I recently received a precious letter with this comment: "The comparison of the human personality with Solomon's Temple has made a tremendous impact on me. ...This has been one of the most fascinating and life changing studies that I've done. It has blessed me, given me insight, changed me and made me more excited about my walk with the Lord than ever! Hardly anybody I know can come within 10 feet radius of me or they will hear about it."
This response thrills me, because this is exactly what happened to me 20 years ago when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the analogy of Solomon's Temple being a blueprint or a model of a New Testament believer.
Let's continue, then, our comparison of Solomon's Temple to our own internal design-spirit, heart, will, soul and body.
This month I would like to focus on the Temple's secret, hidden chambers. As previously noted, these innermost storage chambers of Solomon's Temple were supposed to be used for storing the priests' worship items for the Holy Place. However, it was here that the priests actually stored their own personal idolatrous items, thinking that since these chambers were hidden and out of sight, no one would see and no one would know.
I believe the secret recesses of Solomon's Temple correspond to the innermost, hidden part of our own souls (cheder) - the place where we hide and bury our hurts, our wounds, our painful memories, etc., thinking that no one will see and no one will know.
The reason we want to further investigate this particular area, is because a critical part of renewing our minds is the exposing, cleansing, healing and then, the filling of these hidden chambers with God's Life.
Proverbs 24:3-4 tells us that only "...by [intimate] knowledge shall the chambers cheder] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
Our Hidden, Secret Chambers
See CHART 16.
Let's begin by defining what these secret, hidden recesses are. One candidate definition might be: a hidden reservoir of mostly untrue beliefs and assumptions (A on chart), which strongly influences how we evaluate all that happens to us in the present (B). And upon which we make our choices (C). These choices then determine our actions.
In other words, when things happen to us that are painful wounds, hurts, traumatic experiences, evil deeds, etc., if we don't relinquish these things to God at the time they occur - either because we don't know how to or we don't want to - then we end up burying these things, and eventually they will affect how we think and act.
(Now, not everything that we think and feel has a hidden, root cause. But much of what makes us angry, bitter and fearful does.)
A dear Christian friend of mine shared with me recently that for years and years whenever she would see a sunset, this cold, clammy, fearful and horrible loneliness would inexplicably come over her. She said that in all those years, she never understood why this occurred.
A few years ago, she was with her older sister and they were sitting together watching a sunset. Again, the cold, clammy loneliness became apparent. She mentioned what she was experiencing to her sister. Immediately her sister said, "I bet I know the reason why." The older sister then began to relate a personal incident that had happened to my friend.
It seems that 50 years earlier, both girls and their parents were confined to a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. My friend was only three at the time; her sister was six or seven. One evening around sunset, my friend, her sister and their parents were standing watching some event in the courtyard, when my friend somehow got separated from them and spent 12 hours lost and alone.
Now, my friend obviously didn't remember this situation (she was too little), but because she now knew what that "root of her fear" was and she also knew how to confess it and give it to the Lord, she was freed. And ever since that time, she has been able to enjoy and watch every sunset without any negative feelings at all.
See, all these years the "buried, hidden and secret fear" that was never dealt with (obviously, because she was only three at the time) triggered an intense loneliness whenever she saw a sunset (even after she became a Christian). Watching the sunset wasn't the problem; nor were the lonely feelings the problem; the problem was the hidden, buried and long-forgotten fear. Once it was exposed and rooted out by God, her loneliness at sunsets completely disappeared.
We must realize that we all will continue to act out of our buried hurts and fears and insecurities if we don't begin, at some point, to allow God (by His Holy Spirit) to expose the "debris" and then deal with it as He would have us do.
Now, I absolutely agree with the Christians who say that "all we need for dealing with such problems is found in the fact that Christ died for our sins and has risen from the dead to live His life out in us." I believe this statement with all my heart.
But, how do we appropriate this fact in our everyday lives? How do we implement these truths moment by moment? How do we practically deal with such problems?
It's great to say, "Oh, just give it to the Lord." But, what exactly does that mean practically? How could my precious Christian friend have been freed sooner, without knowing exactly what it was she needed to give over to God, and the practical steps of doing that? It's like having the "answer" right at our fingertips, but until we take hold of that answer and apply it to our lives, it's not going to do us any good.
What good is owning a motorcycle helmet and knowing it will prevent us from injury, if we simply keep that helmet in our garage and never put it on?
It's the same with the resources that God has given us. If we don't appropriate them (either because of our ignorance - we don't know how; or our disobedience - we don't want to) they will not do us any good at all. Our lives will never be changed.
