“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Our homes, are place like no other. They are where our personal life are centered. A lot of us are selective about who we let into our home.
Home is where memories are built, people are most themselves. There are different styles, I think of my home as the place to enjoy my family, an oasis from the stress of life, a refuge to rest. A home is a sanctuary. However, our homes get cluttered sometimes and since it’s our home, for better or for worse we still stuck in there are try make things better. Cleaning is something we all prefer to avoid, but it’s something that is necessary. When it comes to cleaning house, the more we neglect doing what is needed, the worse things get, and the longer it will to take to get clean again.
I considered how our hearts are like messy houses at times. On the outside we look in order, but on the inside our hearts are full of clutter – clutter such as unforgiveness, bitterness, self-condemnation, sadness, lack of joy, worry and much more. All this clutter makes for a huge mess behind the closed doors of our hearts. Just as putting off cleaning our homes creates chaos around us, the longer we allow our hearts to stay cluttered and messy, the more messes our bad habits make in our lives. Think about the havoc negative self-talk, selfishness, or grumpy attitudes have caused in the past.
Your Home belongs to God
The idea of being stewards of what God gives us is that we don’t really own anything, all we have belongs to God including our homes. On the one hand, our homes are the most personal of spaces, a place of rest and peace, yet on the other hand our homes belong to God. Our homes are entrusted to our care, but we are called to do our best in using our homes in the service of God. The Lord gives us stewardship, but our homes belong to God.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. (Mark 1:29-34)
Crowds came to Peter and Andrews’s house because Jesus was there. Jesus may not call us to use our homes in the same way, but invite Jesus into your home, and others will notice, they will see the difference Jesus makes in your house, they will be amazed, they will want the same thing, your home will be a light for Christ to your friends who are struggling with their own messy homes, your life will be an example of Jesus Christ bringing you peace and wholeness. Peter and Andrew let their home be a gathering place for the town to come and meet the Lord.
No matter how cluttered your house gets, no matter how out of control your life, invite the Lord Jesus Christ to enter your home. There is a sacred canopy over all of life, so that no matter where you are, the Lord is available, he is knocking at the door of your home, invite him in, don’t worry about the messy kitchen, the clothes all over the place, the beer cans, the cigarettes ash trays. The Lord will clean up your life. To let somebody into your home is to let them in your life. No matter the state of your home & life, let the Lord Jesus Christ come in. He is knocking at the door.
Your home is your sanctuary, the most personal of places; when you invite Christ into your house, when you don’t leave him at the door looking in, when you are totally honest about the condition of your house, and when he helps to transform your clutter, other people will notice:
“That evening at sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus” (Mark 1:32).
Create room for the Lord in your Home
Another familiar story we all know about two sisters who were both close friends with our Lord; Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42
Jesus is invited over to dine with them, to share their meal and their home. He arrives just in time to see Martha bustling from room to room, sweeping here and there, and getting the meal ready for their honored guest and friend. Meanwhile, Martha’s sister, Mary pours a glass of water for Jesus and sits with him in the living room, eager to hear his voice again, his words dripping with wisdom and love. Martha’s ire grows as she watches the tender scene between these friends. But someone has got to make sure everything is just right, she mutters under her breath.
Finally, she can stand it no more and walks over to them. Jesus, she says, can you believe my sister is just sitting here chatting with you when there is still a table to be set, and food to serve, and her eyes imploring him to admonish Mary for her laziness.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things, there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her.”
We all have those duties that are required of us based on our state in life, and part of living a life of virtue is fulfilling them. However, that doesn’t mean our attention to those tasks should come at the cost of neglecting our relationship with God. It would be better to have a messy home than to have a home out of a magazine spread, but be so occupied with maintaining it that we never hear God’s voice. The one thing that is needed is our relationship with God. Without it, we will truly wither and decay, no matter the state of our homes.
However, it is easy to forget that and to pull back from God when things get messy, when we feel like we can’t get control over all that is lacking in our souls. Our pride whispers, “I can’t let him see me like this, not when everything is a mess. Once I get things in order, then I can let him in.”
We don’t invite God in after everything is perfect. We invite him in so that everything can be made perfect through Him. Jesus doesn’t expect a spotless house or a gourmet meal when he arrives in the dusty home that is our stony hearts. He knows full well of what we are made, of the state of our souls. We can’t fool or impress him.
How do you invite Him to your Home?
When David prays this prayer, he desires a new heart, a clean heart, and a spirit that desires to be like Christ. David knew that the only way he could achieve a clean heart, was through the power of Christ. So it is the same with us. Therefore, we must ask God to create a new heart, a clean heart, within us and believe that as a result, our spirits will be renewed.
Like Mary, we can choose the better part. We can lay the broom down, walk over to the chair and sit with our Lord, unburdening our hearts, sharing our mess with the only one who can truly make us clean. Lord, Come to My Messy House. Think of your life as a sacred canopy, invite Jesus into all aspects, public and private, business and recreation, church and home. Lord, Come to my Messy Home.
Lord, Come to My Messy House – I seek You today and ask You to restore in me a clean heart. Help me to rid of all the clutter in my heart which is keeping me at a distance from inviting You, and preventing others from seeing You working in and through me.
Infuse me with a desire to maintain a clean heart throughout each day.