Many in the Body of Christ today, in their journey to find the Lord in a more intimate way, and enter into all the spiritual blessings promised in scripture, have encountered what seems to them to be a wall.
Many are bewildered and feel hindered in their spiritual journey; this wall seems impassable; it appears they can only wait on God to show them what more they must do; this has happened in my own life, and waiting on God has proven to be a formidable challenge.
In waiting, I thought perhaps God had forgotten me. I had come to a place where self-effort could take me no further. I strived in my immaturity, thinking I could get God to do what I wanted if I tried hard enough. But this wall wouldn't budge, and I wearied myself with my carnal efforts.
Eventually, the Lord spoke to me and said,
I realized that God's knowledge comes not so much by religious striving but by getting to know Him personally.
It comes by getting to know His Word. It comes by getting to know His nature, character, and ways of working by the Spirit as He reveals Himself to us day by day, during many days, months, and years.
We make Him and His Word our daily bread, and as we assimilate the Word into our beings, we walk it out in a practical way.
So when I came to what seemed to be a wall in my walk and rested from all my religious self-efforts and works, He showed me this wall was, in fact, a door. And this long period of time I spent waiting and learning about Him was to prepare me for whatever was on the other side of this door.
I needed maturity to learn I must quit hitting my head against this wall, this door, this frustrating obstacle to my fleshly zeal to barge into the presence of the Lord. I eventually began to learn there is a simple but ordered progression we must follow to find the fullness of God in our lives.
Jesus was very explicit in giving us guidance to find the one true God of the earth, a God He and we can call Father, if we choose to, on His terms.
For one seeking the fullness of God in their life, there are two doors with which they must deal. The first one is the door to our own heart that we must open to the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we open the door of our hearts to this knocker, we discover JESUS as the (WAY) as we "ASK" to receive Him into our hearts. In this conversion experience, we receive the seed of eternal life into our spirits. This salvation experience awakens us to the reality of God and whets our appetite for spiritual life.
He dines with us and we with Him as we feed on the Word of God and begin to discover all that Jesus is. For those being drawn deeper into the knowledge of God, a divine discontent works within, which causes us to "SEEK."
In seeking more in God, we discover the (TRUTH), which is the HOLY SPIRIT, the Spirit of Truth. Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit and gives us the gift of praying in other tongues. This gift was experienced by the early church, as described in the book of Acts.
This gift is important and very precious, for the Holy Spirit prays for us from the depth of our spirit to the depth of God's Spirit, interceding for us according to the will of God.
Prayers that are prayed according to His will are the ones that get answered. This prayer language, which seems somewhat unreasonable and foolish at first, is nonetheless the way of the Spirit.
The way of the Spirit often seems foolish to our carnal minds, and so the walk to find the fullness of God is very much a walk of faith.
This gift helps so much in our quest for God. With the power of the Holy Spirit alive in our lives in a new dynamic way, the Word of God is more perfectly worked into the fabric of our daily life; this brings us to a state of maturity that we may be prepared for the next step in our knowledge of God.
Yes, there is a next step for those who still have a divine discontent even after the Holy Spirit baptism. To proceed with that step, our nature and character need to be tested and tried, causing it to acquire the qualities and attributes of the Spirit that are made known to us in the Beatitudes by Jesus. (Matt.5:1-12)
This is the "Blessed are…" company of saints, who will be the first to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. To obtain the attributes given in the Beatitudes, the Holy Spirit does a work in our life over a long period of time. The Spirit works till we obtain a poverty of spirit, causing us to cry out for Him and Him alone.
The disciplines we undergo cause us to mourn, thus obtaining His comfort. As we come to the end of our strength and wisdom, we will have been made meek in spirit, qualifying us as vessels through which His strength and wisdom can flow.
A hunger and thirst for HIS righteousness will be worked into our soul that He will abundantly satisfy. As our need for abundant mercy in our own life is made evident, we start to learn how to give mercy, thus qualifying us to receive more of His mercy.
As He shines His conviction light upon our sins, we cry out for the purity of heart, and when obtained, we can see God as He is, in Spirit and Truth.
The Lord has been creating us to be peacemakers among men, thus revealing the true spirit of sonship at work in our life. All this, plus persecutions, have prepared us for the revelation of all that He is, lying on the other side of the door where we have been so patiently waiting.
So the Holy Spirit draws us to the second door with which we must deal to find the fullness of God. This door is very special. Only a few have been properly prepared to enter through it; this is so because so few were willing to endure the Spirit's dealings that make entry through this door possible.
