When I was flatting in Dunedin we had this amazing flat on Clyde St. It was a bright red block terrace house, with a yellow door. No room was matching. My room had wall paper that had massive green vines. And orange curtains. The room upstairs looked like the 60s had thrown up in there. The living room was tiny and literally fit only 6 people seated. We could hear the neighbours pee when we sat at our dining room table. The toilet had windows that didn’t shut and seriously in winter there was a layer of frost! Ahh we so loved it.
It was there we learned to live and to cook. I learned that there is more than one type of pastry and that short pastry is for desserts, not mince pies. And that mince and peas is from the devil.
Anyway the great thing about this flat was that it was a block away from uni. So our flat had an open door policy. You could come hang out at ours any time. Especially if you brought chocolate.
During study time it wasn’t unusual to have 10 of us squished in the living room for mammoth study sessions.
We would get knocks on the doors and windows often late at night as people would drop round.
However one night we took the open door policy to the next level. I got up one morning to find the front door wide open. Someone, anyone had forgotten to close it! Talk about a freak out moment. Not that we had much to steal, our tv was so rubbish that it didn’t show the colour red. Everyone had green lips and superman looked like he was captian planet.
Revelation 3:20 – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Jesus is standing at the door of your life, knocking.
His knock is the invitation to a changed life. His knock is an invitation to adventure. His knock is an invitation to love. His knock is an invitation to peace and security like you could never imagine. His knock is an invitation for us to know Him, the creator of the universe, who breathed out the stars, who created the giraffe, who imagined the oceans and the stars and the forests and the mountains.
When you encounter God you are never the same!
When I was 16 I went to a youth camp, just like this one. Over the course of the weekend I felt that knocking on my heart. I couldn’t explain it, I couldn’t shake it. It was this sense that God was there and that He was real and that I could know Him, but that the choice was mine to take it or leave it.
I had always thought that God was far away, on a cloud somewhere, indifferent to the world and especially indifferent to me.
But all of a sudden there was this intense awareness that God knew me inside out, all the good bad and the ugly and that He wanted to change my life.
Opening The Door To His Presence
I want to tell you about a man name Obed Edom. Obed Edom was a man who opened the door to the presence of God. Literally.
There isn’t much written about him, the odd verse here and there, but if you join the dots you see the story of a man who opened the door to God.
In 2 Samuel 6:10-11 we read about how Obed Edom got a knock on the door one day. When he opened it there was king david and his entourage and the Ark of the Presence of God. Here is a bit of the back story.
So the Ark was the tangible symbol of the presence of God. No one could touch it or open it or stuff like that. Where the Ark was, God was. If you want a very cool story about the Ark go check out 1 Samuel 5… Anyway David built an amazing temple, an amazing church, for God and decided to bring the Ark back from where it had been for over 20 years. However – like I said, amazing special holy object – not just a box – and in a way hard for us to comprehend the power of it and the symbolism of it – as we never want to put God in a box – however David doesn’t consult HOW the ark should be moved and just does his best, but it ends up with a man being killed because he touched the ark, and david knocking on Obed Edom’s door.
So here was David’s deal. Obed Edom and his family would look after the ark until they could get things figured out. And oh yeah. Don’t touch it. Or open it. Or anything it.
Obed Edom had 8 sons. Who knows what don’t touch means….. Just picture that one.
Obed Edom said yes to the king, yes to God, and opened the door of his home and his life to the presence of God. The Bible says that the ark remained in his home for 3 months and that every part of his life was blessed abundantly.
There is great reward and blessing for living your life colliding with God. Don’t let anyone tell you that God is a kill joy or stingy!
When it came time to move the Ark to Jerusalem, (this time correctly) Obed-Edom had a choice. He could have stayed where he was and lived off of his past relationship with God or move with the Ark of God, staying in God’s presence and in relationship with God.
Obed-Edom had a desire for the Lord and moved with God. His desire for the Lord caused him to do whatever it took to be close to the Lord. He became a gatekeeper, a musician, and a doorkeeper for the Ark. Due to Obed-Edom’s desire and love for the Lord and his faithfulness, God begins again to bless him and promote him.
