• Wiehann de Klerk

He Is Inside You

What lives up the balloon is the fire, what lifts us up is Jesus.

There is something powerful in the life of a Christian which I believe is overlooked in many ways, many times throughout their life, and that is the reality of who Christ is. This reality of who He is so powerful and earth shaking that it sometimes takes time for us to truly understand. Do we truly understand that He is inside of us? He is right there inside of us. Not just a good feeling, not just His presence, but Him - He is inside of us. When we read in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”, we are not reading a poetic verse about the love of Jesus in us, but literally about Jesus being inside of us, dwelling within us. What a question Paul was asking, and that is the question I want to ask you here - "Do you not know?"

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified - 2 Corinthians 13:5

It’s time for us to know that Christ is within us. In Galatians 2:20, in the King James Version, Paul said these words, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." I chose this translation because it most accurately describes what Paul was saying. Other translations have taken this scripture out of context on some levels, by removing "nevertheless I live". "I am crucified" is not Paul's way of saying, "I am dead", which is why he immediately said, "nevertheless I live." Even though he is crucified, he is alive. What Paul implied was something different, not that his flesh was crucified but that sin is crucified; the devil, evil forces, death - all the evil works of the enemy - because all these things are crucified through Jesus. By faith in Christ, Paul was saying that these evils are crucified and are therefore dead to him. To further explain what Paul is saying here, let’s look at Romans 6:6 where he says, "knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" or a couple of verses back, in Romans 6:2 where he asked the question, "how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Paul is crucified, in other words, his old man is crucified alongside Jesus, who died for us. He was crucified with Christ and died with Christ. Galatians 5:24 makes it even clearer - "and those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Paul understood something profound and that was giving his life to Jesus as an offering to Him, just like Jesus gave His life to free Paul from sin. Paul gave his life as an offering, and in Romans 12:1, he mentioned doing so as a "reasonable service which we all ought to do." He was crucified with Christ. In the same way, you and I are crucified with Christ. When we give our lives to Jesus, we are in effect saying that we wish to be crucified, to be in Him, and Him in us. Jesus said this in John 14:20 - "You will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." Just like Paul, we are crucified in Jesus and nevertheless we live because we are not dead, but we are dead to sin and alive in Jesus. But why? What does all this mean? We obtain the answer where Paul said, "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." But what does this mean? Paul said, "nevertheless I live; yet not I." How? How can you live and not live at the same time? This is where the old man and new man passages come into play. Paul lives, but not as the old man, for he has crucified, in Galations 5:24, "the flesh with its passions and desires" for he is Christ's because he gave his life to Christ. The old man does not live, but the new man does, and the new man is Christ within us. Let us know therefore, in Romans 6:6, "that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Jesus died on the cross so that you and I, in 1 Peter 2:24, "might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." Paul lives, but not in the same way he used to live, now in a different light, under the influence and guidance of a difference force (and not the Star Wars force). He now lives a life of righteousness, of Christ, not of his own doing, because righteousness comes from God. Think about Paul, as an example, before he met Jesus. I might just - before moving on with this example - explain that Saul is Paul and Paul is Saul. Both names mean Paul. Sometimes I hear a popular but wrong phrase that Jesus changed Saul's name to Paul, to be precise, from Saul the persecutor to Paul the apostle. Sounds pleasant right? Yes, but it’s wrong. Paul is Saul. The word Saul comes from the Greek word, Saulus (Σαῦλος, ου, ὁ) which is defined as the Jewish/Hebrew name of the apostle Paul. Therefore, you can interchangeably say Saul, the apostle or Paul, the apostle. To further clarify, Jewish, Hebrew or Israelites refer to the same people - the nation promised to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3. Anyway, Paul, prior to meeting Jesus was a prosecutor, a prosecutor of the church who, in Acts 8:3, "made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison." In Acts 9, we read about Paul's conversion, and in verse 17, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and then, in verse 20 to 22, we read about Paul preaching the gospel. There was a change in Paul's life - he received the Holy Spirit, and immediately he preached the gospel. I love how Paul immediately preached the gospel. I believe there are so many Christians who are called to be like Paul and are being told that they can't preach/teach in the church building they are attending - if this is you reading this now, run. Run Forest run! Don't waste another second there. If God is calling you to preach, go and preach the Gospel. The reality that we see here is a fundamental shift in Paul's life, from being a prosecutor to being an apostle. As the Holy Spirit, Jesus was in Him, a new man was born, and he was renewed. There are too many Christians in the world, who are living as though they are the old man. It’s time to let the Holy Spirit steer, give you the words to speak and be a part of your life. "Nevertheless, I live; yet not I," this is the words we should say every day.