One must have come to know the Lord intimately and personally as one's love for the Lord is tested and tried and found worthy. Many have and still are trying to get through this door without submitting to the testing and proving time.
It is those who channel their strivings to intimately know Him, learning of Him while they sit at His feet, enduring what disciplines they must through His dealings, who will find an open door. These will be able to take His yoke upon them and do His perfect will in all things.
Those who have had their spirits "reduced" and humbled and taken on the qualities of the Beatitudes will be rewarded with an open door.
It is those who say "yes" to the cross who will be made small enough in self-stature to be able to enter through this narrow, constricted way to His kingdom.
The kingdom of Heaven is most often thought of as a place where we go when we die, a place or realm beyond the limitations of this universe. And so it is.
However, when on earth Jesus' use of the words the "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of Heaven" (which speak of the same kingdom), He was speaking of it as a present reality on earth. When the King came, so did His kingdom.
Since He is still present by the Holy Spirit that has been with us since Pentecost and with the restoration of His glory to earth (which Jesus inhabits)m prior to His literal return, the kingdom can be entered again by any sincere seeking soul when he follows the simple progression of steps to salvation written in scripture.
A person will enter the kingdom when the kingdom more perfectly enters a person.
As a person is drawn to the Father, a door of entry is made available, and a person can enter the kingdom of God while yet in the church age. Jesus said in John 3:3 that unless a man is born again, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.
The word, see, here can also mean to be able to obtain, to be able to perceive, to be able to attain to, to be able to realize, to qualify to enter. We do not enter the kingdom of God because we become born again, but rather the kingdom has entered into us. '
Then Jesus goes on to say in John 3:5 that a man must be born of water (which is the Word (Eph.5:26) and the Spirit to ENTER the kingdom of God. So after being born again, we must fully wash ourselves in and be obedient to the Word of God by the power of the Spirit.
If we do so, we will qualify to enter the kingdom while yet on earth. The kingdom of God is within us when Jesus Christ fully becomes the Lord of our life, and we become conformed to His Word in all areas.
When this occurs, the righteousness necessary to enter the kingdom of God will have been obtained by us. We will be truly walking in His righteousness rather than self-righteousness and unrighteousness.
To enter into the kingdom means to have a transformation of being, being enraptured in His glory, thus obtaining the full mind of Christ, being conformed to His image, and experiencing righteousness, peace, and joy like we never have before doing His perfect will in all things.
The door with which we are confronted is a door of entrance into the kingdom of God. It is here that we discover the Lord as the (LIFE); the eternal, resurrection life and living-waters life that He promised when He said,
But Jesus is emphatic when defining the conditions that must be met to find this hidden Life. The conditions are that one be humble, meek, and small in stature that they may have the capacity to pass through the narrow way.
Few are those who find it. But praise God, the day of the Lord Jesus' return is soon, and God is drawing many more to the Father so that more than a few shall enter into (Life). It is through this door that we discover and begin to walk in His resurrection life.
Whereas the first door we had to deal with was the door of our heart, the second door we have to deal with is the door of His heart.
And to enter the heart of Jesus is to discover our heavenly FATHER. It is to know Him as Jesus knows Him. It is to love Him as Jesus loves Him. It is to obey Him as Jesus obeyed Him. It is living in His manifest presence while beholding and walking in His glory.
It is as a son or daughter of God knows the love that is in the heart of Jesus for the Father that that son or daughter can truly be transformed into the image of God. Only as we experience the love of the Father can we know Him and partake of the treasures of the kingdom of God and gain access to the fruit of the Tree of Life.
It is only as the church walks in such love, in unity with the Father and the Son, that the world will know that Jesus is Savior of the world.
As we enter through the door that Jesus is, then we can go in and out and find refreshment of spirit in the pastures of God. So, for those diligently seeking this realm and experience, the Holy Spirit leads us to what appears to the flesh to be a "dead-end."
When our flesh nature is dead, and at the end of itself, we discover the door to the kingdom. We seem to have gone as far as the Spirit and the Word can take us, at least on this side of the door.
If we haven't rebelled against the Spirit's discipline and times of testing, our natures will have been made small enough to pass through the narrow door. We are poised to enter a realm where the Spirit and the Word can carry us to the higher realms of His Life, Light, Love, Law, and Liberty.
The door with which we are now confronted is impossible for us to open. Self-effort cannot get us above, under, around, or through this door. It must open from the inside. We feel powerless at this point, but we need to be encouraged.
The Spirit of Truth didn't draw us to this place to abandon us on the doorstep. The Holy Spirit will show us that we should "KNOCK" on this closed door. It is our request for entry. How, when, if, and to whom it is opened is determined by the sovereign choice of the Lord Jesus Christ...
