Human beings like to complicate things. We've had that bent ever since the first couple of people messed things up in the Garden of Eden, and we bring this habit to most things in our lives, including our salvation.
Yes, even when it comes to receiving God's offer of peace with Him, we complicate what is simple by trying to achieve it ourselves or do something to earn it. Try as we might, there's nothing we can do to achieve, earn, or contribute to our salvation. All we can do is receive it as God's gift to us.
In his book, "40 Days," Alton Gansky relates this story about famed magician, Harry Houdini: "Harry Houdini made a name for himself by escaping from every
imaginable confinement --- from straightjackets to multiple pairs of
handcuffs clamped to his arms. He boasted that no jail cell could hold
him. Time and again, he would be locked in a cell only to reappear
"It worked every time --- but one. He accepted another invitation to
demonstrate his skill. He entered the cell, wearing his street clothes,
and the jail cell door shut. Once alone, he pulled a thin but strong
piece of metal from his belt and began working the lock. But something
was wrong. No matter how hard Houdini worked, he couldn't unlock the
lock. For two hours he applied skill and experience to the lock but
failed time and time again. Two hours later he gave up in frustration.
"The problem? The cell had never been locked. Houdini worked himself to
near exhaustion trying to achieve what could be accomplished by simply
pushing the door open. The only place the door was locked was in his
Houdini strived to find a way to set himself free, when all he had to do was push the door open. We do the same thing when it comes to our salvation: we strive to achieve it on our own, earn it in some way, or make some kind of contribution toward it. But Jesus says all we have to do is open the door ...
"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," Revelation 3:20.
Have you opened the door to Christ? Or are you still striving to set yourself free?