In addition to that, Paul says "Christ liveth in me." Is this the reality in our lives? Do we believe that we are alive and not dead, not living as our old man but in newness of life because "Christ liveth in me"? Come on! It’s time to crucify the old man! Paul, after being saved, could have continued on in his journey of prosecution and sin, yet, he knew that there was something greater, and he crucified his old man, and moved on to preach the gospel, choosing to be an apostle. Choosing to be who God has called him to be, rather than to be what he was before; a prosecutor. Christ lives in us! This is profound on so many levels, and I think that, as we journey through our Christian lives, we forget just how profound and amazing this is. Jesus lives inside of you. It is through faith, as we read in Ephesians 3:17, that "Christ may make His home in your hearts." When we have faith and we believe into Christ, then He comes and lives in our spirit and Christ is the source of this new man, this new life in Him, for "Christ in you" is the "hope of glory" - Colossians 1:27. Paul starts out by saying, "nevertheless I live" but then immediately adds, "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Christ is the form of his perfection, not him. As long as Paul abides in Christ, nothing can hurt him. A question we need to ask ourselves every day is, as Paul asked in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?" He is inside of us. A lot of Christians, when they are asked about their religion might respond by saying they are Christian, without actually knowing what that means. I personally don't like to say that I'm Christian, because there is such a negative connotation to it, and I don't like to be placed in a box with Christians that don't follow Jesus. So, when people ask me about my religion, I say that I'm not religious, I'm a follower of Jesus. The word religion in the bible in terms of a pure religion with God is used only once in the bible and that is in James 1:27 - "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." Here we see James describing religion as two things, firstly to care for those in trouble and secondly, to be distinguished, set aside from the ways of the world. The word religion here comes from the Greek word, thréskeia (θρησκεία, ας, ἡ) meaning worship as expressed in ritual acts. So, James is, in effect, saying that worship ritually is to love those who are in trouble and help them, and to "to keep oneself unspotted from the world," in other words, as Paul said in Ephesians 4:22-24, "put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." When we do these two things, we are being religious. This is, in no way, shape or form, in any way, related to the worldly definition of religion, according to the dictionary which is "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." There certainly are sets of beliefs associated with the Christian life, but Christianity itself is not a religion, it is a lifestyle of relationship with Jesus. That is what Christianity is all about. If somebody asked me what it means to be Christian, I would say, Christian means Christ in. Christianity is Christ within. Therefore, being a Christian is a lifestyle of following Jesus, of Christ within us. A lot of Christians view Christianity as a religion, but it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus, and a walk in the newness of life through Christ Jesus. See, when Paul, was saying, "Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me," he was saying, as we read in Romans 6:8, "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him." In other words, we are crucified with Christ, no longer living according to our old man, and we are resurrected with Him as we read in verse 4, to "walk in newness of life." We are, as Paul said in verse 11, "dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

