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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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When Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts, only we can open it

When Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts, only we can open it

The following is a continuation of a talk given by Deacon Lloyd Duplantis at a recent Cursillo.

When we read about the things the Lord Jesus did and said in the Scriptures, we might just shrug our shoulders and say, “That’s great for him! He was God. You can’t expect anything like that from me.”

That’s where we’re wrong. Jesus needs to work and to speak through us. The Christ who died to redeem us, and rose again to release us, now dwells in us! As the Father once dwelt in Jesus and empowered him, so the Spirit of Jesus Christ now lives here and empowers us!

Our experience of faith is like Jesus. Our experience of temptation will also be like his. Satan tried his best to get Jesus to claim his right to be a god, to use his own powers and abilities, instead of simply trusting the Father, who knew what was best for Jesus.

In the same way the evil one will continually tempt us to stop trusting that God knows what is best for us, to succumb to the demonic deception that we can be our own little gods and goddesses, making up our own rules, planning our own way to significance and happiness.

The truth is, “The greater we make God, the smaller we become until finally we lose our identities totally. We come to see as God sees so that we can do as God says.” Paradoxically, history has shown just the opposite of that statement to be true: the more they have banished God from the center of life, the more abandoned and lost humans have become.

Our modern history is full of vicious dictators purifying races as though they were cattle, with the “good life” conceived of things acquired and sensual moments exploited. Our false “idols” such as money, pride, lust and addictions of all types are cruel “gods,” demanding total worship and finally leaving us spent and hopeless. No one ever experienced this with Jesus Christ!

In fact those who are beaten down by life, who are full of anxieties, guilt, and inferiority lift up their heads when they come in touch with Jesus of Nazareth. Why? Simply because suddenly they know: this is the one treats me as his brother or sister.

He sees it all; he knows I’m a hopeless case, a bundle of nerves, a burden to others, an erring child, but a child and nothing less than the child of the Father. This One gave his life to bring me back to the Father’s house!

Who in their wildest dreams could conceive of human nobility, power or position that can equal the dignity that any man or woman finds in the eyes of their brother Jesus? Every day you will hear many voices. You may hear a voice telling you that you don’t need all this. You are wise and sufficient in yourself. Or you may hear voices telling you that you don’t measure up, you never did measure up, and you never will! “You fell down; why bother to get up? You know you have blown it, that’s who you are! That’s your identity – a loser!”

Don’t believe those lying voices of the devil, the father of lies. When he speaks, he is a murderer out to steal, and kill, and destroy! I’m praying that you may also hear another voice, that of the Holy Spirit of Jesus saying, “Are you stuck again in that same old mess? Do you want to be free? Would you like to experience my deliverance? My power? My plans?”

Remember the picture of Jesus knocking on the door. Notice the door has no knob on the outside. It is up to us to open the door and let Jesus in. Listen to him say, “I’ll help you up. Take my love, take my strength, take my life within you – we are a team!”