Living in Malaysia for 9 years afforded me a vantage point on the word of God that I could not see by living in America. The reason being is because the writers of the scriptures wrote from an Eastern not Western worldview and culture. Little details are easily skipped over due to no context in which to place them. But once told what is meant by what is said, a whole new picture is painted and the Bible starts to come alive in ways it didn’t before.
A great example of this is found in Acts 12 where it says, “When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.” In the West we knock with our hand on the door, but in the East they knock with their voice. Henceforth, why it says, Rhoda recognized Peter’s voice, for he did not knock with his hand, but his voice.
If you now take what we just read in Acts 12 and add it to what Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 it makes better sense. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with me.” Rhoda in her joy of hearing Peter’s voice did not open the door and let Peter in the house, Jesus says, I am standing at the door, I am speaking to you, if you can hear My voice, open the door.
Hearing the voice of God is like water to our soul, but that is only the beginning, even if hearing His voice produces joy in us, we must go a step further and open the door. Obedience to the voice is how we open the door. God doesn’t speak just to talk, He speaks to be obeyed. That’s why the Bible says, “Today if you hear HIs voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15), because if you can hear you are invited to obey. We open the door when we obey, because obedience opens the door for God to show us great and mighty things we know not. If you can hear, obey, this is God’s way!