Some people describe coming to faith as ‘inviting Jesus into your heart’. When I was younger I found this hard to picture. What does it mean to have God himself reside inside of us? Does he – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – actually take up residence in our bodies when we start believing in him? Or is it just a way of explaining the formation of our faith through useful imagery?
There seems to be one small reference to this concept in the Bible. Ephesians 3:17 contains a prayer whereby Paul asks that Christ might “dwell in your hearts through faith”.
But I think it’s important to remember that when Christ comes to live in our hearts, or when we ‘allow’ him in, he is taking possession, lovingly, of what is already rightfully his. He bought you with a high price and you belong to him as his child.
But even though God is ‘in da house’, we’ve locked some of the doors. God is present, but we’ve shut him out of some of the rooms. Sure, he knows what’s in those rooms. He sees the contents. But sometimes we place barricades over areas of our life that we don’t want him to influence.
It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, because God made us – and knows all. He loves us and desires complete and utter surrender to his will and ways. But we, by nature, are control freaks. Giving up our ‘power’ can feel almost impossible.
But God gently urges his children to lay the barricades down. To drop our defences. To unburden our need to remain landlord of our own property, if you will.
We need to learn to hand the keys over to the one who knows where we’re headed and can be trusted with ALL of our life.
Dear Lord. So often our ‘default mechanism’ is to trust in our own strength – to be the ‘head of our house’ rather than allowing you to be. We often hold back from you, despite the fact you’ve proven yourself to be good and trustworthy and wise. We resist your loving leadership. We decline your gentle invitation. We hoard responsibilities that aren’t rightfully ours. Lord, right now, I choose to not only give you the keys to my house – but to hand over the access and rights to what is already yours. May we become well-practiced at surrender – experts at handing over and letting go. Proficient at following the one who knows the beginning from the end, and the way to true freedom. We trust in you, oh Lord and Saviour…