Read: Amos 7:1-9:15, Revelation 3:7-22, Psalm 131:1-3, Proverbs 29:23
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. (Revelation 3:20)
Relate: If you ever heard an altar call, been a part of an evangelistic outreach, or read a book or article about witnessing, then you’ve probably heard this verse before. In fact, I am guessing that most people reading this are so familiar with the verse that they were jolted by reading it in the NLT rather than the KJV or NIV. I know for me, it is one of those verses that I memorized early and often.
Respond: It is also one of the most misused scriptures in the Bible. This verse is taken out of context more than any other verse with the possible exception of Luke 6:38 (Give and it will be given to you…) God, through John, wasn’t talking to non-christians in this verse. He wasn’t talking to unbelievers the way this verse is almost always being used. God was talking to the church. More specifically, He was talking to the church that most closely resembles that in America.
Most commentators agree that the church of Laodicea described here closely fits that of the church in America. We think we are rich, but we aren’t. Compared to most of the other churches (in our world and in their time) we are not experiencing true persecution. We are relatively financially stable and culturally influential. But we are also lukewarm. We are neither on fire for Him nor have we turned our back. We go through the motions but with no zeal, no love. Despite our appearance of power, we are actually wretched, miserable, poor naked and blind. It is to this church that God calls out. He stands knocking. Will we open? Will I?
Respond: God, on behalf of the Church in my culture, in my community, I repent. I repent of our misplaced priorities. Show us how poor we really are. I repent of our lack of vision. Reveal and heal our blindness. I repent that we have clothed ourselves in the trappings of this world. Expose our nakedness. I repent of our lukewarmness. Set us on fire. I repent that we have left you outside the door to our hearts. Help us, help me to open up to You again. Show me what it really means to be a friend of God.