The Invitation


The Invitation

Come in, man!

Come in and know me better!”

— The Ghost of Christmas Present, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ultimately the Christian world is divided into only two groups: those who believe that this invitation is at the core of the heart of God (and therefore all human existence), and those who do not believe it.

Or did you even know about the first group?

We believe a great many things about God, but, for the most part, topping the list is not the belief that He is offering Himself to us in an open, present, engaged, knowable way.  

If there is anything that is deeply (if unconsciously) believed about the God of all Creation, it is that He is unsearchable, that He is unknowable.  "His ways are not our ways" we are constantly reminded, and after all, "Who can understand the mind of God?"  Not that we needed any theological support for this feeling that God is, well, hiding from us.

How different would your take on Life be if you thought the One who designed the whole shebang...well...wanted you to find Him? To know Him? Intimately, like a friend, or like the kind of Daddy you wish you had but never really did?

It was during the Christmas holidays (not surprisingly) that during some time alone in prayer, I felt this phrase from the Dickens classic leap to mind: "Come in man! Come in and know me better!" If you are a fan of the George C. Scott film version, you will have the same mental picture I had of the Ghost of Christmas Present, in all is warmth and jocularity, practically laughing out his lines as he summoned the terrified, self-centered, lonely old miser Ebenezer Scrooge into his happy presence.

Sure, I could have conjured up the words out of my own memory cells. Maybe I did.

But, oh, the thrill in that moment of thinking that it was God that brought this to mind, that this was what God was saying to me! 

Really, Father? You really want me to throw open the door and come closer? You wont snuff out the light and disappear into the darkness like elves caught unawares in the forest at night? Could I dare believe it?

Do you?

In the midst of all the hustle and clamor of your life, what have you come to believe - not in theory, but deep in the unspoken places of your heart - about God's attitude towards intimacy...towards drawing close and becoming increasingly knowable...towards sharing Himself with you?

Oh, I know a lot of people who are growing in their theoretical knowledge about God. 

But who do I know that is living out this invitation to "come in and know Him better?"

Who do you know that's living like that?

It's arguable, you know, that if this Christian thing is remotely accurate, then the whole purpose of our existence is to know God. Personally.  Intimately.  Increasingly. 

The fact that this is just about the last thing happening in most people's lives is one more VERY BIG claim for the worldview that fuels the Warrior's Path:  quite simply that spiritual warfare is the context of our Story; that, like it or not, we are at War.   Assailed.  Besieged.  Opposed at all costs from discovering all that God is offering.

"Come in man!" (Said with cheery welcome and abundant mirth, you'll remember!)  "Come in and know me better!"

Or, as Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him..."

When I think about all the lies about God that I have come to believe in...