The Test of Obedience
Wade E Taylor
That the Lord will knock on the door of our heart is certain.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if
anyone hear my voice, and open the door, I
will come in to him, and will sup with him,
and he with me" Rev 3:20 Worrell.
This appearance at the door of our inner spiritual being
may be due to a desire on His part for fellowship with us.
Or, because of an urgent need, He may come seeking us to intercede
with Him in behalf of another.
At this time, of primary importance is our hearing His voice
"knocking" and respond. The purpose for His visit
will unfold as we fellowship with Him.
It is also true however, that He may come at a time that
is not convenient for us. His coming at an importune time
may be a test to reveal if we are more interested in Him than
in whatever we are occupied with.
"I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice
of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me,
my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for
my head is filled with dew, and my locks with
the drops of the night" Song of Solomon 5:2.
Thus, whatever our condition, it is important that we keep
our spirit "tuned" towards the Lord, as He seeks
a prompt, unquestioning response from us.
The words "IF anyone ..." tells us that His coming
into the "room" of our spiritual life is conditional.
It indicates that we have the option to either ignore His
knocking, or to invite Him within. Our prompt obedience in
responding to His desire for fellowship will place us at the
door of entrance into His manifest presence.
"I love them that love me; and those that seek
me early (respond promptly) shall find
me" Proverbs 8:17.
This passage also expresses a condition. It indicates that
only certain ones, "Those who seek me early" will
receive the desired result.
This relates to those who respond promptly to His seeking
"knock." The "indication" of His presence
may be realized in many different ways. We can so cultivate
our spiritual ear, that as we follow our daily pattern of
activities, we will notice His seeking presence, should the
Lord make known His desire for us to turn aside.
"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him,
and He will show them His covenant" Psalm 25:14
This "fear" means a reverence that results in our
unquestioning trust and obedience. To these, He is able to
"Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field;
us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the
vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether
the tender grapes appear, and the pomegranates bud
forth: there will I give thee my loves" SS 7:11 12.
Notice the wording, "Come, my beloved, let us go forth."
She must first "come" to Him for fellowship, then
together, they will "go" to others for ministry.
This foundational principle when understood will strengthen
our relationship to the Lord and lead us toward spiritual
maturity and responsibility.
We respond to His call to "come" by turning aside
with Him for times of fellowship and communion. As we become
quiet in His presence, He will share His secrets and burdens
with us. Only then will we be ready to "go."
Our ability to recognize and respond to His presence directly
relates to our submission to His hand of correction upon us.
It is through chastening that we learn how to crucify the
demands of the natural man and promptly respond to His desire
for our undivided attention. This will only take place as
we give Him specific permission to do whatever may be necessary
to increase our sensitivity to His presence.
"For we are His workmanship, having been
created in Christ Jesus for good works
which God before prepared, that we should
walk in them" Eph 2:10 Worrell.
The word "should" means that this work is optional,
that our permission and cooperation is essential for it to
take place. The Lord, as the Master Workman, is anxious to
accomplish this work in us, and waits for us to place ourselves
within His hands.
Once we begin to anticipate and enjoy our times of fellowship
with Him, the Lord may withdraw from us to test how much we
truly care, and whether we really miss His presence. If we
let Him know that His absence was felt, and we sincerely ask
Him to return for communion (or fellowship) with us, He will
reveal Himself to us in a deeper way.
The Song of Solomon presents a picture of our intimate times
of communion, or "supping" with Him in which He
reports, "I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have
eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with
my milk" SS 5:1b.
What He is saying is that He has found satisfaction within
the life of the one who is fully yielded to Him. This is a
mystery we little understand, but most certainly can enjoy.
David spoke of this "seeking heart" of the Lord
in Psalm 42:9a, "Deep calleth unto deep." This speaks
of our Lord as a seeking God. There is a "deep"
within God that desires to fellowship with man. Therefore,
He created within us a depth to which He can relate, that
He might find the fellowship and satisfaction He desires.
Throughout the Scriptures, the Lord is revealed as a seeking
God (See II Chronicles 16:9 and I Peter 3:12). Some may feel
that the Lord is not interested in them as an individual.
However, He is far more interested in us and in revealing
Himself to us, than we may realize. He intensely desires to
bring us into an abiding experience of communion, that we
might become "one" with Him in the outworking of
His purposes for mankind, and in making known to us the eternal
things of the Spirit.
A teacher in the Bible School I attended gave this example
of the seeking heart of the Lord. From the school to the highway
was a long lane with tall evergreen trees on either side,
which made it very dark at night. One evening, as he walked
the lane with his young daughter, he held her hand since they
could not see each other in the darkness. Suddenly, he released
her hand and stepped aside. When she realized she was in the
darkness alone, she cried out, "Daddy, where are you?"
Intentionally, he did not answer, so in panic she began to
run. He quickly stepped in front of her; and she ran into
His waiting arms. With relief she exclaimed, "O daddy,
I found you."
We sometimes run without direction or purpose and the Lord
places Himself in the center of our path so we will "run"
into Him. But we are finding a God who has first sought us
out and found us. If our heart interest is towards Him, we
can trust Him to do this.
In the Song of Songs, He came to the doorway that led to
the heart of His Bride, saying "Open to me, my sister,
my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with
dew, and my locks with the drops of the night" SS 5:2b.
This reveals to us still another spiritual principle. The
Lord will often deliberately come to us at a time when we
may be the least willing to respond to Him. He does this to
see if we really care for Him more than we care for other
things, and to expose what is really important to us.
Notice that His head was filled with "dew." The
Lord had been seeking for fellowship elsewhere, but had been
unable to find it. Therefore, He returned to her. We seldom
realize the crucial importance of being able to discern His
presence, and of having the determined will to respond to
His invitation to fellowship. These "night seasons"
are a special time during which the Lord often comes and knocks
on the door of our heart to spend time with us alone.
This importune knocking of the Lord on the door of our heart
also reveals what is really important to us. We may say to
the Lord, "Maybe in a half hour, as I am very busy now."
This indicates that something else is more important to us
than the Lord Himself. Whatever this may be, it can be considered
as being an idol in our lives. An idol is anything that becomes
a substitute, or takes the place of the Lord. When we respond,
"Yes, Lord, but ..." and put Him off for some reason,
that object, or reason becomes as an idol.
We all too easily become busy or preoccupied with many things
and then use these as a reason for our unresponsiveness to
the Lord. All of these things must submit to His claim on
It is not only the carnal or sinful things that keep us from
responding to the presence of the Lord; it is often things
that are good, legitimate, and even necessary. Everything
else must become secondary to our times of communion and fellowship
with Him if we value the experience of His manifest presence
in our daily pattern of life.
We must develop and maintain within us a "quality of
spirit" that is both perceptive and receptive to hearing
His voice, and is continually poised towards Him. Then, when
He knocks upon the door of our heart, we will respond to Him
and invite Him to come within the room of our spiritual life.
"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat
the good of the land" Isa 1:19.
The eternal gains that result from our willing obedience
are far greater in value than any temporal comfort we may
lose in seeking eternal things.
To respond to His knock upon the door of our heart may open
for us a realm of experience with Him of which we have little
expected or even dreamed.