God’s Chapel in the Heart
It is commonly said that there is no vacuum in nature. That applies to humans also; they, who inhabit space, themselves possess a space that may be inhabited?
It is the universal experience that in every human, whether white, black, red or blue; whether rich, poor, tall or short, is a profound emptiness, often expressing itself as a deep longing to be filled, which results in a search, a desperate mystic hunger for something higher. The Creator has designed it so. To make it even easier for the seeker, that longing of all empty hearts, the Divine. brings Himself close to everyone’s door, knocking by the many means He announces His desire to come in; but the initiative remains that of the seeker to open the door to let Him in to fill that vacuum, that chapel of the heart in every life, that He has achitectured for Himself(Revelation 3:20).
Sometimes the longing for the Maker expresses itself as a search for the unknowable, the mysterious, the hidden, the future; this often drives the unguided seeker into the consulting and worship of other creatures, such as animals, celestial bodies, dead ancestors (some of them saints), or other self-acclaimed messiahs. For those who have first found Him, however, He further makes it easier, in various ways, to know His mind, thereby answering the worries about the unknowable and the future that often amplify the echoes of the empty heart.
It is not uncommon to hear it asked, How do I know the mind of God? What career should I pursue? Whom do I marry? How does God speak? How do I tell His voice from the subtle suggestions of my own mind?
There are several ways by which God brings mortals to know His mind. In the Bible passage below, three verbs indicate three basic ways (but by no means the only ways) by which the Almighty may do so. The words are, “shew,” “teach,” and “lead.”
4 SHEW me thy ways, o LORD: ‘TEACH me thy paths.
5 LEAD me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of thy salvation: On thee do I wait all the day (Psalm 25: 4-5).
2. “Shew Me Thy Ways”
To show is to point out; it suggests a visual experience; it implies the reception of information by one person from another; in other words, the involvement of another or others, aside from the seeker, in the ‘showing’ process towards their given destination. Here, the traveller does not expect to be taken by the hand and led to the destination; he or she neither expects to be carried on the back to the place. It is something they know they would do, if only they would be aided with superior information. In I Samuel 16, God told the prophet Samuel to proceed to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse, where He would “shew thee what thou shalt do” (v.3). On that journey, he was going to get to the point where he would need further direction or information, but information for that moment only: “and I will shew thee.” So, one way God opens His mind to His people is by the “showing process,” which largely suggests visual revelations such as dreams, trances visions, and so on.
May we here pray King David’s prayer, “open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Psalm 119:18).
3. “Teach Me Thy Path”
All knowledge do not come by revelation or dreams. Some knowledge come by learning. or through teaching. To show is to offer information relevant for the moment, and usually for a present action. When one is taught, however, one acquires information which is not just for a moment, but which may be applicable to other future situations.
Teaching is a process. It takes time. When some of us ask for God to reveal His will to us, we ask merely to be shown a way; we never wait to learn the way,therefore, we keep coming back again and again for the same information; whereas if we had learned the paths of God through days of instruction and obedience (with their occasional failures and triumphs, trips and skips), we would not have needed so often to ask for direction. In fact, we would ourselves have become instructors, showing others the way, as we ourselves have learned it (Hebrews 5: 12).
“No matter how much of God anyone has known, they still know very little.”
It is said that God made a distinction between Moses and the rest of Israel; that whereas He showed His acts, His wonders, His displays to the children of Israel, He showed His ways, His methods, His secrets. the formulae for the shown acts, to Moses. So, whereas the multitude saw the finished product and rejoiced at the experience, Moses saw the process, the method, the secrets, the engine room of power, the formulae for those displays (Psalm 103:7). That is similar to the difference between being shown the way, and learning His paths.
In Hebrews 5:14, the Bible speaks of those who through experience, through the process of time and relationship with the Father, have learned to tell, to discern, to distinguish between good and evil, between the voice of God and that of the devil. These do not stop at every bus stop to ask their way. By constant practice of being in the way, they have already learned enough to tell, from their own experience informed by a prolonged walk with God, what the will of God could be, and What it may not be. Their judgment would not be less inspired than if they had had a dream in which an angel had told them to take that same course of action.
God’s Chapel in the Heart