This old saying rings so true and, most appropriately, can cause us to question if where we call home is genuinely answered with a heart devoted to God. When we find our heart is wholly consumed by our love for Him, there our home is found. Whether our physical locations may change, our circumstantial surroundings may evolve, or our relational involvements may fluctuate, if our hearts are focused on Him, our comfort is biblically based and, regardless of the trials of life, the foundation of this home cannot be cracked. Where is our heart? The answer to that is also the answer to where our home is.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27 – emphasis added). I’m not a student of translating Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic; however, the term “all” as an English word is synonymous with complete, whole, entire, total. There isn’t a doubt, even a seemingly reasonable one, that our Lord is commanding His children to dedicate our love to Him, first and foremost. He reiterates this expectation in Exodus 34:14, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” How, then, can we have enough room in our hearts to love anything, or anyone, besides Him? Especially if His requirements are to have all of our love? If we devote ourselves to loving our spouses, our children, our friends, our extended family, and our fellows in need, how can this be accomplished without forsaking our first love (Revelation 2:4)? Our love for Him that needs to be first, properly placed with priority above all else?
As always, answers can be found in Scripture. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). And as answers generally induce more questions, this is asking, “Where is your treasure?” or “Where have you placed your priorities?” and, therefore, “Where is your heart found?” If our answers to these are anything but in God, our jealous God, our hearts are filled with misplaced devotion, upside down priorities, and the illness of idolatry that the Bible strictly forbids us to partake in. All of our heart must be found in our love for Him, His decrees, and His Word.
Scripture tells us that when our hearts are dedicated to loving God, that loving others will inevitably flow from it (John 7:38; 1 Timothy 1:5; Luke 6:45; Proverbs 4:23). It can be reasoned that, coming from a heart that is full of love for the Lord, He will empower us to learn how to rightly love those around us as His second greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). It is only when our allegiances are more focused on pleasing man, or pleasing our flesh, that we are mislead. Times in our lives where we feel as though our world is crashing down around us, or our sole focus appears to be meeting the expections of others, God can bring about harsh discipline to reel us back in to set our course towards finding true contentment in Him alone. Where we lay our heads, where we nurture our desires, or where we find solace and comfort in the midst of struggles, are only physical constraints that, if driven by any other compass than one set straight on God, despair will undoubtedly enter in. Even though He can bring much change for us in our surroundings, if our foundation is solid in Him, the walls that surround us will not be of concern. As difficult as this may be to swallow, when God serves us up a full plate of His discipline, we ought to welcome these trials as holy urgings to set our hearts aright.
So, where have you built your home? From where do you get your pleasure? Or seek your treasure? If, when, the walls come tumbling down, or our pleasures are appearing unfulfilled, then it is safe to assume we’re placing our hearts in the incorrect home. Time to relocate. Time to readjust our compass and fill our whole hearts with a devotion that strives to please God. Not that this isn’t a tough road to venture down, ridding ourselves of the idols in our hearts, but well worth the struggle when we realize that it isn’t the physical, relational, or circumstantial surroundings that sustain us. It is only Him that is to consume our hearts, His love that’ll carry us, His discipline that’ll cause us to consider whether we have a heart filled with Him, or a heart dabbled in idolatrous interests. A simple test question to encourage us to gauge if our hearts are at home in Christ Jesus: could we lose our health, our loved ones, our home structures, our income, our creature comforts and still find that we love the Lord our God with all our heart?