24 February 2010 (Revee/Shavu'ot)
With Eternity in Your Heart
Disposing of Personal Shrines
I love the story that Debbi Pearl tells about personal shrines. She says that many women lack 'biblical soberness' as is seen in the way they treat their houses as shrines to be protected rather than as spaces in which to enjoy their families. They get emotionally upset if the carpet gets messed up or if the children accidentally spill milk on the couch. They become emotional wrecks over their physical surroundings. If you have that problem, she asks how you might feel if your husband provided nothing more than an open barn in which to deliver your first baby? That was the case with Mary, the mother of Yah'shua. Do you think Yahweh could have used Mary to be the mother of Yah'shua is she had allowed herself to become an emotional wreck when her environment was not clean or orderly? Think of the teenage girl, Mary, clinging to the back of a bouncing donkey, contractions pulling at her exhausted body while her desperate husband searched for a place for her to deliver her child.
Many have speculated as to what virtues Mary had that prompted Yahweh to choose her to be the mother of the Saviour. Debbi Pearl insists that she knows the answer to that: Mary had eternity in her heart. She was self-possessed, thoughtful, and was always learning to make wise judgments. When a young woman learns to be sober, she will not live her life for immediate gratification. She will appreciate, desire and prioritise those things that will last for eternity. 
What is your personal shrine? A shrine is where you worship - where you invest your time, emotions, thoughts, spirituality, passion, reverence, hope, love and energy. A shrine that is not devoted to eternity, with Yahweh as the sole object, is ultimately a pagan shrine. It is an idolatrous shrine even if you write the Name of Yahweh or 'Christian' on it. So what I want you to do for a minute is populate an imaginary shrine, such as the one below, with all the things that you prioritise:
A shrine is a place, location, person or object. A shrine devoted to eternity is a place, location, persion or object devoted to Yahweh-Elohim. I am in Sweden because that is where Yahweh told me to be. If I had followed my preferences, I would probably either be in England or in some warm country like the one I was born and raised in. I live in the house I live in because Yahweh showed it to me in a vision so that when I finally saw a picture of it, I immediately recognised it as 'the place'. I am not in Sweden in the house we are living in because any of my family members wanted to be here. Originally, my children hated it - now they say they don't want to live anywhere else because they love it so much. So I am not here because of any person. I am not here because of any 'object' like wonderful scenery, a climate that suits me (it doesn't), people I like or feel comfortable around, high taxes (haha), a generous welfare system, or the social environment like the undoubted friendliness of the people. I like to think I am here because I have eternity in mind not because this place - in and if itself - is what makes me 'happy'. Eternity is the basis of my happiness, not the circumstances of the moment. Someone who does not understand what eternity is might find that hard, if not impossible, to grasp. I can understand that but I'll not imitate it.
It is the disposition of every man and woman to have a shrine. We can't avoid it because it's built into us. And the choice we face is really very, very simple: either we choose eternity or we choose temporality. The person who chooses temporality is either looking at his own navel or feet (or if he is vain enough, his own face in the mirror or in the reflection of others' eyes). The person who chooses eternity sees only Yahweh. If a man chooses eternity then it is safe for a wife to see only her husband, as the Scriptures command. If a man chooses temporality then a wife is in trouble because her disposition is always towards her man. And if her disposition is not towards her man but herself then she isn't really married in the biblical way at all - marriage then becomes a temporal contract, a contract of 'I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine'. And all temporal contracts end, usually sooner than expected because one of the parties will always complain that their back isn't being scratched enough.
Yahweh says that "He has He has put eternity in the.. hearts" of those who love Him (Eccl.3:11, NKJV). We might like to consider whether we have retained it or allowed something else to knock it away.
 Debbi Pearl, Created to be His Helpmeet (NJG Ministries: 2004), pp.157-158