So, it's imperative that we allow God to expose, root out, and throw down our hidden fears, insecurities, and negative thinking. We must learn to deal with these things in the way God would have us. If we don't, then we'll end up acting out of them, rather than out of God's Life.
A sweet girl wrote me recently with a wonderful analogy, "There's a lot that I have swept under the carpet over the years (thinking no one will see; no one will know). I can just see myself in a few years tripping over all the huge lumps in the rug and wondering to myself, why on earth can't I walk straight."
Inner Court Ritual
The practical application steps of cleansing that, I believe, we must take in order to deal with "anything that is not of faith," are based on the actual steps that the priests took in the Inner Court of Solomon's Temple in order to deal with their own sin and be reconciled to God.
These steps, then, are not just something that I have made up or something that I have found in a psychology book or a self-help book, but they are the actual process that the Lord has laid out for us in Scripture in order "revenge all disobedience." (2 Corinthians 10:6)
We will expound further about these steps in future articles (and these steps are covered "in detail" in the Be Ye Transformed book), but I thought you might want an "overview" here, since we constantly refer to them.
I recommend putting each of these essential steps on 3x5 cards and keeping them with you at all times, because things will happen when you are out on the road and away from your Bible and notes. So, you'll want to keep these cards handy - in your purse, briefcase or in your car, until they become "first nature" to you. God is always faithful and when we do our part, He assuredly will do His.
Going through these four essential steps every time we are confronted with a hurtful remark, a painful situation, pride, fear, resentment, bitterness, and so on, is the only way we can stay cleansed and prepared vessels for what God might call us to do next. These steps are our own responsibility. We must:
1) Recognize, acknowledge and experience the negative thoughts, emotions and desires that have just occurred. Don't vent these feelings and don't bury them. Get alone with God and experience your emotions. Name how you are feeling. Ask Him to expose the real root cause of your ungodly thoughts and feelings.
2) Confess and repent of any negative thoughts and feelings that are "not of faith" or that you have held on to for awhile. Choose to "turn around" from following what these are telling you and choose instead to follow what God is saying.
A part of this step is also to unconditionally forgive others involved. God will then forgive your sins.
3) Give over to God all that He has shown you, not only the conscious negative thoughts and emotions, but also their root causes. He will then purge your sin and reconcile you to Himself.
4) Read God's Word. Be sure to replace the lies with the Truth. He will then cleanse and heal your soul with "the washing of the water of the Word."
How Can These Hidden Chambers Become Cleansed?
This brings us to three essential questions:
- How can we catch our negative thoughts and emotions before they go into our hidden chambers?
- How can we get rid of the ones that are already in there?
- How can we reprogram the truth back in?
"Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom." ( Psalm 51:6)
I believe God wants these hidden chambers (this innermost part), in His perfect timing and in His perfect way, to be cleansed, healed and then filled with the knowledge of the Truth. Then we will be able to genuinely walk in the Fear of God and not the fear of man.
One of the Scriptures that validate that God wants these hidden chambers exposed and cleansed is 2 Chronicles 29:16.
This verse says that the priests went into the inner part of the Temple of the Lord (i.e., the hidden chambers) and brought into the Court of the House (i.e., the Inner Court) all the uncleanness that they found.
The Levites then looked at the garbage (they saw it for what it was) and then they took the debris out to the Kidron Brook where they disposed of it.
I think the analogy is clear. God wants to show us the things in our hidden chambers, so that we can "see" and understand what exactly it is that we need to give over to Him. Again, it's impossible to give things to Him, if we don't understand what exactly they are.
Psalm 32:5 says, "I acknowledge my sins and I will confess my transgressions."
Seeing the Debris
When we ask God to reveal the debris in us to us, it's important that we not wade in it, again live through it, or spend years churning it over and over again in our counseling sessions.
We are simply to acknowledge and confess what God has revealed, repent of it (which means to choose to turn around from following it) and give it over to Him (the Inner Court Ritual). Only then can we truly be cleansed and healed.
God loves us so very much that He wants us freed - freed from our selves; freed from other's reactions; freed from our circumstances; and, freed from the enemy's influence in our innermost man.
This freedom comes only by constantly renewing our minds - putting off the junk and putting on Christ, even in the hidden part. Jesus wants "...truth in our inward parts (in our secret chambers)..."
God is a gentleman, however, and He won't force these things from us. We must be the ones to make the appropriate faith choices to willingly open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit's search and, as He reveals things, hand those things over to Him. He then, will be faithful to cleanse us, heal us and then, fill us with "all precious and pleasant things."
As He says in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
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