The Empty House

I’ve read “The Hunger Games” series multiple times and am reading them again now. It is interesting to me that, even though I know what’s coming, I still react so strongly to so many of the scenes.

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭43-45‬ ESV)

My reaction to these words is just as strong. One particular phrase stands out from the rest. “It finds the house empty…” In my opinion, this is one of the saddest commentaries on the human condition. If we remove all vice, take away all spiritual influences, in and of ourselves, we have an empty house.

For those of you, like me, who have known so much emptiness, I submit that there is a better choice than order, than rules, than religion. What Jesus offers is so much more, more filled, more true, more life.

We can try to fix ourselves. We can try to be good people, kind and loving. And some people are really nice people. But, it’s empty. And satan will fill that void. We can try to be religious, even Christian religious, but, it is empty. IT IS EMPTY!

Jesus said he came to give us life. He called it an abundant life. He is the only way to get it.

The only way.

“Well that’ll never work!”

The world is going to tell you how you can’t, how you won’t, how it’s impossible.  It will point to all your inadequacies, all God’s inadequacies.  They will make sure you remember prior failures, dreams that died, hopes crushed.  And, in case you haven’t given up yet, they’ll make you aware how little you can change, how dumb the idea is and how tired you already are.

That’s the world.

It always makes me laugh to hear people talk about God and His rules.  The picture is painted of a God that looks down sternly on His children, waiting to zap them if they get out of line.  His angry look is intended to keep us from sinning and doing anything stupid.

Anger is usually pretty poor at keeping evil at bay and, can I get real here for a second, He knows us.  Do you think He envisions us never doing something stupid?  Nah!

He is our creator God.  He is creative.  He created imagination, intuition, dexterity, intelligence.  And He put it in our hearts.  He put inside us a warrior’s heart, a couragious heart, and a curious mind.  Those things have to be knocked out of us.  Questions come naturally, not rule following.

He clarifies what won’t work but it’s actually a pretty short list.  It can be summed up in two statements.  “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And, “love your neighbor as yourself.”  This does not inhibit creativity, it frees it.  It channels it in healthy directions.  It moves it to bring life, not destruction.

My picture of God, at least the one I’m trying to wrap my mind around, is of a God of laughter who looks down at His kids, amazed and enjoying the myriad ways we show His love.  He opens His hands to bless as we move in His Spirit.  He casts down the walls, the hinderances, the enemies that stand in our way.  He miraculously intervenes to show His glory and power.  He enters to make what should be impossible, not only possible but completed, finished, accomplished.

Do you dream?  Do you believe?  Listen to Him.  I hear Him cheering you on!