always have been.
Friendships are hard. Everyone seems to agree that marriage is hard, and it is. But why assume that marriage is any harder than raising kids? Raising kids is hard!
Friends, spouses, kids, no matter what, relationships take work and commitment. Everyone has their own mind, their own reactions, their own weaknesses, and their own trigger points. Relationships have history, and that can be a huge factor, especially in families. Once you have family history, you can have a whole chain of trigger points. Say just one thing and it can trigger something, which in turn triggers something else, and then tugs out a whole complicated reaction. It’s messy.
All relationships are messy. Marriage, friends, kids, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on — messy. That’s why we need so much grace. It’s through grace alone that we can truly take care of the people in our lives, because grace is the source of the permission we need to protect them and love on them.
Every relationship needs permission, and yet it’s rarely given. I think that’s why you see so much dysfunction in society. The dysfunction we see hurts Christians and non-Christians alike. It doesn’t matter. There’s a lot of dysfunction everywhere.
Permission is rarely given because it’s rarely asked for. Permission only comes from asking for it. This is true in all relationships, including the ones we have with our kids. I know some people will say I’m crazy. Why would I ask my kids for permission? They should be asking me for permission. I’m the Dad!
In Revelations 3, Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock. If you open the door I’ll come in.” Think about that. Jesus is the King of Kings! He is the Lord of Lords! He died on the cross! He’s the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, and He asks for permission. He says, “I’m asking for permission to come into your heart.”
If that’s how the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is going to love on me, then I’m going to love on my own kids the same way. I’m going to ask them for permission.
This isn’t a one-and-done thing, either. Relationship is ongoing, so it takes work to build and sustain trust. When you give Jesus permission to enter your heart, you say, “I trust you, Jesus.” When you trust Him, you will hear Him. Without trust, you’ll never give Him permission to speak into your life, and He won’t be able to come in and dine with you. He wants to! But He can’t protect you without your permission. No matter how much He wants to, He can’t if you can’t receive Him. To receive Him, you have to give Him permission to enter.
Maybe you said the prayer and let Him into your life to save you. If so, that’s awesome. That’s a start. You asked Him to save you, and He did and will. That scenario will work for you.
But when it comes to an ongoing relationship with Him, He cannot protect you unless you let Him in. You have to give Him permission to know who you are. Then He can protect you and love on you. Relationships like that only flourish in trust.
You’ve said the prayer, but now He is knocking. Give Him permission to enter. Let Him in.
More on this next time. See you Friday.