The story is told of a child’s sincere faith:
A nurse on the pediatric ward, before listening to the little ones’ chests, would plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own hearts. Their eyes would always light up with awe, but she never got a response equal to four-year-old David’s comment. Gently she tucked the stethoscope into his ears and placed the disc over his heart.
“Listen,” she said … “What do you suppose that is?”
He drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap-tap-tapping deep in his chest. Then his face broke out in a wondrous grin, and he asked, “Is that Jesus knocking?”
Mary had the same awe-struck wonder when she heard the angelic announcement about Jesus’ incarnation:
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26-38).
So, in a unique way, Mary became indwelt by God the Son. As the apostle John declared, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
In the preceding context we learn that a person is saved through receiving Christ personally: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12).
Although Christ indwells every true believer, this does not guarantee that He is being permitted to have His rightful place of supremacy in one’s life. Therefore, we’re admonished, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”(Eph. 5:18).
Note the prayer of the apostle Paul concerning Christ being fully “at home” in our hearts:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…that He would grant you…to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” (Eph. 3:14-17).
As Christ’s representative in your life, the Holy Spirit indwells you as a believer, testifying with your spirit that you are a child of God (Rom. 8:16). Yet, we need to repent of disobedience and yield to His total control. For Him to truly “dwell [be at home] in our hearts,” we need to yield our mind, will, emotions, and affections to His loving presence and leadership.
In other words, He indwells our human spirit (1 Cor. 6:17), but are we allowing Him to take dominion in our soul and behavior? As someone put it, Jesus is resident, but are you allowing Him to be president?
This brings us back to the imagery of Jesus knocking on our heart’s door. In biblical context this invitation is extended to a church:
“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” (Rev. 3:20).
Although this can be used in an evangelistic way, the primary application of this text is to the born again Christian: Will you keep your “door” fully open to maximize your fellowship with the risen Christ? He has prepared a “meal” for you as He prepared breakfast to some disciples at lake side after His resurrection. He says “Come and eat breakfast” (John 21:12). In middle eastern culture, this isn’t a picture of a McDonald’s drive-through, but of quality relational time.
And this yieldedness does not indicate passivity on our part. Christ being fully at home in our heart involves active cooperation with God (See Phil. 2:12,13).
So, friend, listen to the biblical invitation once again. The Spirit is whispering to you today: “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Is that Jesus knocking? Yes indeed!
The anecdote about the child’s faith is from http://stories-etc.com/pediatrics.htm
Copyright 2012 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use if author and GraceNotebook.com is cited.
Unless indicated otherwise, biblical quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright by Thomans Nelson, 1982.