We’ve laid the foundation in Christ alone. Now we begin building the structure that will become our house of worship. Over the next few posts, we’ll look at three simple components of the structure (and perhaps we’ll stay on track with this analogy, LOL!).
A house is simply a place of dwelling and we know that in the Old Testament, God commissioned both Moses and Solomon to build Him a physical temple. David, though not commissioned directly, also built a tent for the ark in Jerusalem, which was treasured by God and prophesied in Amos 9:11 to eventually be rebuilt. Then Jesus called himself the temple (John 2:19), and now under the New Covenant through the blood of Jesus, we ourselves have become temples of the Holy Spirit. Further, 1 Peter says that we are all being built up into a spiritual house together for the worship of God.
Now, for anyone to occupy a house, there has to be a point of entry. The door and windows are these primary points of access. Again, we are building a dwelling place, in this case for God – so we don’t want just anyone having access to our house.
Doors grant and forbid access. They can be locked to keep out intruders. They can be opened to welcome someone in. Doors (and windows) also conceal or reveal things on the inside or the outside. Further, doors have thresholds that must be crossed when entering or exiting.
Who has access to your house?
So let’s think about this way. We obviously want access to our own house. It is after all, our house. It is not the property of someone else. Not our parents, our siblings, or our friends. It is ours to build and maintain. Jesus indicated that we are ultimately responsible for how we build (Matthew 7). Therefore, the decision about who has access is also ours.
We can’t miss this. It is so important. And it is why so many are stuck in bondage in the Church. We are like a city without walls because we have no rule over our own spirit (house).
28 Whoever has no rule over his own spiritProverbs 25:28
Is like a city broken down, without walls.
Proverbs 4:23 says that we should guard our hearts with all diligence. This house we are building is a structure at the center of which is our own heart. It is the core of who we are as spiritual creations of God. And it must be protected.
The door and windows are the barriers to entry, so they must be well-established and guarded.
Departing slightly from the direct parallels of our analogy, let’s consider closely the following passage from Proverbs 4 and how it might connect. What we allow into our spiritual house, mainly through our eyes and ears, is definitely addressed in God’s word.
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”Proverbs 4:20-23 NKJV
Notice where the focus of the eyes is in these verses. That’s right, on God’s word. How many other things beckon for our gaze? And what is it that is truly beckoning? Satan tempted Eve by appealing to the forbidden fruit, and Eve saw that it was pleasing to the eyes (Genesis 3:6). There are plenty of things that we look at that appear pleasing to us that are actually Satanic in nature because they are attempting to lure us into our own kingdom (which is really Satan’s rebellious kingdom) and away from God’s kingdom.
Notice next where these words of God are to be held. “Keep them in the midst of your heart.” So this is to keep the word of God inside the house. How many things are we letting in our house through our eyes (and ears) that do not have a place next to God’s word? That are not there to establish His kingdom, but actually to incite a rebellion inside of us. Most of us probably need to evict some unwanted guests. And so much of it begins with what we are allowing into our eyes and ears.
If left unchecked, unwanted thoughts, images, and desires can easily take up residence in our house when they had no right there to begin with. It is up to us to maintain rule over our own house. That’s why Paul said we are to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Our thought life is not hidden from God. As much as we would like to think we can shove all the dirt and mess into the closet and close the door when Jesus comes knocking, we need to fully embrace the reality that He already knows all of it (Psalm 139:2). You see, whether or not we allow God access to our heart (our house), He’s got full knowledge of what’s in there anyway.
And this is the power of the gospel. While our house was yet full of mess, dirt, clutter, and spiritual junk, Jesus died for us. He solved the problem so that instead of shoving it in the recesses of the attic, we can just as much have the Holy Spirit junk removal service come and haul it off, leaving us with a clean and tidy space that can now be occupied by a welcome guest, Jesus Himself. And many of you are not healed and set free from junk in your life because you have not allowed the Holy Spirit to remove it for you and clean your space up. (We’ll talk more about this later.)
Crossing the threshold
Finally, in order to access a house you must cross a threshold. There is not only a position outside and inside of house, but a transition point for changing such positions. To dwell with God, or to allow Him a place inside your house, you must allow him to come in and take up space. So much of our life is spent allowing everything BUT God in (mostly through our eyes and ears) and there is often no room left for Him.
On the other side of that coin is the exit. We’ve got to spend time evicting and removing things, thrusting them across the threshold of our doorways. If a thief breaks into your house, you don’t ask him nicely to leave. You use whatever force necessary to protect your home. What most of us have done is failed to recognize the unwanted guests in our own home. We’ve gotten so used to them that we don’t realize they are thieves and robbers. So we sit with them and allow them to take advantage instead of serving them an eviction notice.
Matthew 11:12 says “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” If the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21), then you need to be violent about taking control over your own (spiritual) house.
Evicting the enemy
Spend some time taking stock of what’s occupying your home.
- What are you allowing in through your eyes that is contrary to the kingdom of God?
- What are you allowing in through your ears that is contrary to the kingdom of God?
- What is already taking up residence that is unwanted in your life? Have you served it an eviction notice?
Luke 6:45 tells us that what comes out of our mouths indicates what is in our hearts.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.Luke 6:45
If you want to know what’s in your house that ought not be there, pay close attention to your words. Are you constantly complaining? Are you constantly laying claim to fear and anxiety? Are you critical of others? Are you down on yourself? Are you expressing excessive anger toward people or situations? What is triggering you and how are you responding to it through your words? These are some likely indicators of unwanted guests in your house.
If you recognize these things and don’t want them there, then you can literally begin by saying “[name the intruder, i.e. ‘fear’], I’m serving you an eviction notice in the name of Jesus.” Then seek God for discernment and strategy on how to take those thoughts captive and war against everything that is raising itself up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). It may be that you need deliverance and we’ll address that in more detail later.
Speaking of deliverance, if you haven’t seen the movie “Come Out In Jesus Name,” I highly recommend it. It is now streaming on most major streaming platforms. It is a great introduction to the ministry and reality of the need for deliverance. For further study on the topic, I’d recommend Derek Prince’s book “They Shall Expel Demons.” You can grab it here.
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