The Holy of Holies


Which room in your home is your favourite?

Researchers once surveyed people about their favourite room in the house.

  • The top answer was the kitchen. People love that one. Perhaps yours is the kitchen too, or maybe somewhere else?
  • Most husbands said theirs was the bedroom.
  • Moms of young children said their favourite room was the bathroom. Especially if they could lock the door and have a few minutes of time out – soaking in a hot tub!

The idea is that you find some place where you know you are alone.
You are free of stress.
You find sanctuary—a holy place.

God wants to give us sanctuary, a place where we can meet with Him alone

  • I have a friend who finds this special solitude with God at a little coffee shop sipping a warm Latte.
  • Another friend experiences it walking through Emmarentia Botanical Gardens.
  • Another in her garden at home.
  • Still another finds it in the early hours of the morning in her lounge, before any of her family awakes.

You will recognise the place where you can be yourself before God. Being alone with God means I can be fully myself. Where is your sanctuary?

The similarity between the structure of your life and the structure of the Tabernacle

Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper wrote that there is a similarity between the structure of each individual life and the structure of the tabernacle in the Old Testament, which was divided into three compartments:

  1. There was the outer court, where everyone had access.  Like the public you, when you go to work, shop or play. This is your appearance or image, and everyone sees this part of you.
  2. In the tabernacle there was also an inner chamber called the Holy Place. Not everyone had access to this area, and most were not allowed in. You too have a holy place, the place where you only allow certain people to enter, such as your special friends or close family members. You decide who comes in and who doesn’t.
  3. Then there was one more chamber – a very small, carefully guarded place, deep inside. It was the most sacred, and they had a beautiful name for this: the Holy of Holies. It was entered only by the chief priest – for one person and God. This is an amazing truth about the depth of how God made you – because whether you are young or old, whichever place in society you find yourself, you have one of these places inside of you! Only God enters there. No other human being can come into your Holy of Holies. Your sanctuary with your God!

There are depths in each one of us that no one else will know. Parts of us we cannot put into words. But God knows. And it’s a safe and sacred place to be.
Private prayer is your soul alone with God.
Jesus had those times alone of communion with His Father.
Jesus prayed when His life was crowded and draining.

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

  • Jesus prayed when He faced important choices. “He spent the night praying to God… and chose the twelve as apostles.” Luke 6:12
  • Jesus prayed when He needed strength for His work. “Jesus said, ‘Let us go somewhere else- to nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.'” Mark 1:38
  • Jesus prayed when He was sad. “When Jesus heard what had happened (concerning the execution of John the Baptist), He withdrew …to be alone with His Father.” Matthew 14:13
  • Jesus prayed when He was worried about people He loved. “But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail.” Luke 22:32

Scripture tells us that God’s spirit is right alongside us helping us along. So make that appointment in your favourite place, your sanctuary, your Holy of Holies—with just you and God. Go ahead and invite Him . . .

You’ll be blessed to find He is already waiting for you!

{Acknowledgements: John Ortberg}

Nicola Pearce

Nicola, together with her husband Roger, pastors Every Nation Church in Rosebank, Johannesburg. They have been married for 25 years and are loving raising their two teenage sons. Her passion is for prayer and seeing people’s lives practically changed by the Word of God.

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