"Christ in you" is the "hope of glory" - Colossians 1:27. The whole revelation, the entire new covenant, the full manifestation of Jesus is inside of you. The word for glory here comes from the Greek word, doxa (δόξα, ης, ἡ) which means the unspoken manifestation of God, and His splendor. The entire truth of the gospel, the full glory and unspoken manifestation of God is inside of you. This entire truth that has the power to set people free, their hope of glory is inside of you. This was what Paul was so passionate about. He knew deep down, that nothing he says personally, or what he believes that he can do personally has any power, but Christ within him does, He is the hope of glory. It was wonderful for Paul, and I think that on our Christian journeys, we sometimes become complacent and we forget just how blessed we are. The offer of salvation is no longer just offered to the Jewish people, but we are all on the same level. We have access to the same Savior, heaven is open, and Christ is within every single one of us. Paul was so excited about this truth that he was willing to sacrifice so much because of it: Christ is the reality of what the gospel is all about. Everything which we want to be is in Christ, all the perfection. The fullness of the gospel dwells in Him, and the gospel showcases a clear message, that Jesus, who was rich with all the abundance of God, became poor, became man, to make us rich, rich in the fact that we now have received Him and all His abundance, and eternal life. He is all that we need, the begotten Son of the Father, and the only means through which we can access the Father. In Colossians 2:3, we read, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The Greek word for hidden is apokruphos (ἀπόκρυφος, ον) which means stored up. In other words, wisdom and knowledge is stored up in Christ. There is a new life, new wisdom and new knowledge stored up in Christ, Christ within us, available to us. This new man is what we put on, when we are in Christ and Christ is in us. There are treasures within us, knowledge within us because Christ is within us. So “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” – Galatians 5:25.

What does it mean to walk by the spirit? To understand this, we need to go back to verse 18 where Paul says, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” When we give our lives to Jesus, we are no longer under the law, therefore, we are under the new covenant, no longer living by the flesh, but living by the Spirit. In essence, we have entered into a new dimension, and we have placed a new way of living in our lives. We are no longer living according to the old man, no longer influenced by our own fleshly desires, but now open to the influence of the Holy Spirit. The propensities of our flesh which lead us down the wrong path are to be set aside as the least of all, as we are now under a new influence. We can no longer be an uncontrollable machine subject to the power of our flesh and our impulses, but rather a person who chooses to be led by the Spirit. There is no greater guide than He that is in you, for “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world” – 1 John 4:4. There is no one better to follow than the Spirit which is your guide. Would you rather be led by your reasoning, or by the gurus of this age? I don’t know about you but I cannot trust thee. What about philosophy or theories? All nonsense when compared to the Spirit inside of us, Christ within us. We were under the bondage of our flesh, but now we are under the leadership of the Holy Spirit within us, leading us to liberty in Christ Jesus. This liberty is available to us through our obedience as His people, therefore, “let us also walk by the Spirit.” Let’s let the Holy Spirit be our principle, be our compass. Lets live and act and do under His guidance, His direction and influence; lets bring forth the fruits of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” rather than the works of the flesh which are “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” – Galatians 5:22; let’s live a life that is spiritual, under the influence of the Holy Spirit rather than a life that is under the influence of alcohol; let’s delight in the things that are above rather than the things that are below; and by having this focus, let’s become more and more spiritual, and as a result, be known in this world as a people that have accessed the hidden “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” which is stored up in Christ Jesus Who lives and is within us. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” The first step is obviously giving our lives to Jesus, and having the Spirit live within us, then we make the decision to walk in the Spirit. We are currently living in a world where many Christians live in the Spirit, but do not walk in the Spirit. Let’s be a people that walk in the Spirit.

