Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tend the Secret Place


Years ago, I heard a teaching by Allen Hood of International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. He spoke about Adam tending the Garden of Eden and walking with God in the cool of the day. He talked about how Adam cared for the place of communion between himself and the Lord. I loved that picture.

Do you have a special place where you meet with God? A room, or a garden? If inside, perhaps you use candles or have specific elements which beautify the place where you pray. If outside, perhaps there are trees, a bench, flowers, wind chimes, etc. which enhance the space.

Or perhaps you have no specific place where you commune with God. We're supposed to pray without ceasing. And we certainly move about during the day, so we take the garden with us.

Your heart is a garden for God. Our affectionate Father is the One who tends the garden of your heart. Jesus is the source from which you grow. (see John's gospel) Whenever a new heart state flourishes (patience, love, kindness, gentleness . . .), yours is a fruitful garden. Sometimes God prunes back unproductive areas of your life, or areas where He'd rather you not focus in order to be more effective in other areas of his choosing. Sometimes there are dry seasons in the gardens of our hearts. Sometimes there are floods (of joy and provision). Sometimes there are stormy seasons (of pain and heartache). As you cooperate with God's work in your life, you are tending the garden of your heart. And we can always trust God is at work, changing us.

One more note about a specific, physical place where you meet with God. He created us with five physical senses. Don't be afraid to engage with Him in those senses when you commune with Him. Go ahead, add inspirational artwork, or candles or music. Grab your favorite journal and the Bible and enjoy. Sip grape juice, too, if you want. (smile) However you'd like to tend the secret place, do it. Enjoy your time with God. Tend the secret place both by contributing to its atmosphere, but also by being present there with God.

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