Is God in Your House?

 By Marcy Barthelette

I love the look of surprise on Ken’s face when he walks into a room after I have turned his personal world upside down. You see, I simply love making a room look new by rearranging furniture and accessories. There are areas of my life in which I really embrace change and my home is one of those places. It’s a real challenge in our current home because of the room layouts and placement of certain permanent pieces like the TV and fireplace. They may slow me down a little, but I won’t let those restrictions stop me. Even when I’m not actually moving things, I’m studying the current layout and searching for ways to make it flow better or provide easier access to those items we use on a daily basis. I draw room layouts and sometimes I even go so far as to draw plans for a home I may be dreaming about. My creative side is always painting new virtual masterpieces and my home is my canvas, as long as I don’t upset Ken’s world too much. He often notices me standing in a room looking around thoughtfully and he knows change is afoot.

I recently had a pause to contemplate the important images my home should reflect. As I watched online the Sunday service at our daughter’s church in Willow Springs, I was intrigued by some of the points brought forth by their pastor. The sermon was titled When God Is In the House and it prompted me to ask myself how much of the time I behave as if God is in my house, referring to the brick-and-mortar structure that I dwell in, but also the temple that is my body, my mind, and my soul.

When Jesus entered the temple of His day, He found men cheating tired travelers who had come to celebrate Passover and He was incensed. To use the temple for such a vile purpose added insult to injury. Is it any wonder that He forcefully drove this evil from His Father’s house?

Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple.

He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. Matthew 21:12

I wonder how often I allow financial issues to cloud my vision. When God expects me to give back to Him a portion of what He gave to me or when I see a financial need in someone else’s life, how often do I choose to buy that new electronic device I’ve been wanting, or in times when COVID didn’t control our lives, did I choose dinner out for myself rather than providing food to someone who was truly hungry? I’m not saying we shouldn’t have things that make our lives more pleasant or that we should never go out for dinner. It’s when we do those things to the exclusion of others who may be in need that we might want to re-examine our values. Always be sure that God is in your house.

The sermon I referred to cited the example of getting all the necessary permits in order, hiring a contractor, and building a church, but if we don’t have God living inside those walls, it’s still just a building, it has no soul.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1a

 And likewise, if you and your spouse don’t include God in your marriage, all you have is a living arrangement. And if the family is at odds over its core values, it will not survive.

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:25

 The other important point in the sermon was that Jesus and Satan will not, under any circumstances, share a home. That’s a pretty important statement and one we shouldn’t take lightly. We have to choose who we will invite to share our home and whether you choose Christ or Satan, the furniture will certainly be re-arranged.

But think about this, when you choose to invite God in, He always leaves your home better than He found it (excerpted from the previously cited sermon) and He only grants us access to His home if we invite Him into ours.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

Don’t let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of God. Author Unknown

One last thought as we continue our annual journey to the cross. My husband was recently looking at the Bible he received on his twentieth birthday in 1963. He was stationed in California at the time and was enjoying a reunion with his older sister and her family. They had been on opposite coasts for a number of years and then he enlisted in the Air Force and traveled a bit before being assigned to Beale Air Force Base and landing on her doorstep The Bible was a gift from them. He chanced to read the presentation page on which he had written:

It is easy to crowd Christ out because He will never crowd himself in. Ken Barthelette

I have borrowed some very wise words from the wise people around me. I hope they offer you pause for thought as you ask yourself this question; Is God in my house?

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