“I am now standing at the door and am knocking. If any one listens to My voice and opens the door, I will go in to be with him and will feast with him, and he shall feast with Me” (Rev. 3:20, Weymouth).
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you have probably heard this verse before. But did you notice what verse comes right before it? I’m really struck by the connection between the two. Here it is:
Do these two verses really fit together? Perhaps at first glance they don’t seem to, but they actually do in a vitally important way. Let’s unpack this together. How, exactly, does a call to repentance go with a call to intimacy? Very naturally. You see, the one leads fundamentally into the other.
Unfortunately, many of us have suffered from mental blocks about the word “repentance.” It often seems to conjure up a picture of an angry prophet’s face, shouting out a tirade about our sins. This is exactly the opposite of God’s version of this concept. In His heart, a call to repent is essentially a call to intimacy. “Return to Me,” He says, “and I will return to you” (Zec. 1:3, NKJV). His arms held out to us, He beckons us yearningly.
His invitation to repent springs from His passionate longing and love for us. He extends it exclusively towards the ones that He values at the price of His precious blood. Scripture uses the words “giving” and “granting” when speaking of repentance (Acts 5:31,11:18, 2 Tim. 2:25). Why this word choice? Because repentance is a priceless gift.
Still, we may squirm a bit. Why does He call attention to that which needs to change in our lives? Does He enjoy fixating on our failures? Absolutely not. He has only one reason for lovingly convicting us of our misdeeds. That is, to call us up to a higher, freer place. To call us into a place where there are no barriers at all to our intimacy with Him. A place where we respond to His voice… He enters into the inmost sanctuary of our hearts… and we banquet together.
Feasting in this Scripture is a symbol of ultimate closeness and communion between friends. “I love you,” Jesus calls tenderly. “Open to Me.” “Please, please, please, let there be nothing, nothing at all, holding you back from intimacy with Me!”
Romans 2:4 says that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. What does this mean?