Asking God In

I lay crumpled, my mind swirling with chaos, migraine pressure pounding, the overwhelming stress inside of me nearly erupting, my own private Vesuvius ready to destroy. Empty . . . emptiness seemed a siren’s call of relief. Would I last long enough til then, til it was gone and I could walk away from all that hounded me from within. Tired of conflict, inside and outside of myself, I was dying. Dying, somehow. What use to live like this in a chaotic, hurting, unending repetition of attack, attack, attack? Yet something deep inside me would not let go . . . of me.

It was about 3:00 AM. The room was totally dark but for a shimmer coming from the corner closet. What was there? A sense of curiosity arose as I tried to see clearly. As my eyes focused and the reality of the vision came clear, I was sure an angelic being stood there. It was beautiful, glistening and shimmering in otherworldly light . . . until I saw more deeply into the hooded face, the glowing red eyes of evil spewing hatred towards me. Without hesitation I found myself running from the room in fear. Whatever that was did not come to comfort me. No, that being was sent to entice me with its beauty, and then destroy me.

It had been a good long while since my last prayer. I found myself gasping, and grasping in my memory for prayers and teaching I had received growing up. Thinking I could conquer life on my own, I was woefully discovering that in so many ways I was a mess. Throw in an evil spiritual being I could see, and I knew I needed help, right then, from beyond this earthly realm! Things were becoming alarmingly clear.

Contemplating what to do, determination welled up from somewhere. There was no way I should be afraid to sleep in my own room. It was my sanctuary, my safe place. I had to go back in there and claim it for my own. Besides I was exhausted. I had things to do in the morning. I had to function. I had to get up on time. Tiptoeing back in, my heart rate finally starting to slow, relief washed over me to see the closet empty of that shimmering thing. Slipping back into bed, covers up to my chin, my mind began reaching to remember those words of promise I had learned so many years before:

  1 The LORD is my Shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in
green pastures;
He leads me besides the
still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in paths of
righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow
of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before
me in the presence of me
enemies;
You anoint my head with
oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the
house of the LORD
Forever.”
(Psalm 23 NKJV)

While whispering that Psalm over and over out loud, my mind struggling to remember the words I had memorized as a child, peace flooded my soul. Then came the words of the LORD’s Prayer:

 9 Our Father which art in   
heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as
it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily
bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into
temptation; but deliver us
from evil: For thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and
the glory, for ever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9b-13 KJV)

Fear was gone as I clung to those truths, like a barnacle in a storm while wave after wave washed over me, taking the torments of the night away. Ever present and ready to come to my aid, God was reaching down to me, as I was reaching in my need and weakness up to Him. There was no rebuke or punishment from Him that I had wandered on my own path, leaving thoughts of Him behind as I “did my own thing.” No, His eager, reassuring, loving embrace was there to rescue me again.

There is a famous painting of Jesus knocking on the door of one’s heart. Portrayed as if He were knocking on the door of a house, closer inspection shows there is no door handle on the outside of the door. Jesus does not pull open the door and barge in. He knocks, and knocks again. The door can only be opened outward towards Him from the inside. His promise in Revelation 3:20 NKJV is true:

  Behold, I stand at the door
and knock. If anyone hears My
voice and opens the door, I
will come in to him and dine
with him, and he with Me.

I learned that night that God is indeed Love, and He is all powerful! His power far exceeds any power of darkness that might come against us. We need but invite Him in, yield our stubborn wills to His wisdom and grace, and realize that any and all of life’s battles are finally conquered through Him. No matter if we have known Him before and walked away, are confused in our journey with Him, or are searching to know Him now, His invitation is open to all who would open the door.

How does one open the door? By choice, like opening the door to the welcomed knock of a beloved friend. No matter how strange or scary it might feel to ask God to come in, He has a way of knowing us better than we know ourselves. He created us, and we are His workmanship. He already knows all about us; He is knocking that we might come to know Him. And He is Love.

Here is a prayer to consider:

Dear God, I need help! I need to know Your design for my life, Your plan, and how I fit into it. Help me to understand. I have failed and been wrong in so many ways. And even when I’m right my selfishness and pride get in the way. Please save me from my sin – everything that separates me from You – I cannot save myself. Thank You that Jesus died to take all punishment for me, for wrongs big and small I have committed. And that He rose again, conquering death, so that I, too, can have eternal life. I choose You, LORD! I invite Your Holy Spirit to come into me by faith, to teach my spirit Your Truth. Thank you for making me new! Show me please through you Word, the Bible, how to live. Teach me Your ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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