I have a good friend, Steve Marto, who coined the phrase back in high school that "Use is Ownership". That phrase originated from the fact that we liked to go fishing but we had no boat and no pond. There was a guy that we knew who gave us complete access to his pond and his row boat. At first we would knock on his door and ask. Eventually he said, "Guys, you don't have to ask, just go and use."
That day Steve said, "We own a pond with a boat." To a couple of kids who liked to fish, this was heaven.
Now you've probably had someone offer something to you and it sounded sincere but you knew in your heart that there were limits. You know what I'm talking about. Phrases like "Come over anytime." and "Mi Casa es tu casa." What they really meant was, "You are an honored GUEST in our home."
My parents are magnificent people and they understand this concept. They've been blessed in this life with a cabin up in the mountains. It's in a gated community. They tell us to "come up anytime" and they mean it. I've had a key since the day they bought the place.
The gate has a "clicker". Well they not only gave me a key but also a clicker. The clicker is important because when you get to the gate, if you don't have a clicker you have to check in with the guard who is an off duty sheriff. Now the guard is always affable, but when you come up to the gate and he has to come out of his warm little security hut, he takes on this authority role and challenges you as to why you are there. You have to go through this rig amoral about who you are and who you are visiting. You are a guest. "Hey I'm Lauren and Fran Buckland's son. I'm here to VISIT my parents." I'm a guest.
But when you have the clicker, you roll up fat, click the gate open and experience a guard with a different attitude. He knows one of his "employers" is coming through. He tips his hat, waves and smiles.
There have been a couple of occasions through the years when they changed the gate electronics and I needed a new clicker. In the times that we visit before receiving the new clicker, I'm relegated back to guest status and I hate it. Really I quit going because I can't stand to be confronted by the guard. (Do I have a problem with authority or what?) This happened recently and last fall my mom finally gave me a new clicker. I felt like, NOW I really can come up anytime.
A few weeks ago I was challenged by my devotional. It asked, "Is Jesus an honored guest at your house, in your heart, or is he an owner?" The question struck a cord with me as I considered this guest/owner dichotomy.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."
This is a good beginning for a relationship but at this point in my life I would rather just give Him not only a key but also a clicker so he doesn't have to continue to stand and knock every time. I don't want to be the gate guard, charged with weighing if I'm going to let Him in this time or not.
Jesus, you don't have to ask, just come and use. Like Mary says in Luke 1:38, "be it unto me according to thy word."