it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order… (Matt 12:44).
It’s easy to look at the lives of others and think, “Wow, they really have it all together.” A simple picture or encounter at the grocery store can send us tumbling down a path of jealousy as we daydream about their perfect life. However, a pristine image doesn’t always mean there is a transformed heart or a healthy home behind the image.
In Matthew 12 an impure spirit leaves a person only to come back and find that the house is vulnerable to an attack. It brings with it seven evil spirits, bringing even greater destruction upon that person to begin with.
When the impure spirit came back it found the house, “put in order.” You could say that from the outside the house looked healthy. It looked well put together. Some onlookers might even have become jealous over the outward image that the house now reflected. However, outward images do not keep us from spiritual failures. Outward images only invite spiritual attacks, because truly, we have made ourselves vulnerable in our own pride and apathy.
We must go beyond putting things in order, to filling our homes with the power and presence of God. What the house needed was the warring power of God, lived out in a person whose heart was driven not by outward appearances, but by the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit. Found only in humility. If I am willing to admit that my inner man is in desperate need of God on a daily basis, replacing a pristine home with the grace of God, my heart and mind become cleansed from superficiality. Then, I must replace my superficiality with total dependence on the living God.
Now, when the enemy returns, there is no room to even approach the doorway, because the mighty angels of God stand in protection of it. For truly, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. If I am willing to admit my need for God and my total dependence on Him I can find with it comes the energy, power, and fortitude of the living God who fights my battles.
Lord, fill my heart and mind with your power and presence. I want to live as a woman whose heart has been made fully alive. Protect my home and my heart from evil. Jesus, reside there in the inner places of my heart that are desperate for a touch from you. Abba, I need you. Fill me now with your Spirit, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.