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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Committed to God MARCH 1


"'Here I stand knocking at the door; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sit down to supper with him." Rev. 3:20, N.E.B.

There are two truths in this verse: Christ can be kept out of our lives; and the door can be opened only from within. Christ does not force His way into our hearts. We are told that a man's house is his castle. In countries where personal freedom is cherished, the householder is protected from unwarranted search or interference. Similarly, in regard to our personalities, Christ does not violate our integrity, or our minds. The doors to the chambers of our lives must be opened by us.

A man asked, "Why does God not stop a man from doing the wrong thing, from leaving his family, from being dishonest with his income tax? God is omnipotent. All He needs to do is exercise His power. Why does God let a man destroy himself and others, not only in this life but for the life to come? Why does not God do something?"

The most sacred thing about us is our free will. As parents, we love our children. We do not lock them in the house just in case they plan to do wrong. As children, they have to be told what to do. Abraham was commended because God knew he would "command his children and his household after him." Yet children must develop the ability to make right decisions.

Overprotecting, trying to make all the decisions for our children, can only destroy them emotionally and personally. Ultimately they rebel against us. They resent our denying them their own integrity as persons. God understands this. He will not deny us the freedom so essential to our growth. We may be able to force our children to obey us, but we cannot force them to love us. We may be able to prevent a man from committing a crime, but not from sinning in his heart.

Should Christ come to the door as we watch television, we can tell Him we are too busy, and He will respect our wishes. If we have a quarrel at home and He stops by to help, we can tell Him to mind His own business, and He will. If we go on a picnic and He indicates He would like to go along, we can ignore Him. He will not push His way into our private pleasures. Christ comes, not with a demand, but as a guest. Even the divine Guest must be wanted and welcomed.

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