Nov 6, 2007

The Narrow Door

He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”
Luke 13:23 – 27

This portion of scripture makes me a little uneasy. Uneasy for our church community. At first glance, we can mislead ourselves into thinking that the people outside of the door here are only those people we consider “non-believers” or “atheists” or whatever we would like to call them. But upon closer examination, it becomes clear to me that He could also be speaking of the person sitting next to me in church. Of the sweet lady who serves in the children’s ministry or the man who greets me as I walk into the door to the sanctuary. Of any one of us who does not “know” Him. Know Him. What does that mean? If not knowing Him is going to keep me out of the gates of Heaven, I need to know what that looks like. Surely those attending church and serving endlessly and selflessly know Jesus. Surely the smiling grandma who welcomes my son into Sunday School each Sunday knows Jesus. And honestly, yes, they probably know Him in a salvation sense. They've probably asked Him into their hearts and will spend eternity with Him, and that is what Jesus was talking about here. But it got me thinking. Is that all that God desires of us? A knowledge that saves us from hell? Or does He want more for us?

Interestingly, two of the synonyms (or synonym phrases) for the original Greek word translated as know here are :

1. a knowledge grounded on personal experience
2. a knowledge obtained by proximity to the thing known

Do we know Him? I mean, really know Him? Are we experiencing Him in a very real way in our lives? Are we getting what I like to call “down and dirty” with Him? Are we asking Him the hard questions? Are we bringing Him our gut-level concerns and fears? Saying with our mouths what is really going on in our hearts? Are we being real? And are we in close proximity to Him? Allowing Him to speak into our hearts? Quieting ourselves enough to hear Him? Spending quality time with Him? Or are we just too busy for a real relationship with Him?

Knowing Jesus is much like knowing our best friend or our spouse. We spend time with them talking, laughing, crying, and sometimes just listening. We know what makes them tick. We know what makes them joyful and what burdens their soul. When my husband walks into the room from his ministry job, I know exactly how his time went. How? By the way he holds his head, the look in his eyes, the pace of his gait. I have spent so much time with him that I know what every look means and what's really behind the words that he speaks. Many times I can even finish his sentences. Do we know our Savior like that? Is our goal everyday to know Him and love Him a little more than yesterday or are we “trying to enter” into Heaven by serving, doing, striving? Yes, we are called to serve and to do it well, but what is our motivation? Are we serving out of obligation or because we feel like it’s a good thing to do “for God”? Are we serving and calling it a relationship with God? Sometimes we can have a relationship with serving God but not have a relationship with God alone. Let’s resolve to know our Lord and Savior more intimately than we know anyone else. To allow him into our lives so that when we finally gaze upon His face, we recognize Him. We are able to run to Him and embrace Him like a friend we have not seen in years. Because that is what He will be…a friend.

Lord, thank you that you do call us friends! Help us to really see you as our best friend and treat you as such. Thank you that you care about every part of our day from rising in the morning to lying down to sleep at night. We know that you actually enjoy being included in our activities, so please help us to invite you into them. And help us to make our relationship with you REAL. We're sorry for treating you as some far-off, impersonal being. Teach us to know you and invest in you. We love you. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Anonymous said...


I've known you all your life and I have always known that you would be a great achiever. You have always had a wonderful gift within yourself and you are proving it fully by helping God in this way.

Your words were wonderful, I am looking forward to reading them each week.

I as the rest of the family are so very proud of you and your accomplishments.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for writing these words. I enjoyed reading them and cannot wait till next week to read more. You are truly an inspiration to me. At this time in my life, I am needing all the inspiration that I can get.

Thank you for sharing.

Love to you and your family,

Anonymous said...

I look forward to next week
Thank yoy for sharing this with me.
Your friend Cheryl