What’s Hiding in My Heart?

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I know the outside isn’t as important as the inside. But I still whirl about my home like a little tornado trying to fluff everything just right before we welcome guests like we did a few weeks ago for a Christmas party. I love making my home beautiful and welcoming.

front gate

But there is never enough time to do it all. So at the last minute, I grab the random piles, the mail, my purse, my husband’s backpack, his piles, leftover glitter or glue or my framing gun from my latest project, whisk them off the island to hide in my laundry room/office. Large items I don’t know what to do with go in the garage, turned playroom, turned storage space now that the kids and the ping-pong table are gone.

The hidden debris in those two rooms are too much like my heart. No one need know what’s in there when the doors are shut tight and the outside tidied.

Many years ago as a new believer in Christ I was given a tiny book, My Heart Christ’s Home, which describes what it’s like for Jesus to come into our hearts, entering its various rooms.

Walk with me through the rooms of my house. Try to think about your own heart as we go. What rooms need to be cleaned for Him? Learning more about prayer always starts with purifying our hearts.

The entryway of my house is a small space, but it’s important nonetheless. It’s the first taste, the first experience of welcome for anyone who crosses my threshold.

front door

When my kids and grandkids come, I throw the door open wide. Dennis and I run outside to greet them with hugs, kisses, and exclamations of delight. Guests who are friends don’t receive such an exuberant welcome but are still greeted warmly and eagerly. Strangers, however, receive a wary reception… if the door is opened at all.

What kind of welcome has Jesus received in the entryway of your heart?  Is He more like family or is He only a guest you don’t feel comfortable with yet? Maybe Jesus is still a stranger to you, standing outside your door, knocking to see if you will invite Him in.

It takes courage to turn the handle, to say to His face, “I don’t love God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. I don’t love my neighbor as myself. I am guilty, and I need forgiveness and pardon.* Will You come in and make me whole?”

welcome

It is that admission though that frees Jesus to enter our hearts and make His home within.  And it is also that same heart attitude that keeps your relationship with Him alive and vibrant forever. “Search me and know my heart,” is a prayer we need to pray regularly.

Just inside our front door are three rooms with a very open floor plan.  This is where we do most of our living and Jesus wants to share life with us in these spaces. We gather with friends, watch television or movies, share meals with family and friends, and have private conversations just the two of us about so many things.

back patio

Would He approve of what our eyes behold? Would Jesus wince at the way we talk about other people? What guilt or anxiety is swept under the rug?  Is there fear of the future spilling down the stairway?  

And then there is pride of all sizes, shapes and colors that resides in every heart’s home. How often do we check to see if it crept back in when we left the door open or weren’t paying attention? Is it in subjection to Jesus?

In the early days of His indwelling, we eagerly sit with Jesus in the kitchen of our souls. We listen to His words and talk with Him about our many questions. But for most of us who have lived long with His presence, our hunger for that time around the table with Him wanes.  Over time we rush by with only a word or two, complain about all that is wrong, and even demand He fix things.

dinner table

There is nothing wrong with asking Jesus to repair all that is broken, but too often we forget He is a person who wants a relationship with us. And that requires a two-way conversation.

It’s easy to  forget God sees all that is in our hearts. He knows if pride is ruling.

It’s also easy to think God is silent. He is not. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. And they heard the sound of Him walking just as we can hear our family members steps. A real relationship with Jesus today means He wants access to every room, every corner of our lives.  Is He reigning in your heart?

Every home has bedrooms, small spaces, closets and corners that guests never see.

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Does Jesus have access to those rooms of your heart? Is there dirt from sin that you haven’t bothered to clean out? Are there secrets hiding in boxes on the very top shelf? Are there shameful images He would see if He scrolled through your laptop or phone?  Would you want to hide if He scanned all the books on your shelves to see what you’d been reading?

Or would He smile, and say, “I like what you’ve been giving your time to in these spaces of your life. I am pleased to be in your heart. I feel welcome here”?

Jesus said in John 8:29, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” That has become my goal in my home and my heart this year. Is it yours?

As we start this New Year we want to join you for a healthy look within. May you give Jesus greater access to all the rooms of your heart. It is the starting place for a living prayer relationship with Jesus your King.

 

*1. Hidden Christmas, Tim Keller, page 60

*2.  Psalm 139:23

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16 thoughts on “What’s Hiding in My Heart?”