Let me give another example of what it means to “walk in the Spirit.” If we look at Colossians 3:2-3, Paul says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” The word, for, is connecting the two verses, meaning that because we are “hidden with Christ in God” or as Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “Christ liveth in” us, we should set our “mind on things above, not on things on the earth,” in other words, “walk in the Spirit” not just “live in the Spirit.” The reality is, as we read in Philippians 1:21, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” You don’t live until you die for Christ; you don’t live until you fully follow Jesus who is inside of you; you don’t live until you set aside, until you cast down and you break down every element of life on this world that grabs your attention away from Jesus; you don’t live until you die, only then do you gain something miraculous, and that is the better life, a new life, a life where you live according to a greater purpose. There is a purpose within you, planted within you by somebody who lives inside of you, and that somebody is Jesus. There is a life which is there for the taking, a walk that will lead you to greater pastures, a new dimension, and all you have to do is follow instead of trying to lead. Follow the Holy Spirit that will guide you. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” for that is where your treasure lies. The reality is that “life is more than food, and the body more than clothing” – Luke 12:23, yet this is what we focus on. What are you focused on today? Where does your attention lie? What drives you? Too many Christians are forgetting what is inside of them, and as a result, are not focused on things above, but on things below, storing up wealth on earth, rather than laying up for themselves “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” – Matthew 6:19-20. Stop focusing on the treasures which you can find on earth, and realize this, that the treasure you seek is inside of you. There is a treasure inside of you planted within you by the King of kings, for you to enjoy – “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” - 2 Corinthians 4:7. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave a legacy, to be known as a man that has a surpassing power that was not his own, but was the surpassing everlasting power of God made manifest in his life because he walked in the Spirit, and focused on things above; opened up the treasure within him, rather than the treasures around him; let go of the outward man and opened himself up to the inward man. There is a potential inside of you, a greater level of authority, a great treasure, and if you do not let go, if you do not die, you will not gain. By die, just like Paul said, it’s not to be dead, but it’s the notion of living, yet not living – “nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Too many are living according to their own beliefs, their own thoughts, their own opinions – it’s time for a new generation of Christian believers to step out, and decide to let go, and to crucify their own ideas and open themselves up to something greater, for Christ lives in us. It’s time for us to return to the Almighty. There are many Christians who are like the prodigal son in the Bible, yet they don’t know it. "If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent, and place your gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks, then the Almighty will be your gold and choice silver to you” - Job 22:23-25. It’s time to stop looking at the shiny objects on earth, and start looking to Jesus, to return to the Almighty. Christ is within you. Stop looking to the left and to the right, behind you and in front of you, because He is right there inside of you. The answer you need is inside you; the wisdom; the knowledge; the understanding; the guidance and the love that you need is right inside of you. No more running around looking for answers, no more seeking; because it’s time to grab a hold of your inheritance. “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” - 1 Peter 2:9. Don’t you ever forget that He called you out of darkness: There is no more room for misery, for pain, or for despair, for you are not called to be in that place, but called to be in a new place, in your heavenly inheritance. We are a royal people who have received a royal prize. You haven’t seen anything, you have not lived, you have done nothing until that day when your whole life revolves around one person and that one person is Jesus, because the reality is that life only really takes place when life becomes Christ. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Life is becoming harder and harder for people, and the reason is because they are setting their minds on things here on the earth, not the things above. The more you focus on the things on earth, the harder life is, and the more you focus on the things above, the easier it is. Life is still challenging but you see something greater, you see the marvelous light, for He called “you out of darkness into His marvelous light” and you see that clearly because that is what you focus on. Its time to focus on the things above, its time to focus on Christ within, not Christ without. Too many Christians are living a Christ without lifestyle professing “to know God, but in works they deny Him” – Titus 1:16.