Now we don’t have to move into the church building or camp out at the there to be blessed by God or near His Presence. God is here right now. He is with you always. We can at any time become aware of His supernatural presence. I distinctly remember the first time I felt the presence of God AT HOME in my bedroom. I put on some worship for the first time and then it was like my room and my life was just flooded with happiness and peace and a sense that I was not alone and that God was right there!!!
There are things that keep the door open to God’s presence:
Worship – worship reminds us of the truth of who God is. It fixes our eyes upon His bigness and ableness. It thanks Him for what He is doing.
Prayer – prayer is a conversation with God. It makes it a real relationship not just a ritual.
Righteousness – righteousness is a big fancy word that means living right. The opposite of it is of course unrighteousness. In whose eyes? In God’s eyes. We don’t get to set the bar. We don’t get to pick and choose what living right looks like. Not living right creates blockages between us and God and living out our destiny. It becomes a barrier. Now we cant do this on ourselves. At the camp I became a Christian on they told us to go and find a space by ourselves and talk to God. Now I sat under a tree and made snot, aka cried, because I knew I wasn’t good enough to talk to God, that I had messed up, that I had made mistakes, that I was dirty. I sat there knowing that I wasn’t good enough to get into heaven.
That night the speaker told us about Jesus and how He makes us good enough and how He makes the way to God because of His death on the cross. His death removes all our mistakes and wrongdoing, that the Bible calls sin, that creates the barrier between us and God. The Bible says we’ve all messed up. But Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment we deserve and makes us clean, innocent and righteous. Its not something we can do on our own but something that Jesus gives us when we open the door to Him. It is a gift, not something we earn or pay back.
Once opening that door to Jesus however, I wanted to live my life to please God. I wanted to live my life right and was aware that the times when I lived my own way made me feel further away from God and blocked that sense of His presence and peace. My own choices put me on paths that God wouldn’t have chosen for me.
But right living is like living with an open door policy. It says “God, you have full access to my life, every part of me belongs to you!”
Obedience – This quote wrecks me and shows me what obedience really looks like: “Obedience becomes radical when we say, ‘Yes, God, whatever you want,’ and mean it. We release our grip on all that we love and offer it back to Him, who loves us more. And it is into these upturned hands that God will pour out His blessings-His abundant, unexpected, radical blessings. Soon, saying yes to God will no longer be a discipline of your heart but rather the delight of your life.”
Open the door to adventures
When we open the door to God we open the door to adventures. When we say yes to God, we open the door to new places, new people and new situations. Sometimes that can seem really scary, not knowing what the next step is. But God is there.
He knows the plans and purposes and as Proverbs 3:6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways say yes to him, and he will direct your steps.
We see our lives in the present. God sees our lives through the scope of eternity; He sees everything.
Some of you are in major transition. Going to uni. Going to high school. New jobs. New opportunities.
In the unknown learn to trust God. Get to know God so that you know His heart and His ways.
By opening his front door to the King, and the King of Kings, Obed Edom opened his door to a whole new future and adventure. One moment can change the trajectory of your life.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Jesus gives us 100% certainty, not 100% clarity. We walk by faith not by sight.
Open the door for someone else
When Obed Edom moved his family to Jerusalem he began a lifelong mission to open the door for other people to encounter the presence of God. He literally became a doorkeeper in the house of God.
Who are you opening the door to? Who has God positioned in your life?
Did you know that everyone here brought one person to HKC we would double in a day? Now it’s not about numbers but it’s about impact. It’s about His Kingdom Come. It’s about lost people getting found. It’s about eternities changing. Life is more than breathing it is ON MISSION for Jesus. It is about living life so that people see God is real and then doing something about that. I went to youth group because someone invited me. Let’s make 2016 the year we all bring someone. Someones. Open the door for someone to know God.
Jesus is knocking on the door of your life.
Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet Adele
He wants you to say Yes to adventures with Him, to changing the world, to opening the door for others. He wants an open door policy to your life.
The challenge is – will you open the door?