Thursday, January 3, 2013

Keeping our Houses Swept and in Order

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  25And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  –Luke 11:24-26 (KJV)

Keeping our homes clean is always a challenge.  No matter how many people live in the house it remains an ongoing chore to keep it clean and in order.  I know this is true because I have cleaned bathrooms many times, mopped a number of floors, and washed a veritable truckload of dishes.  I have noticed over the years two extremes in this area.  One is those who have given up.  Apparently, they have come to believe that keeping a clean house is too much trouble, so they simply do not try.  The result is a house so filled with clutter that the occupants barely have a place to sit down.  The other extreme are those who become obsessed with a clean house to the point that they cannot enjoy their home for fear of getting it dirty.  Neither scenario is desirable. 

Jesus likened our lives to striving to keep a house in order.  He spoke of those who work diligently to clean their houses by sweeping them, ridding them of clutter, and making sure everything is in its place.  We too can do this with our lives by getting ourselves going the right direction, working hard at our jobs, and living lives of honesty and integrity.  Yet, Jesus indicated that there is a potential problem.  If the clean and well-ordered space of our lives is uninhabited, then something undesirable is liable to come along and fill it.  The Lord spoke in stark language of demonic forces looking for just such an empty place to come and inhabit.  When this occurs, the house, or a person’s life, is worse than the condition it was before. 

Many people think that ridding their lives of bad habits and undesirable attitudes is enough.  While getting rid of these negative elements is positive, simply removing them from our lives is not sufficient.  Faith in Christ assures that the Spirit of the Living God occupies our lives.  If the Holy Spirit fills my life, then the dark forces of the world cannot gain entrance.  The Holy Spirit is able to defend the house and keep away those evil powers.  They may stand outside and try to create trouble, but they cannot enter.

Failure to fill our lives with the Holy Spirit of God is to be vulnerable to the devil’s attacks.  Make sure that when we clean house that we are then filled with the presence of God, which comes through faith in Christ.  The Lord is willing to come into our lives and empower us, arm us for spiritual battles, and give us strength to daily walk in faith.

So, what is the condition of your house?  Is the Holy Spirit residing there?  Make sure that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life.