CRACKING THE DOOR

It is time to close the year.

It’s almost over, only a few hours remain of this year. Three hundred and sixty-five more days are unchangeable, now only memories.

Reflect upon the year that is passing. Some of the memories from last year will be especially joyful. Weddings, births, restored relationships, new levels of accomplishment reached and countless other things will bring a smile as you recall them. Take a moment now to ponder, to remember things which have brought joy. Take a moment now to give Him thanks for them, too.

Of course each year brings elements of pain, as well. Loved ones who began the year with us, but are no longer here. Losses of other types; perhaps relational, or financial. Points of pain. And yet, even in these memories one can often find elements of joy in memories; things that we see as bitter-sweet. Won’t you take a moment now to recall the missing treasures and place them into the loving hands of the One who holds heaven and earth?

If you’ve just been reading the past couple of paragraphs — and NOT truly pausing, recalling and reflecting — I encourage you to stop now and actually DO what I’ve described. You’re robbing yourself of joy and healing if you just press on and keep reading.

As you’ve reflected upon the year that has passed, you’ve likely been reminded of unfulfilled hopes and dreams sprinkled in among the successes. It is those things I’d like to speak with you about this morning as we consider today’s verse.

ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN YOU; SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND; KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU

The image accompanying today’s verse is that of a door, slightly ajar. Light from beyond the door illuminates the darkened room from which we look out.

Let that image speak to your heart. See the open door as the entry to the year that lies ahead. It is bright and clean, and just barely visible from our perspective. We can see that it IS there, but cannot yet see beyond the door. Tonight at midnight we travelers will pass through the door together, leaving last year behind and entering the next. All travelers, of course, carry baggage; and part of our baggage will be those unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

As we pass the doorway into next year, let’s make some carefully considered choices. God encourages us to ask, to seek and to knock. For what shall we ask? What things will draw our hearts and cause us to seek after them? Which doors will feel the knocking of our hand?

I believe a key to unlocking this verse is found in one of the psalms, where God promises that if you will delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. I’ve known people who read that and thought it means that whatever happens to pop into their heads is a promise of God. Massive homes, multiple vehicles, trinkets and treasures of any and every description. Just name it and claim it, some will say. But to adopt this view, even if you do actually accumulate mountains of things, is to miss the greatest treasure.

What is actually being promised here is priceless. God is saying that, if you will delight yourself in Him – His character and His nature – then He will draw you to Himself and conform you inwardly by His Spirit. You will become infused with the very nature of God. He will conform you into His image, and your very desires will change. Many things that used to matter greatly will be clearly seen as hollow and without value. But other things that used to be overlooked will suddenly be revealed as the treasures they truly and actually are. God is promising that, if you will delight yourself in Him, He will GIVE YOU the desires of your heart; He will place the things you OUGHT to desire and make them yours.

There’s a small farming community in North Carolina named Hiddenite. (No, I’m not making that name up!! It’s about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte.) In that community a farmer named Terry Ledford was going about his business a few years ago, farming his fields. These were fields he had planted for years, fields that his father had planted before him. But as he was walking his fields one day, a strange green rock caught his eye. He didn’t know it when he picked it up and put it into his pocket, but he had just become a millionaire. The “rock” was actually a 65-carat emerald; and one of the largest such stones ever discovered on the North American continent.

God does that in our lives, too; revealing treasures we might overlook.

ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN YOU; SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND; KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU

For what shall we ask? What things will draw our hearts and cause us to seek after them? Which doors will feel the knocking of our hand?

ASK for Him. Ask Him to come into your heart, and to draw you close. Ask Him to give you a DELIGHT for His presence, not His presents. He is the priceless treasure you want first.

SEEK the things He places upon your heart. It may be that some of those unfulfilled hopes and dreams need to be sought after still. But it could be that those unfulfilled hopes and dreams ought to be left behind. Trust Him and His leading. Embrace what He gives and release what He asks for. Delight yourself in His choices for you.

As I said, all travelers have baggage. But not all baggage is equal. Some things are simply not safe to travel with, it is best if you leave them behind. There are things that don’t belong in your carry on luggage. Trust Him as He leads you.

KNOCK upon the doors He leads you to. Enter the ones He opens for you, because there are treasures that await. He has created your future just as surely as He created the planet upon which you stand. His love has determined the BEST way for you to walk, and it will bring you the most joy and fulfillment as you walk it with Him. Put your hand in His and walk together.

ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN YOU; SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND; KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU

And when the things for which you ask and seek are still far off, when the doors you’ve knocked upon have not opened for you yet, be patient. I find it helpful to remember the tense in the Greek that this verse is written in. The tense is called the “present imperative active” and it is used to describe a verb that must be continually done; and it is used for both clauses in each couplet of the verse. So let me give you the “Bishop Robert Version” of this verse so you understand what this tense means ….

ASK and keep on asking, and you will keep on receiving.
SEEK and keep on seeking, and you will keep on finding.
KNOCK and keep on knocking, and doors will keep on being opened to you.

Don’t give up because you haven’t yet reached your destination, we are all travelers on the road of time together. The door to next year is cracked and slightly ajar. In a few hours we’ll pass through. Pack wisely for the journey ahead. Ask, seek and knock; and keep it up. He will give you the desires of your heart. There was a reason He created you, He had a plan in mind. Lets press on into the new year ahead and take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. His treasures bring pleasures, joy unspeakable and full of His glory.

The door is opened just a bit wider now. Only a few more hours to go. Are you ready?

ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN YOU; SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND; KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU

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