Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Every morning I start my day by listening to Joyce Meyer broadcast and then reading a daily devotional scripture. Today she spoke on loving your neighbor as yourself and the scripture I read was about God living in our hearts. Ephesians 3:17 read “May Christ through your faith dwell in your hearts.”
This scripture made me reflect on what type of host I was when God was first invited into my heart. He was not the only one living inside me. His roommates were Sister Angry, Uncle Resentment, First Cousin Bitterness, Neighbor Revenge, and the Twins Shame and Regret. Great environment to invite someone to come and stay. The dysfunction inside was beyond words and although I wanted God in my heart, I am sure he would have preferred a cardboard box in an alley; it would have been a more peaceful environment.
Thankfully, little by little I evicted the others from my heart and moved God into the bigger room. If I am honest, when I first invited him into my life, at best, he was sleeping on the couch and was given no indication of how long I was letting him stay. I imagine he felt as comfortable as anyone who has been invited to someone’s home and once you get there the couple is fighting either with each other or with their children. Sometimes they are not verbal with the turbulence that surrounds them but when you need a knife to cut the tension in the air, you know! This was the atmosphere that God had to endure while residing in my heart.
However, like every other situation in life, if a peaceful presence surrounds you it reminds you or shows you that chaos is not the only option you have for your life. I, like many others, seemed to be addicted to the dysfunction as it had been part of my life for so long. I was not even sure how to function without it.
As God and I spent time together, and as I really began to know him and his word, those other dwellers in my heart were evicted one-by-one. There are still times they drop in for a visit but they are not allowed to stay long; if they get in at all. Yes, I still get angry but I am learning to correct myself much quicker. Psalm 37:189 reads “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath, fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”
I no longer even think about revenge. Romans 12:19 reads “Dearly beloved, avenge not your yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
Resentment no longer has any place in my life. Mark 11:25 states “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” We are all guilty of something and ask for forgiveness. I want and need God’s forgiveness. I have forgiven others who have not asked for it because it is the right thing to do and I needed to lay those burdens down. They were detrimental to my life and walk with God.
Bitterness, shame, and regret although three separate entities they all come together in one tightly knit package. When you live feeling shame and regret it quickly leads you to bitterness towards yourself and others. Micah 7:10 tells us “…he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue and iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depth of the sea.” I had to learn to let them go. God has forgiven and forgotten and I had to learn to do the same.
God no longer is someone who requires an invitation to my life. He is a permanent fixture; he is on the mortgage as owner and operator. When I invite you to my home, it is God’s home where I reside.