One Saturday evening in the 1970s, I was relaxing at home when I felt prompted to go into the study and started typing. This is what came:
God’s House – A Conducted Tour
I cannot show you all of it because there is much more to it than meets the eye and it’s more like a mansion than a house. There are rooms I haven’t been in yet, but I hope I will one day. There are rooms you can tell me about: rooms that you know about and I don’t because you have been there and I haven’t.
We begin with the hall that is remarkably large, in fact it’s more like a railway station than the hall of a house. There is a lot going on in the hall and it is almost like a house in itself. Many people seem to live there supposing that this is all there is to it.
There are more doors than I can count, all leading into the hall of the house. Each of them carries a label: one reads ‘Sunday School’, another ‘Baptism’, another ‘Women’s Meeting’, another ‘Young Wives’, yet another ‘Men’s Meeting Point’. The hall is a meeting place for everyone in the house.
On the far side of the hall there are two swing doors marked ‘Jesus’. Here I pause, puzzled. I had not properly noticed them before and the feeling I have as I look at them is that they don’t lead anywhere. Is not the hall all there is to the house? Do these doors just lead outside again – or what? Just then a voice in my ear whispers: ‘Try them and see’.
Looking round, I find that it is a servant of the Master who has spoken to me inviting me to go through the doors marked: ‘Jesus’. ‘How do I go through?’ I ask. ‘Just lean against the door’ is the reply. ‘Give your whole weight to it. Give your whole self to the Door and it will open.’ I try it and it does. I find myself in a room with unaccustomed brightness and it takes me a while to get used to the light. Somehow I feel different. I feel as if I’ve changed in some way. One thing I know: it is great to be in the Light.
I go back into the hall and try to tell them about the light, thinking that they will be as enthusiastic about it as I am, but they’re not because they’ve not seen it yet. They don’t know that it is there and many of them are concerned with other things.
Sadly, I turn back to the door marked ‘Jesus’ and this time I find that it opens of its own accord as I approach it. It takes some time for my eyes to get used to the brightness but then I notice that there are a lot of people there. Somehow this comes to me as a surprise that there have been others who have gone through the door before me. Having left the people in the hall I am not alone after all. I notice a knot of people clustered round another door marked ‘Baptism’. They appear to be arguing about the label on the door.
‘I’ve been baptised already’ says one.
‘I was baptised as a baby’ says another.
‘Read the label more closely’ says a third.
Surprised, they turn to look at the label on the door again and find that it reads not ‘Baptism’ but ‘Baptism in the Holy Spirit’.
Just beyond this door, there are other smaller doors which can be seen clearly. Most of them have groups of people around them discussing the label on the door. There is a large group in front of a door marked ‘Speaking in Tongues’. Some of them are getting heated as they argue among themselves about what, if anything, lies on the other side of the door. Just then, someone comes back through the door. ‘This is a prayer room’, he says. A silence falls on those clustered round. They realise that there is a room here that they haven’t been in yet.
Another door is marked ‘Healing’. Just as I am looking at it someone comes through looking excited: ‘The Lord has just healed my daughter’, he says. Again I am left wondering.
As I look round and become accustomed to the light, I see that there are many more doors and many people going in and out of them. Then it dawns on me that the Master of the house is inviting everyone into all of it. There is no door marked ‘Private’, no corridor labelled ‘No entrance’.
This realisation makes me feel a little afraid because I don’t know what’s in the rooms I’ve not been in. My fear is a fear of the unknown, of the things I don’t understand. Then I realize something else. The Master is with me. Where He leads I will follow. I will put my hand in His and not be afraid.