“We were under the bondage of our flesh, but now we are under the leadership of the Holy Spirit within us, leading us to liberty in Christ Jesus”

They are missing out. Living a Christ without lifestyle leads to a life filled with the fruits of the flesh, not the fruits of the spirit. It’s time to focus on things above. Paul knew that there was no greater nourishment than the words and guidance of the Holy Spirit. It was not so much Paul that lived, but Christ lived in Him. When people talk to you, are they talking to your ego, or are they talking to Christ within you? Paul was feeding on Jesus. Jesus was the bread and the wine in his life. He knew that “life is more than food, and the body more than clothing” – Luke 12:23. Paul aimed at glorifying and edifying that which Christ cared for, and that was the Church. He spread the Gospel because he knew that was what Jesus died for, in other words, he lived for what Jesus died for. He killed off what his flesh desired and lived a life for Jesus. What are you living for? “To live is Christ,” it’s that simple. You haven’t lived if you haven’t grasped unto this. The sole aim that Paul had was to live to glorify Jesus, not to learn about Him, take pleasure in Him, but to glorify Him. He took a hold of this revelation that Christ was within me, and ran with it, devoting himself to it, and made it his purpose. There are four ways to glorifying Jesus I will quickly mention here. To glorify Christ is not just to tell people about Jesus, but to live Jesus, because to “live is Christ.” How do we do this? Firstly, we must know Him. The way we know Him is by learning about His character, His plans and by spending time with Him. Secondly, we must imitate Him. Now, obviously we cannot be Him, but we can certainly make Him a model in our lives, an aim. It’s the notion of having Him in our view whenever we do or say something. Thirdly, we must make Him a known avenue to salvation. Do your friends and family know what salvation even is, let alone how to receive it? If we think about Paul, he took this seriously, and made Christ known wherever he went. Making Christ known doesn’t necessarily mean you must be like Paul and preach all over the place, but it could be as simple as making Christ a part of your conversations. Lastly, we must enjoy Christ. There is so much to enjoy on earth, and everyone is enjoying it, but are you enjoying Christ? Christians are going on with their relationship with Jesus like it’s a chore sometimes. Enjoy Him. Paul drew comfort from Him, found his happiness in Him, had communion with Him, and enjoyed Him and was pleased by endeavoring to please Jesus. By doing these four things, Paul glorified Jesus and lived a great life. If you want to live a great life, glorify Jesus in everything you do. Many men might say, “to live is to become rich” or “to live is to be happy” or “to live is to have influence” or “to live is to become successful.” However, Paul had a different concept of living altogether and that was “to live is Christ.”

In John 14:14, we read, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” The phrase, “I will do it” in the Greek is poieó (ποιέω) which means to make, manufacture or construct. It’s the same word used when Jesus said, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” in Matthew 4:19. That same power is inside of you, and available to you because Christ is within you. Jesus wants to provide you with blessings and newness of life. There is abundance that is available to you. My question is, when was the last time you asked in His name? There is one condition to this scripture and that can be found in John 14:13, which says “and whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” A lot of Christians use prayer as a means of obtaining more, to feed selfishness, but it has nothing to do with that. “To live is Christ” and therefore, when we pray, we don’t think about ourselves, but we think about the glorification of the Father, through the Son. When the things that we ask glorifies the Father, and is good for us, then He would do it. If we are to be His representatives; His “royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” then, as these people, if we truly “walk in the Spirit,” then we seek to do the will of the Father. Personal petitions that benefit us, and are also for the glory of God, these are contemplated, however, those petitions that are asked in ignorance are answered wholly when they are not granted. Before we pray, we need to ask ourselves, is the obtainment of what I ask for glorifying Him? Peter said in Luke 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” A man of God that understands that Christ liveth in him understands that the will of God matters more. Only when we understand this can our prayer be answered. “Not my will, but Yours, be done” is what prayer is all about, and what a lifestyle of Christianity is all about. It’s about living a life, to please Him, not ourselves. This prayer, this Christian lifestyle encompasses one major action, and that is self-sacrifice, because, as Jesus said to us in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.“ Our prayers are only answered when they are in accordance with the divine will of Christ within us. “Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” It’s not I that live, but Christ, and “to live is Christ,” therefore I choose life, for Jesus said, in Luke 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” He that is inside of you is the way, the truth, and the life. Then in John 8:34-36, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior are slaves to the devastation of sin, but you and I are sons in the kingdom, sons that will abide in forever. When we abide in Him, He abides in us and He makes us “free indeed.” Jesus was talking here about the servant, in other words, the slave, and the master. When Jesus said “a slave does not abide in the house forever,” He was talking about inheritance, where, for example, the slave has nothing, and is nothing, and the master has everything and is everything. The servant will not remain forever in the house with this master. If anything was to happen, either he was disobedient or had evil intentions, the master would simply sell him to another master and neglect him. The servant is not an heir and may lose his position as a servant at any point in time, therefore, as Jesus said, “not abide in the house forever.” But this is different when it comes to a son. A son cannot be cast aside or sold in this manner because the son is privileged and has received an inheritance. The reason “slaves of sin” is also mentioned in this passage is simple: Jesus was speaking of a sinner as the slave, as the servant in the house, essentially saying, “unless you repent of your sins, you will remain in the condition of servants, deprived of the special plans and purposes I have for you, deprived of your inheritance, however, if you repent, and are made free by the gospel, then you go from slave to son, and you become entitled to the privilege of being a son of God.” You have been distinguished from the moment you gave your life to Jesus, as a son of God. Christ lives in you. You have received an inheritance. As we read in verse 36, “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

