What do you call someone who shows up uninvited to your home or someone who comes in by any other means than your open door? An intruder or a thief right? Neither of which speaks well of the individual. Nothing can take the place of a welcoming atmosphere. There are those who will accuse the Lord of causing calamities but have never met Him. There are others who will accuse Him of taking things or loved ones away from them, but still they have never met or known Him. Inasmuch as He’s omnipresent and omniscient, He’s a invitation only guest. Never let it be said that He came uninvited or broke in.
The earth is His to do with whatever He wants, we are the work of His hands to make of us however He chooses, yet, He waits since the creation of Adam, to be welcomed. Once He gave dominion and authority to man He never took it back. Even as we look at His plan to redeem mankind by coming to earth as a humankind, He sent Gabriel to a young virgin, espoused to another, with a message wrapped in a request. The greeting had a two fold meaning, you have been chosen, but will you cooperate? Mary’s response was the culmination of trust and obedience. Gabriel didn’t come with a demand that she say yes or else. Because we all know that Jesus could’ve come as a grown man. But to be authentically human, He needed to be born as one of us.
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! ” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.”
Luke 1:26-36, 38 NLT
Verse 38 showed us that she accepted the invitation to participate in God’s plan. Well what if she had refused? We’ll never know because she didn’t, but I’m sure God always has a plan. But the key to understanding the heart of the all powerful God is this: although He can and has a right to, He never pushes, compels or drives our will. He asks for permission to enter. Satan on the other hand, takes at will. He controls and manipulates without invitation. Jesus was always pleading and inviting. He offers us His invitation but allows us the choice of accepting or refusing.
In the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19, Jesus told him that He must (sense of urgency here) visit with him. Zacchaeus could have refused, but I believe that anyone who went through the trouble of climbing up a tree, was desirous of an encounter with Jesus. Jesus didn’t demand to be invited, if we could be present to hear His heart, we probably would’ve heard this. “Zach, I’m the only friend you have right now, while everyone is avoiding you, I don’t mind being seen with you or even coming home with you.” Zacchaeus was hated because of his exploitation of his fellow Jews as a tax collector for Rome. Jesus seemingly inviting Himself to Zacchaeus’ home, was an invitation in reverse and served a duel role. Acceptance, repentance and restoration. Zach was never the same after that encounter.
When the invitation is given and received, Life happens. Whenever we welcome or invite Him into our lives, the supernatural always occurs. He explains a relationship with Him this way.
“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 NLT
This implies that He’s always waiting for the invitation to enter. Our response, like Mary and Zacchaeus, is to accept the offer to submit to the invitation. We still have the free will to refuse. But the knocking never stops. He said I stand not I STOOD. He has everything we need, but without us giving Him access or receiving His invitation, there’s nothing He can do. Listen to what He says here:
“On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to Me! Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
John 7:37-38 NLT
The contrast between what the Lord offers and what the enemy takes is stark. Yet many have chosen a life of slavery over a life of true freedom. The thief doesn’t wait to be invited. He owns nothing, but craves everything. The One who owns it all, waits patiently for our willing surrender. Some people wear bondage and abuse like a badge of honor. Jesus wants to bring freedom through our willingness to submit. Here’s Jesus’ exposure of the thief.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
John 10:1, 10 NLT
Can’t get any clearer than that. He doesn’t break in. He waits to be invited. He offers us a side by side comparison of freedom or captivity. Death or life. The choice is still ours. Won’t you extend and receive His invitation today? He’s still standing at your door. Zacchaeus, Mary and countless millions made the choice to let Him in. Their decision changed them and the world around them. This is your big moment. What will your answer be?
Father in the Name of Jesus I not only open the door of my heart I say come on in! You’ve waited a long time. I’ve been foolish to think I could do life without you. The enemy may have succeeded for a season, but my eyes have been opened. I willingly surrender to Your purposes and plans for my life. Here’s my heart Lord, I know You’ll never force Your way in. So accept my invitation today and make this a December to remember. In Jesus Name. Amen
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit