“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart,” says the LORD.’ Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
I love church signs. I sometimes post them on social media. I talk about them to others. I guess you could call me a ‘church sign junkie’!
While many have catchy phrases, and some are as old as the hills, there are some that really spill out the truth, and merit a return trip past them to make sure I get all the words down, just right. This week I have found one of those. I have passed it several times on my way to work and back home. It hangs in front of a small, but busy, church. It can’t be missed, as the two lane road is on a hill.
‘God can fill that place in your heart completely, but everything else must first be gone.’
Powerful. Truth. Thought-provoking. As I pass that sign, I begin thinking about it. It makes me think first, what does it mean, and second, what can I do with it? What can we all do with it?
Think of the heart. Yours, mine, anyone’s. The heart has four chambers, vessels, ventricles. It pumps oxygenated blood to the body, and passes through the lungs to reoxygenate before it re-enters the heart. Well, it is something like that! It is the core of the body. It nourishes the rest of the body, including the brain, with the oxygen rich blood it requires to function.
Now, think of the four chambers as rooms. The vessels and ventricles are doors, in and out. The oxygenated blood is food, air, all we need to survive. The heart becomes a house.
So if we open up our hearts, and throw everything unhealthy out, like the blood that has no oxygen, we have an empty four room house. It is waiting to be inhabited. If we prepare it correctly, and allow God to come in, the heart becomes His dwelling place. He has complete freedom to inhabit each and every room. He is King of that domain. Nothing can enter in without first going through Him. He has filled that ‘place’ in our hearts with the best thing…Himself.
It’s hard to lay everything down, to leave it on the alter, and walk away. But it is required for God to move in completely, and make our heart what He wants it to be. He fills it up with Himself, and He makes us new. We function better than we ever have. It is worth purging the soul, taking time for deep introspection, and then making the decision to empty our hearts out before the Lord, that He might enter in and inhabit them. His presence, forever.
‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.’ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)