Secret Places

      Last year at this time I just spent about 3 weeks traveling all over southwestern Germany and even into France. I had seen a couple of big cities, many small villages, and everything in between. I was also writing an essay at the time of my travels about how cathedral/church doors had influenced culture and religion from the late middle ages into the 1800s. So needless to say doors were on my mind and I was taking lots of photos of them, above are two significant doors I brought pictures of home with me. Through writing my essay and being in communion with Christ doors came to represent something much more personal- the doors to my own heart. I have been asked before - Are there areas in your heart you are keeping the doors closed, even locked to Christ? If we are honest we can probably all answer yes. This is a reoccurring question these days as Christ continues to invade my heart and gain access to each and every door and to even hold the key himself. This week at house group a similar question struck me- but in a whole new way. 

        Is there an ‘owner’s closet’ in your life where the word of Christ doesn’t yet dwell abundantly? If so, why is that? The owners closet is referring to when you put your house on the market and the realtor is showing the house and you have to now keep everything spotless and there remains one part of the house which the realtor cannot show anyone, the owners closet. Only you know what it contains. It is private and it is protected. As I mentioned I have heard Christ asking me this question since last year about this time... and yet this time a certain phrase stood out. Dwell Abundantly. Immediate conviction set in as I rested in hearing Christ speak directly to my heart. Maybe there are doors I have let him, once or twice a week, maybe even every day at some point. Maybe I gave him the key but I kept a copy for myself - for those days when I don`t want to let him any more or I feel he`s pushing too far. Where is his word not yet dwelling abundantly. This question was followed by: How often do you read the Bible? Have you read the whole Bible? Do you take time to practice memorizing Bible verses or passages?

        My church is studying Colossians and this past Sunday was on Chapter 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

              How rich is this passage and yet how I have run through it time and time again. These questions convicted me because there are areas in my past that I only on occasion let Christ dwell in; until the pain is too much, the tears are overwhelming, then I shut him out again. What if I dared to let him dwell abundantly there? Tonight he met me in that question and he said this:

I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
-Isaiah 45:2-3

       Christ is speaking directly to this doubting and fearing heart. He will break down my doors and cut through the iron. He will give me treasures in my darkness and in the hoards of secret place in my heart- that I may know that it is HIM, the God of Israel, who called me by my name. He answered me so directly. O Lord I praise you for answered prayer. I praise you for hearing. I praise you for listening. I praise you for catching every tear that falls and loving me even in my secrets and darkness. Thank you that you are the light of the world. Continue to God to restore in me a desire for your word to know it and meditate upon it and learn it and be consumed with it. To let it dwell abundantly.

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