|This article is authored by Dick Leggatt, President of Derek Prince Ministries – USA and comprises his July 11, 2013 Newsletter.|
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Have you ever felt like a forgotten person? Like no one knows your name? You may have even been tempted to suspect that the Lord has forgotten you. Please let me assure you in the paragraphs that follow that He hasn’t forgotten you. In fact, He not only knows your name — He knows all about you. If you listen closely, you will actually find that He is calling your name. And that’s the topic of this letter.
“If Anyone Hears My Voice”
Once as I was reading a well-known passage of Scripture — Revelation 3:20 — a realization hit me that revolutionized my life . Please let me share it with you, in hopes that it will make a tremendous difference in your life as well.
Revelation 3:20 provides us with a vivid mental picture of Jesus standing outside a door:
“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.”
Having memorized that verse as a young boy, and having seen artist’s renditions of the scene it describes, I had limited my thinking to only one action involved: the Lord Jesus is knocking on the door.
Then one day as I was re-reading the passage, these words stood out to me: “If anyone hears My voice….” Jesus isn’t only knocking. He is speaking as well! The question immediately came to mind: What is He saying? Clear as a bell, the answer came to my mind: He’s calling my name.
The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically what Jesus is saying. My personal feeling is that as He is knocking on my heart’s door, He’s also softly calling my name. And the same is true for you. When He is knocking on your heart’s door, He’s softly calling your name as well.
He Knows Your Name
It’s a very intimate picture, isn’t it? The Lord who loves us and knows us better than anyone else is not trying to force His way in. Softly and gently, He is speaking directly to us, calling us by name, imploring us to hear His voice and open to Him.
We see an interesting outworking of this truth in the life of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. This short little tax collector got it in his mind that he wanted to see Jesus when the Lord came to visit Jericho. “So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way” (Luke 19:4). What did Jesus say when He came directly under the tree limb where the little guy was perched? “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (verse 5). The result of this encounter was a complete change in that little man’s life — simply because he heard Jesus calling His name, and opened the door of his heart to spend time with Jesus.
The question that always comes to my mind is this: How did Jesus know his name was Zacchaeus? Maybe someone had informed Him. Maybe it came by direct revelation from the Father. Regardless, the remarkable fact is that Jesus not only knew exactly who Zacchaeus was. He called him by name. And that changed Zacchaeus forever.
The gospel of John contains the moving account of the post-resurrection encounter of Jesus with Mary Magdalene in John 20:11–18. At first, Mary mistook the risen Lord for the gardener as she wept and asked why the body of her Lord had been carried away. It wasn’t until Jesus called her by name that she realized that the gardener was actually the Lord: “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher)” (verse 16). A whole new world opens up to us when Jesus calls us by name and we open the door of our heart to willingly respond to Him!
Opening the Door
A wonderful radio series Derek Prince taught on Revelation 3:20 called “The Door Only You Can Open” highlighted numerous truths from this profound passage. In the following excerpt, he focuses on the relational implications of opening the door to Jesus:
What are you relying on for your personal relationship with the Lord? Is it the fact that you were baptized? Or confirmed? Is it the fact that you go to church? Or that you read your Bible? Or that you sing hymns? Or that you offer money to the Lord’s work?
I don’t want to belittle any of those things; they’re all important. But yet, they are not sufficient without that great, single, central experience of knowing Jesus personally — hearing His voice, and making Him a part of your life.
The amazing thing about Almighty God is, for reasons we’ll never fully discern, He wants to share the life of His human creatures. He wants to come in. He wants to be part of our life. If He’s not part of our life, it’s not because He doesn’t want to be. It’s because we haven’t met the conditions. And I’d like to ask you personally at this very moment: What is your relationship to Jesus? Have you heard His voice? And if you’ve heard His voice, what did you do? Did you open the door?
You might say, “Well, I never rejected Him.” Well, I want to tell you, that’s not enough . If somebody’s outside the door, asking for admission, you don’t have to reject that person. You just have to do nothing, and He remains outside and you remain without Him.
