We don’t pay much attention to manhole covers until we see an actual man standing in one, trying to fix something that’s broken. Occasionally when I am walking down a street, I will take notice of one that’s just there, undisturbed, and my heart becomes thankful for its presence because it’s one less hole for me to fall into (these are real thoughts for someone born with the clumsy gene). Of course I realize, when I think about it, that the purpose of the manhole cover is not just to cover up a gaping hole in the ground. It is there to give access to what’s lurking underneath. It’s there so that, when something is going amiss beneath eye level, they can get to it and resolve it quickly.
Our hearts have a manhole cover, too, of sorts. A lid, or a door, which we have the ability to open and close as we choose to. It is part of being created with a free will, and part of being born into a life of freedom. That freedom comes with instructions, to use it wisely and carefully for the right things, but the choice remains ours. This is why, in Revelation 3:20, we see Jesus knocking on the door of the heart of the church. Some people think, when they read that Scripture or see the artful depictions of it, that Jesus stands knocking on the door of the hearts of people who don’t know Him yet. The truth is that, even after we know Him, we have the very real tendency to close and lock the door of our hearts to the fullness of His presence.
Access is a powerful thing. God has granted us access to His own heart, through the blood of His Son. We have access to His Kingdom, to all that belongs to Him. We have access to every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly realms, many of which we have not even begun to discover. But access is, in truth, a double door. When God sent His Son to die for us, and to rise again, thereby inviting us into the life we were created for, He always intended that His Spirit would also have equal access to our hearts. Just as we’ve been invited to fully know Him, so He meant for us to be fully known by Him.
At a church service last weekend, the Pastor was telling us about a conversation he had with his teenage son, in which he asked the boy if he knew Jesus. Being a Pastor’s son, the boy was quick to reply with all the right religious words. He knew the church lingo. He could quote the Scriptures that pertained to his salvation. The Pastor and father shook his head in agreement, expressing approval for his son’s knowledge and confession. But then he asked a better question: “That’s good, son. But does Jesus know you?”
Humanity has been conditioned to keep their hearts closed off and sealed up…until something goes wrong. Many have the kind of relationship with God that mirrors the manhole cover. The “lids” or doors to our heart remain shut tight and firmly in place, as we go about our daily business, until something happens that requires an urgent fix. Suddenly, we become very aware of our need for God, and open the door wide for Him to come in and set everything right again. Then, once things are back in place, we close the door or the “lid” again, and go back to our usual routines. Of course we are grateful, but life goes back to whatever normal was before the emergency happened.
I sat down across the table from a friend a few days ago and we discussed this aspect of humanity – how we see it in our own lives and how we long for it to change. We know we need more of God every day, and we long to give Him greater access to our entire lives, not just the parts that need fixing and rearranging. We felt a deep hunger stirring in our souls for the kind of life that Jesus promised in John 15 – the abiding life, the life of constant oneness.
Dear Woman of Breakthrough, maybe this is a moment and a day to begin examining your own heart and life, asking God to reveal any doors or “lids” or covers which have not been opened to Him. Maybe this is a day to give God complete access to your whole life, to ask Him to come in draw you into a deeper relationship with Him, one where you know Him and are intimately known by Him…at all times and in all seasons.
I don’t believe God ever intended to be the emergency response team for our lives. Of course He is there when we need Him, but shouldn’t we need Him more than just for emergencies? The more I am in His Word, the more His Spirit is drawing me into the depths of His heart, and producing in me a longing for His presence to invade all of my life. I don’t believe this is an experience exclusive to just me. I believe this was designed to be the normal experience of all who are drawn by His Spirit to know Christ, our Bridegroom King.
The times are shifting, Dear Woman of Breakthrough. As we enter into greater measures of God’s Kingdom manifesting on the earth, may our hearts be positioned to join Him in the unfolding of His plans. May we give Him access to our hearts and lives now, so that we can appreciate and participate in the greater things He has promised. We are destined for more than periodic tuneups from the Heavenly response team. We are destined to rule and to reign with Him, to be one with Him, and to spread the fragrance and the knowledge of the King throughout the earth. May you give Jesus the key of access to your heart today. He has paid a high and holy price to hold that key, and to come in and dwell with you!