We call it an intercom—with a chuckle or a grin. It’s really a hole in the floor upstairs—or a hole in the ceiling downstairs, depending on your viewpoint—an old heat vent in our creaky antique farmhouse, that used to serve as the sole method of heat movement to the upper rooms on sub-zero days and nights (not too effectively).
When we renovated, we replaced the old vent cover with a more sophisticated reproduction that can open or close (on the upstairs side), with a finger’s push on a little lever that shifts its iron slats to “open.”
So we can communicate one with another, each on different floors, without even raising our voices.
Or, we can shut off the opening. We can even cover it with a rug or pillow, and get privacy. But we can’t communicate via our “intercom” with it shut. We have to push aside any covering and move the little lever.
We humans have a similar intercom, and it’s amazing. By it we can communicate with the Master of Creation—and if that isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is!
But we can choose to keep that communication channel closed, and covered, (or just forget to open it) and thereby not hear from heaven, or get through to it with our questions, pleas, and praises. Only it’s different from the earthly farmhouse vent in that it opens and closes from below. Certain attitudes of mind and spirit can shut it in a snap, and keep it tightly clamped, until a change of heart pries it back open. Resentment, stubborn disobedience, indifference to God, or just preoccupation can slam the barrier. Any kind of uncorrected sin (like harbored anger, envy, malice–see Spiritual Organization) can shut it off. Then we can neither hear clearly and accurately from God, nor send our prayers effectively up to Him.
But we can remove whatever’s muffling it, and open the way to hear and commune. What an amazing privilege! A heavenly intercom!