Day Thirty-Seven: The Promise to Be Persistent

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  Revelation 3:20

Do you know people who are persistent?  These people work hard to go after things they want.  Maybe it’s your child who is very persistent when it comes to wanting to buy something or do something (I have a child like this…she never gives up).  Maybe it’s a friend who has a dream to become something and works hard to make that dream come true.  Maybe it’s a co-worker who works endless hours in order to get the promotion she deserves.  Maybe it’s your husband who was very persistent in asking you out on a date…and you eventually said yes (and aren’t you glad he was persistent?).  Or perhaps you are the persistent one…doing the best you can to raise your children in a Christian home.

But did you know that God is also persistent?

I know you may be wondering how the Bible verse from Revelation above has anything to do with persistence.  That verse never mentions God being persistent.  But yet it does…

I am reading a book by Priscilla Shirer called “Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking”.  (Which may I make a plug for her now and say if you have not read any of her books then you are missing out!  She is an amazing and gifted writer and has a big heart for God.  Go get her books.  This book is exceptionally good!).

Chapter five of this book is about God being persistent.  All I want to do is tell you to stop reading my blog and go check out this chapter!  It’s that good. What she says in this chapter about God’s persistence has been echoed in my life.  I found myself saying, “Yes, yes, that’s me!” while I read her book.  Here’s a quote from it that is the main thing I want you to know about God’s persistence:

“When God has a message for you, He is persistent….He doesn’t come to you just once and then go away figuring ‘Oh, well, I guess she’s busy now.’ No, when God speaks, you can expect Him to keep showing up, refusing to go away.  Like with the boy Samuel in the temple (1 Samuel 3), the two travelers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24), the woman Jesus met at a Samaritan well (John 4), or the prophet Jonah running away from the Lord’s initial instruction, God keeps communicating until people recognize who He is and what He’s saying.”   (Shirer, page 78).

I have had instances in my life where God has spoken to me in several ways, all within days of each other.  He’s delivered His message to me through His Word, through dreams, through other people, through songs on the radio as well as the discussions of the DJs, through billboards on the side of the road, through television, through words printed on a t-shirt, and even through messages on my computer screen.  When God speaks, He wants you to hear and He will give you that same message in a variety of ways.

There was one instance several years ago where I had been worried a little about my future and what I felt God speaking to me.  Sometimes what God speaks is not always easy to hear or easy to do.  I was somewhat panicked because I wasn’t so sure about this message from the Lord.  It was causing me some anxiety.  As I was sitting in our church sanctuary praying, my phone rang.  Now, I usually don’t pay attention to my phone while I’m in the sanctuary, but I felt compelled to look to see who was calling me at 8:00 am.  It was our family friend, Bill.  He never calls me so I picked up thinking maybe he was going to say something was wrong.  But he told me that he felt God pushing him to call me this morning.  God wanted him to share with me that I was not to be afraid of the future.  None of that mattered.  All I needed to do was trust in Him.  I just sat there in tears as I told him those words were exactly what I needed to hear that day.  I love how God uses other people to deliver His message for us.

When I get a word from the Lord once, it settles in nicely and I think and pray about it.  When I get it a second time, my ears are more attuned. When I get it three times or more I know God is not playing around.  This is His message for me and I better pay attention.

I picture God standing at the door, like the one mentioned in Revelation 3:20, and He knocks…waiting to see if we will hear Him and open our hearts to Him.  Maybe we hear His voice, but aren’t so sure about opening it just yet.  We stand just on the other side of that door, afraid to open it.  We think about all the many reasons why we shouldn’t open that door so we keep it closed.  But He continues to knock.  Maybe we hear His voice again and this time open it just a little to see if what’s on the other side seems safe.  Then our fears take over and we shut it because we are afraid.  But He continues to knock.  This time when we hear His voice, we open it a little wider and wider and wider until the door is fully opened and we embrace the Lord and His message for us.  We’ve allowed His voice to drown out the fears and worries we have about doing what He’s asked us to do or going where He’s asked us to go.  And we are glad we have opened that door.

What I love about this imagery is the fact that God does not leave that door.  God is persistent.  He will stand at the door and knock until we open it and allow Him in. We may not listen to Him at first, but He will keep knocking.  Even if we choose to not listen (God gives us free will to choose what to do and sometimes our choices are the wrong ones…there have been times I have done this), God doesn’t ever leave that door.  He will continue to knock until we allow Him in.  God eagerly desires an intimate relationship with each and every one of us.  He wants us to respond to His messages.  He wants us to draw close to Him.  He wants us to open that door wide and embrace Him and the message He has for us.  I am so grateful for this and for God’s persistence in wanting us to do His will and to have a close relationship with us.

Do you hear His voice and hear His knock?

The question that remains is….Will you open it?

Prayer:  Persistent God, thank You for never giving up on us.  Thank You for continuing to knock on the door of our hearts.  Help us to lay aside all the fears, worries, and anxieties that keep us from opening that door to You.  Give us courage to eagerly swing that door open wide and allow You in our lives and to do the things which You call us to do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1.  Has God been knocking on the door to your heart?  What is He saying to you?
  2.  Have you opened that door?  What is keeping you from opening it?

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