  1. Dear Barbara,
    I just came across your blog at a moment when I was feeling frazzeled. My two teen kids and two young adult kids living in my home can still overwhelm me. I expected them to be more cooperative as they grew but that’s mot the case. I just pray that my heart is not as messy as my home gets within minutes. I need to guard my heart every hour in order for it to be welcoming to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to take over.

  2. Dear Barbara, Thank you for your lovely article and sharing pictures of your beautiful home. That’s just it, though: I don’t have a beautiful home and I’ve always wanted one. So it’s hard not to be a little jealous.

    1. thank you for your honesty. recognizing how you feel is important but take it to Jesus and ask Him to give you peace about all that He has or has not provided. That’s how we make our hearts His home.

      And after 44 years of marriage we have the time to spruce up our spaces and make improvements that weren’t possible when we had six kids living at home creating chaos every day. Time does make a difference.

      Blessings to you.

      1. Dear Barbara, how kind of you to reply. I was really touched by what you said about taking it all to Jesus and commending me for being honest. May God always continue to bless you with your beautiful home. Also, I have to say, you have impeccable taste!

  3. Thank you once again Barbara for urging me to welcome Jesus into “all of my rooms”. There should be no place that is hidden. God Bless you and your family and I wish to compliment you on your “welcoming” home.

  4. Thank you for the reminder that only Jesus can cleanse my heart! I tend to hold onto things that I can later use for the wrong reason. As I invite Him in, I am praying for a total cleansing so I can have that relationship with Him that has all the pride, jealousy, unforgiveness, and excuses removed!!

  5. Thank you for this blog post/devotion. I’m often distracted in unintentional in my prayer life. I plan to….I will change that. I will pray the Bible, be consistent with talking with God, be constant in reading the Word of God. This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for your words! I needed your story in more ways than one! Personally, I have rooms to clear…before I believe God will even consider blessing me with more…if I can’t handle what he’s given me thus far…what makes me think I deserve more? I’m not just referring to “things”…but different areas in my life that are unsettled. I am a work in progress…but oh how I have grown! I can’t imagine feeling more LOVE in my heart for our Master…but I’m sure willing to let it grow and receive! Lastly…if you don’t mind…can I please borrow Psalms 139:23 and also use as MY NEW YEARS SEASON VERSE? It resonates with everything I’m seeking!

    Again, thank you for such a heartfelt motivating piece, it turned on some light bulbs in my dimly lit room up there! LOL! BTW…I have to tell you, and plz don’t take it in any weird stalker, freaky person way… my words are completely from my heart! Your products, every website…your stories, every single piece you produce, your entire brand…truly depicts the love you express within your heart…for our Lord and Savior! You have a truly beautiful soul! AND…BY FAR YOUR PRODUCTS ARE MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE…EVER!!! More people need to focus on their Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ than anything else! If ever you allow distributors…direct sell partners…I’m all over it!! God Bless You and Your Family in the New Year!

    1. sorry…didn’t think the pic would be THAT BIG!!! It is of myself and my beautiful Daughter at our annual Church…Women’s Christmas Tea and Dedication Dinner. Just happens to be my fav picture right now!

  7. I just love everything you write. My heart is forever blessed by your ministry. Thank you for the reminder of a clean heart for Jesus.

  8. I found this article interesting in how the rooms in our home can be linked to the rooms in our heart. I have been through a lot in my marriage of ten years and I must say I am learning to forgive my husband even though I am not sure I want the relationship to continue. But I have learnt that in order for God to reign in my heart and take away all my sadness, pain and miserableness, I have to de clutter what I have stored up all these years. Thank you

  9. I remember that little booklet about making my heart Christ’s home! As a new believer it impacted me as well. Thru the 30 years of marriage we’ve moved 14 times and I always take the opportunity to clean house of unwanted and unused items. Always a good, necessary & challenging process. As in the natural so too with the Holy Spirit and my heart. Thank you for the familiar reminder of how important it is to keep our house in order and welcoming of the Holy Spirit! May 2017 be uncluttered and our hearts be a happy place for good things to dwell!

  10. Thank you for this blog..
    I needed it today.
    I do want to start this year with devoting more time in prayer and reading my bible this year.. I let busyness distract me . I’m not always intentional on how I spend my time and I have let certain bad attitude or bitterness or resentment clutter my heart.

    So thank u for reminding me where to start to de-clutter.

    1. Wow!! Really sums it up! I have allowed pride to dwell in a corner of my heart and I don’t like it!! I am going to make a conscious effort to allow Christ to purify every area of heart, starting now!

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