The next move of God in this world is for Him to open the door to His patient knockers who have been adequately prepared. He will reveal the Father to these, and their identities as sons and daughters of God will come into focus. They will clearly see who they are in Him and what they have.
They will begin to speak with authority from the throne of God and administer His mercy and judgment. This door is an entrance into the heavenlies. It is the walking in His manifest presence and doing His will in all things.
It is being placed as a full-grown son or daughter on Mt. Zion, the secret place of His protection and provision. It is a realm that enables one to overcome despair, defeat, and failure as a result of the storms, trials, and temptations of life.
It is finding union with Him and abiding in this realm eternally. It is righteousness, peace, and joy like the world has never seen. The Lord's call goes out to all mankind.
So the command of the Lord is to "ASK," "SEEK," and "KNOCK" that we may know the (WAY), (TRUTH), and (LIFE) of the SON, the HOLY SPIRIT and the FATHER. I believe it is knocking time.
Many are sensing in the Spirit that something new and refreshing is about to happen to the church. We need to be alert and ready when the Lord chooses to open the door that ushers us into the Father's presence. We must respond to Him quickly and appropriately.
Till that time when He should open the door, we should knock and continue to wait upon the Lord to answer. Knock persistently; knock and wait. Knock with importunity; knock and wait.
I believe the most important place to be in this hour is our prayer closet. It is there we will do our most effective knocking. It is as we storm heaven with our petitions and pierce the heavens with our praise that heaven will know groaning creations need to know our heavenly Father.
Pray in the Spirit. Sing in the Spirit. Prayer and praise are keys to effective knocking. Knock and wait. God has a purpose in making us wait for His appointed time to answer our knocking. As a bride waits for the bridegroom, so must we knock and wait, thus proving our love.
It is evident in these latter days that the Spirit of the Lord is moving through the church, seeking and searching the hearts of His people. He is trying and determining the quality of our lives to see who has been walking with Him in biblical righteousness with proper motives.
Those who fall short of what He desires in these areas will be tested and tried to expose their need that they may turn to Him with their whole heart and find deliverance, healing, and restoration. It is never too late to seek the Lord.
Those to whom he is about to open the door of His presence are only the first fruits of His harvest. He is calling all in the church to dwell in His presence and glory.
Too few know that such a place in God is real on this earth, and if they do, they think they couldn't possibly attain such a high calling. However, when the first fruits are revealed and the church sees what is available to all who wish to pay the price, they will be motivated and start seeking the Lord for themselves.
Those whose lives have already been tested and tried, who have been humbled by their failures of flesh and spirit and have come to the end of their own strength and wisdom, there is coming refreshment of spirit.
Those who have kept His Word to the best of their ability and publicly have not denied the name and nature of Jesus Christ will soon receive a reward.
Have you little strength? Have you kept His Word? Have you acknowledged His name? Do you qualify? Praise the Lord. A door will be opened as you continue to knock, and you will be ushered into the heavenlies.
To enter this door is to have a transformation of being from one that is carnal to one that is spiritual, much the way a butterfly metamorphosis from a caterpillar. You obtain the full mind of Christ and are truly a new creature ready for spiritual service.
Do you fall short, needing more dealings to qualify? Be encouraged, for He will work with you till you do qualify, and He will open the door at the appointed time. If we fall short, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we confess our need.
The way up is down. As we are humbled and reduced in stature, we are coming down to the size necessary to pass through His narrow door. Only then can we more perfectly worship Him who is meek and lowly of heart.
We must return to Jesus and heed His Word in scripture. He will make a way when there is no way. He is the way, the truth and the life. Grasp the simplicity of the gospel. He knocks on the door of our heart that we may have the right to knock on the door of His heart.
If you aren't at the door, He will cause you to find it. If you are already at the door, then hold fast to what you have in Him, that no man take the crown of glory that will be given to you at His appearing.
The church of Philadelphia is not a particular denomination or church group. It is simply a people with a whole heart attitude that is right before God. And in their life, they kept the right attitude towards God in the midst of their trials.
They are a people who have simply made the Lord the center of their lives and have invited Him to try them that they may be cleansed of anything displeasing to Him in their life.
Whether he comes in this generation or the next, they simply love Him for who He is and want to be pleasing to Him in all areas of their life for when He comes. They are a people always ready to receive the bridegroom.
May you be found in that company in this hour so that at His soon appearing, you may find entrance into the glorious kingdom of Heaven.