When Bev and I were still raising our children we worked at making our home a place of wholeness and holiness. Does that sound overly pious to you? Before you conclude that ours was a joyless, gloomy house, let me tell you that we laughed a lot. We were not a monastery by a long shot. But, we made it our aim to welcome the Spirit in our home. We didn’t invite profanity to fill the air. We didn’t leave conflict unresolved. We practiced forgiveness. The music that filled our home was not about sex, booze, or brokenness. Instead, the songs that created the background were about loving God. It was our conscious desire to invite the Spirit.
Often people, even those who had no faith, remarked about the peace they felt when they spent time in our home. Why? They sensed His Presence!
Are you welcoming to the Holy Spirit of God or is your ‘worship’ just something you talk about?
Does God find that you have a real interest in knowing Him or that you are just looking for some favor when you kneel in prayer?
Is your heart a place where His Presence is ‘at home’ or is there a gap between the words you say about loving Him and your actions that communicate a different message?
Jesus tells us “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23, NIV) It not just our words that welcome Him, it is our attitude of obedience. In another passage, Jesus spoke of those who knew the right things to say but whose hearts were far from God! Does that describe how He sees me, you? Our actions can ‘grieve the Spirit of God.’ (Eph. 4:30) The choices we make each day – about the way we speak, the things we value, the entertainment we consume, the places we go – either extend hospitality to the Spirit or that makes Him feel unwelcome. Could the Word be more clear than this? “Do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. … Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:30-32, NLT)
Again, I want to ask you does the way you live your life invite the Spirit of the Lord to ‘at home?’ Are you filled with the Spirit?
Jesus taught that it is not just the first encounter with Him, when we repent and are cleansed from our guilt and shame that matters to God. We need to become disciples who match our profession of faith with lives of devotion. Take a look at His words. They are sobering in their implications for those who try to live at a distance from the Lord.
“When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil.
When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’
On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up.
That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.
“That’s what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren’t hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.” (Matthew 12:43-45, The Message)
Is it time to do some serious house cleaning, to change up some things so that the Spirit is welcomed? Make your heart hospitable to the Presence of God.
Here is a word from the Word. Will you hear it?
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.“ (Psalm 1:1-3, NLT)
There’s nothing worth more
that will ever come close
No thing can compare
You’re our living hope
I’ve tasted and seen of
the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
and my shame is undone
In Your Presence Lord
You are welcome here
Come flood this place and
fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what
our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your Presence
Let us become more aware
of Your Presence
Let us experience the glory
of Your goodness
Bryan Torwalt | Katie Torwalt
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