"I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord." Psalm 132:4-5...."We have tried to crowd into our hearts both God and ambitions, or God and unhealthy relationships, and God and money or possessions. The house of God is not the place it ought to be......Learn to see your heart as a dwelling place - and make it completely His." Chris Tiegreen
If you're like me, you've always admired David's zeal in seeking to find a place for the Temple of God, and the Ark of the Covenant which marked His Presence among His people. If you're also like me, you haven't thought overmuch as to how that relates to my heart as His dwelling place, and how much of my heart really is His dwelling place. This was brought home to me yesterday morning as I read Tiegreen's words. David had a deep, unstoppable passion for finding a place for the Lord's dwelling place. It could not be any place, and it could not be a flawed place. It had to be the right and perfect place. He would settle for nothing less, and there would be nothing else but His Presence in that place. That's when I was convicted of all the other "places" I've given to other things in my heart. Things that at various times in various ways have crowded into my heart....and crowded Him out. He seeks a place to dwell in, and that place is in our hearts. How passionately do we seek for that as well? Especially in comparison for our passion for such things as comfort, status, relationships, happiness, and security? Where and how do these and so many other things hi-jack our ardor for Him....and relegate Him to a secondary role? Where have all the "second things" become the first thing(s) in our lives?
My spirit cringes when I think of all the times and ways that I have given Him background space in my heart. Times when I chose a relationship with someone else over an ever deepening relationship with Him. Times when I chose having a prominent place in His Kingdom over His Kingdom having sole prominence in my heart. Times when I chose what my definition of "good and best" was over His. Times when my choice of path and direction won out over His. Too many times when various secondary things became, even if for just a time, the primary "thing" in my life. I tirelessly pursued them while I half-heartedly pursued Him. Where have you been just like me? Where and when might you be "crowding Him out" even now?
Such things have too often marked my life and heart in the past. I do not want them to mark these sunset years of my life now. My deepest desire is that I, like David, will not rest until my heart really is the kind of dwelling place that He can fully fill, with nothing present seeking to crowd Him out. And the beauty of this desire is that I'm not the one who makes it possible for my heart to be such. He is. When I live in the place where I can renounce every idol and competitor to His throne in my heart, He unleashes His cleansing power to oust every one that might be lurking there. And I've been around long enough to know that "the lurkers" can be and are everywhere.
The lurkers, the pretenders to the throne have to go. Will we not rest until they're gone? Will our hearts truly be a place where He can fully dwell? That's what they were made for. Is your heart and mine living out that purpose? Or, do the lurkers and pretenders keep increasing?