Recently a new friend and I read a little booklet (28 very small pages!) called “My Heart – Christ’s Home. It’s been several years since I last read it, and I’m seeing many things differently this time.
It begins by quoting parts of Eph 2:16-17…”That [God] may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Even as a longtime Christ follower, that is an amazing statement. God Himself, through The Holy Spirit, has taken up residence in me. Inconsequential, normal, nothing special, me!
But wait…how can I be inconsequential, normal or nothing special when the God of the Universe, the Alpha and Omega, the King of kings and Lord of lords, resides in me? It is mind boggling as I see my sin, my inadequacies, and my “deceitful heart” (Jer.17:9). Yet, the One True God has deposited His Spirit within me! Now, if that’s not something to shout about, I don’t know what is!
Here is a quote from the booklet that, to me, says it perfectly…
”It is difficult for me to think of a higher privilege than to make for Christ a home in my heart to welcome, to serve, to please and to know him there.”
The booklet also states: “Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ himself through the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there. Christ will live in any human heart that welcomes him.”
We know that if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord that the Holy Spirit resides within us; but are we intentional in welcoming him to set up residence? Are we gracious and welcoming hosts, or do we want to limit his access to our lives? The booklet takes us on a tour of each “room” in our heart, and the access to that room that we willingly, or begrudgingly, hand over to our Lord.
In John 14:2 we’re told that “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” I don’t know about you, but once I arrive to the place Jesus has prepared for me, I want to be able to explore all of the rooms, even all the little nooks and crannies, in heaven. I somehow don’t think that Jesus will tell me that there are places I cannot explore. I believe he will say, “Come on in. All of this is for you. Enjoy it to the fullest. Nothing is off limits for you now.”
Oh, how our lives would be different if we allowed him full access to all the rooms of our hearts, even the most secret of rooms that house our greatest disappointments…our hurts…our most tender wounds.
Jesus says in John 14:23, “…If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Just as I want full access to all of heaven’s rooms, how much more should my Savior truly be allowed and welcomed in all areas of my life. No holding back, full access to every broken and battered place in my heart.
Robert Boyd Munger, author of the booklet, points out in references from John 14, “place” in verse 2, and “home” in verse 23 have a similar concept. Munger continues by saying: “He (Jesus) was promising that just as he was going to heaven to prepare a place for them (his followers) and would one day welcome them there, so it would be possible for them to prepare a place for him in their hearts now.”
Both “place” and “home” are being prepared by Christ for me. For you. For each and every single person who welcomes him. As I welcome him in to my heart and allow it to become his” home”, he settles in and becomes one with me in all aspects of life. He’s teaching me, day by day, moment by moment, how to live forever in the “place” he is preparing for me. As I allow him full access to my heart, his home, it is like getting “On the Job Training”. I’m being prepared, here on earth, for what is my final destination, my “Forever Home”, where I will live in His Presence, face-to-face, and fully known.
Father, as you shine the light of your Spirit in the places of my heart, I know that all darkness must flee. Sometimes all that will then be present is light…Your Light. Other times there may be dust and rubbish that is revealed as you inspect the crevices of my heart. Lord, may I always prefer and desire you over the uneless treasures that I hold dear. As Munger says, “Lord, I want this heart of mine to be yours. I want you to settle down here and be fully at home.” Amen