Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
It was February 1996 in Calhoun County, West Virginia. I was a 34 year old who had everything that life can bring. A husband, two beautiful daughters, debt, a semi-miserable marriage and the only thing worse than no hope at all… false hope. I and my 4 siblings were born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, in the heart of God’s country where we attended church from birth on. I was raised in Church, but not in Jesus. There’s a vast difference. Yes, I knew Who Jesus was; He was Who the preacher told about in his sermons. His name made me feel uneasy when I heard it spoke. That’s honestly all I knew about Christ. And yet I taught Sunday School… but that’s another story.
But that changed in February of 1996. When I heard that knock. I had not expected it. I had attended another Church at the request of my husband (also unsaved), who had heard a man preach a funeral and wanted to know more about him. A man (now my Pastor and friend) but who at that time I would have rather listened to fingernails on the blackboard than him. He made me nauseous… a little like the name of Jesus did. But I went to appease my husband. And for the first time in my life I understood why the name of Jesus made me queasy, because it was that name that called me to the Creator of the universe. You see, it’s not just a name; names don’t stir your soul. Names don’t insert the missing piece from your life. An ordinary name will not make the world right. But Jesus did. John 12:32 says “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Through my Pastor and friend, Christ was lifted up and I was drawn and forever changed.
Christ knocked on the door of my heart several times before I opened it. “What did it sound like?” you may be asking. It sounded like something different. My old friend, dead religion, told me not to answer; change isn’t good. Change will require you to go church… more than once a week! And to not only go to church, but act the same way outside the church as you did inside. Change requires accepting and defending godly moral convictions. That was radical idea. I figured I better go back Sunday evening to find out more, and then Wednesday night, and every Revival meeting in the community, and every fellowship opportunity that was afforded me. Then before long I found myself more at home in the church than the world, so I opened the door to Christ and He stayed. I no longer went to church, I was the church.
I got it. I was not perfect but I indeed was a new creature just like II Corinthians 5:17 said.
I did not speak the same… my tongue got saved too.
I did not go where I once did… where once the name of Jesus made me queasy, now the world did.
I loved everyone. Really!
I wanted to tell them about Jesus… and I did.
I was grateful. For everything! Yes, I even bless candy bars.
I was different. And everyone knew it. Their tongues changed too, at least in my presence.
I had a nicotine habit… I now craved God more. (My last cigarette was May 26, 1997, it took a few months)
I fell back in love with my husband again, deeper and more committed than ever.
There were some radical changes, and there was some gradual changes, but the day I opened that door there was change.
Your story may or may not be like mine. But if there was not change in your life, I beg of you, as the Apostle Paul did in Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
There should have been a change in your life. Don’t play church.