There’s only one adequate response, and that’s the response Jesus asks for: to open the door and to invite Him in. He won’t push His way in. He’s a gentleman. He doesn’t come in uninvited. If you want Jesus Christ in your life as Savior and Lord, as your friend and companion, your counselor and helper, you’re going to have to take action.
Inviting Him In
In the segment we just quoted, Derek was obviously applying the truth of Revelation 3:20 to the salvation experience. But everything Derek said goes far beyond mere salvation. In fact, it applies to every aspect of our lives. His encouragement reminds us of our need to open the door to Jesus every moment of our lives… every time we have the opportunity to choose His ways and purposes over our own. We need to avail ourselves of every opportunity we have to involve our Lord Jesus in every facet of our lives.
Are you ready to open the door to that kind of renewed, vibrant relationship with the Lord? If so, I’d like to ask you to join with me in the following prayer of invitation to Jesus:
Dear Lord Jesus, I hear You knocking on the door of my heart right now. Even more, I hear You calling me by name, asking me to open the door of my heart to You in a new and fresh way. Lord, I swing wide the door of my heart to You by this prayer of commitment.
Come in to my life in a fresh new way. If I have kept You from any area of my life, I break down all the barriers to Your entry with this prayer of invitation.
Come in, Lord Jesus, and make Yourself at home. Clean out what displeases You, and set up housekeeping in my life in a way that fits Your agenda for my life.
Come in, Lord. Come in! You are welcome here in my heart. I look forward to dining with You and spending time in fellowship in ways that I have not experienced before. Thank You for knocking on the door of my heart. Thank You for calling me by name.
The Lord’s Promise
Even if you have had a relationship with the Lord for many years, by praying that prayer just now, you have opened yourself up to Jesus in a fresh way. You can look forward to seeing the Lord’s presence and impact in your life in new and unexpected ways. Isn’t it wonderful that we can experience this kind of renewal on a daily basis, no matter how long we have had a relationship with Jesus?
I want to encourage you as we close this letter with one more Scripture. It reinforces what Jesus promises in Revelation 3:20 about coming in to be with you and dine with you and live with you. Having asked Him afresh to come in, you can fully expect to receive His help and strength, even with situations that have defied solution in your life.
Chapter 43 of Isaiah is full of promises of God’s help and provision for us, and I would certainly encourage you to read the chapter on a regular basis. I just want to make this one point about it, however. All of the promises are predicated on the Lord’s statement in the very first verse: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine” (verse 1). We see many passages in the Bible where God says He has placed His name upon us, and it is a wonderful truth that we belong to Him. Here He emphasizes as well that He has called us by our name. Every day, in every situation, no matter how difficult, you need to remember this fact: He’s calling your name.
Helping to Keep the Door Open
To stand with you in the renewed commitment in prayer you have just made, I can’t think of a more appropriate teaching for us to offer than the full, week-long radio series from which we drew the earlier excerpt, “The Door Only You Can Open.” This free message from Derek Prince’s teaching will be a great encouragement to you as you walk out the commitment you have prayed.
Making free material available to you is a great joy to us, and we hope you will take advantage of each and every offer we place before you. It is just one small way for us to express our great appreciation for your love, your friendship, and your commitment to Derek Prince Ministries in your prayers and your faithful financial support. Thank you for opening the door of your heart to us as well as to the Lord. We consider it a tremendous privilege to be linked with you in these significant days.
Let’s continue to stay in touch as we move forward in our devotion to the Lord and His purposes in these days. If we can be of further service to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Thank you again for your devotion and partnership in the work of Derek Prince Ministries.
As I close this letter, please let me encourage you once more to remember that the Lord knows you by name. Jesus is not only knocking on the door of your heart as you follow Him. He is also making Himself and all His vast resources available to you because of His love and commitment to you. Isn’t it wonderful to know that He’s calling your name?
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.
P.S. Thank you for the step of faith you have taken in this letter. Your life has changed forever as a result of what you have prayed. Please make sure to reinforce the action you have taken by downloading: “The Door Only You Can Open.” Thank you again for your prayers and financial gifts. We are so grateful to you!