In the case of each church, Jesus tells them that He knows their works. And in the case of the church of Philadelphia, knowing their work, He sets before them an open door that only He opens or shuts.
They had an open door because they trusted in Him. They had little strength. They realized that they could not serve God and accomplish His will in their own strength. Much of modern Christianity puts great effort into attempting to live the life of faith through human effort. It fails to understand that it is Christ in you and living through you that results in faithful living and accomplishing God’s will on earth. When the Apostle Paul asked the Lord three times to remove a thorn in the flesh, Jesus answered him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9) His grace and strength always appears when we recognize our weakness and our need of Him.
King Asa ruled Judah for 41 years and the Scriptures described him as being loyal to the Lord all of his days. (I Kings 15:14) Yet at the end of his reign he made a treaty with the king of Syria for protection against Israel, the northern kingdom, and even though God had protected them in the past, Asa failed by trusting in the flesh. In his weakness he trusted man rather than God. The prophet told him, For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” (II Chronicles 16:9) Asa’s failure resulted in God’s judgment, the removal of Divine protection. Unlike those in Philadelphia, he no longer had an open door.
God is always searching for loyal hearts. He is searching for hearts that will trust in Him and not in self or manmade effort. I have to admit that this is a constant battle. Every day and every moment as the circumstances of life occur, the conflict arises. Who am I going to trust, myself or God?