Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Luke 13:23-27 -- On Getting to Know God

"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."
Luke 13:23-27

This seems kind of scary.  Imagining God telling me that he doesn't know me, or know where I'm coming from makes me feel a little bit panicked and makes me wonder... how can I make sure the Lord knows me, and knows where I am coming from?
In this particular story, I think that maybe the trick is to get there before God shuts the door.  Kind of like the parable of the ten virgins.  Symbolically, that probably means being prepared for God now, and not waiting to find out about, accept, or communicate with him until we're "certain" or we've seen a sign, or after death.  It means not glorying in our sins now and then attempting some insincere deathbed repentance right at the end.  And in these verses it says "depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity," so avoiding iniquity would probably also be a good technique to use. :)
For me, and perhaps for many of us, I think it means that we need to accept God completely... not just the parts that we like.  Some of what God asks us to do, or some of the things that he says in the scriptures maybe we don't understand yet.  But talking to God about those things, and being willing to figure them out in the context of being sure that God knows what he is doing is very different from taking those things as evidence that God is out of touch or that he might not be real.  Just like in a regular relationship, we don't get to carve out a person that is exactly what we want and leave all the parts we don't like behind.  And with God, even more so... because he is perfect, and he has a reason... and we're abundantly blessed that he is answering the door and considering allowing us entrance.  If we get there and we say, well, we'll come in if you stop asking us to do such and such, or if you allow such and such... then yeah, we probably don't know each other.  We need to figure out those things now, and decide for ourselves what we are doing.  If we're not going to try to get in, that's an unfortunate choice... but a lot more realistic that expecting God to let us in while we're still carrying around and defending sin.
Today, let's stop working iniquity.  And let's remember that *we* are the ones requesting entrance from God, not the other way around.  Let's start making sure that we communicate with and get to know God now, and work out and repent of our sins, so that someday when we get to his door, we will know him, and he will know us, and we will gain entrance.

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