In Revelation 3:20-21, Jesus said, “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. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” There is a revelation here which is not to be missed and that is one of love and yearning for you and I. “Behold,” says the Lord God Almighty. He says this, and He says it to you and I. I am unaware of a greater statement of love than this, that the master of the universe that created you, who we owe everything too, He is calling out to us. This word, behold illustrates a love that perseveres. In the Greek, it is horaó (ὁράω) which means, to see or to perceive with inward spiritual perception. He is inside of you, and He is knocking for your attention, and if you hear His voice and open the door, He will come in and dine with you. Some Christians make religion and habits of spirituality a substitute for God, but it’s time for this to change. Christianity is not about religion, but about Christ within us. Why substitute a relationship with Christ inside of you for anything else? Yet, many are doing this, and substituting a relationship with Christ within them, for the pleasures which the world can provide them. Love of wealth for example is one of the biggest that takes away the attention of God’s people, after all, what is there that money is not good for? Our whole world revolves around the love of money at the moment. People do crazy things for more of it, all you have to do is look around, at the movies, the news, the adverts, and you see the love of money prevalent in our world. Others place intelligence above a relationship with God; If only I knew more, then I can say more, be more in this world and have a greater career path, after all, what is there that intelligence is not good for? I can keep going as the attempts to create substitutes are certainly not few and far between. I thank God that He is merciful, that He stands at the door and knocks. Imagine if He only knocked once, if He only gave us one offer of mercy, and when refused, let us be on our journey of meaningless living, oh, how lost we would be. Yet, that is what we deserve, but Christ gave us everything which we didn’t deserve. Let’s not deafen our ears to the knocking. Do you hear that? He is knocking. If you can’t hear it, put on some worship music, and sense the love of God inside of you, because He is there and He is speaking to you. By turning on the worship music, bending down before Him, you are opening the door to Him. Let’s not deafen our ears to His knocking. In Romans 8:36, Paul recounts Psalm 44:22, that “we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter,” but immediately in verse 37-39, he says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He loves us more than we can imagine, so, let’s not place our interests before His interest in us. Let’s not keep Him standing there, but lets be open to what He says for Jesus said, “if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Notice here, that Christ did not say, “if you improve your moral characteristics, your skills and talents, or your general wellbeing”; “your gentleness and kindness”; “your faith and generosity” or; “your steadfastness,” no, He said clearly that “if anyone hears My voice.” Read this out loud to yourself – “God is speaking to me and He is knocking. No longer will I close the door to Him, but I will open it and I will open it widely, so widely in fact that His light outshines my other interests. I no longer deafen my ears to His voice and His presence within me, but I open my ears fully. Amen.”

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