“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
—2 Chronicles 7:14
“If you desire to abide in the presence of God, you must allow your heart to become His home. You must be willing to allow God to have free and total access to every room in your heart. There are no secret places where the Lord is not welcome. God must be granted absolute liberty to come and go as He pleases and stay as long as He wishes.
In his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Foster says, “Prayer ushers us into the Holy of Holies, where we bow before the deepest mysteries of the faith, and one fears to touch the Ark” (p. xi). Foster has captured the fundamental biblical principle of enjoying fellowship with God not only in our prayer life, but in life as a whole. There are some essential things to put into place before we can have signs on the lawn of our heart entitled “Home Under New Management” or “Sold”. We must never put the signs out before the last transaction is finalized. Allowing God to come into our homes is one thing, but allowing God to own and manage our homes is another. Ownership is far greater than simply welcoming an invited guest.
Far too many of us have welcomed God as a visitor, but we really don’t want Him to stay too long. Abiding in God’s presence demands change. Quite often we prefer only window dressing to pretend our home is under new management. In reality we are still calling our own shots. As long as the bills are paid, lights are on, cars are new, and there is plenty of money in the bank, God is allowed to stay.
This is a shallow existence and suggests we are living our lives on our own terms instead of living according to God’s plan for our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). God is saying to His people through His prophet that deliverance from captivity is coming. God will not allow anything or anyone to foil His plan for His chosen people.
“If my people…” We are God’s people. If we are willing to abide beneath the shadow of His Almighty power, authority, and guidance, we must surrender our rights of ownership. Surrendering to His ownership and management means we are saying, “God, do as You please. We are in Your sovereign hands.” God sincerely desires to be at home in our hearts so our hands will become His help.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble them-selves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…” His words convey the process of ownership exchange. We must humble ourselves and relinquish our personal ownership to allow our hearts to become His home. This requires humility, prayer, determination, and deep change. We must “turn from our wicked ways,” our willful disobedience against God. God will not dwell in an unclean, unrepentant home which is His temple. He desires complete ownership. We are under new management. Our hearts are indeed His home.
“My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” Reverend Billy Graham
“Heavenly Father, thank You for preparing a home for us in Heaven. Father, I pray for those who are in need of a new home. A home that there will be no more suffering. No more death. No more pain. Jesus thank You for making our hearts, as faithful followers of Thee, a home that will never miss the comfort of Father God. So, LORD God Almighty, help me never to forget that our hearts are truly Your home. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”