I heard an analogy the other day about Jesus dwelling in our hearts. It addressed whether or not Jesus would feel at home there. The speaker used examples like being in somebody’s home and feeling uncomfortable and feeling ready to leave as soon as you can. He was using examples about the way things smell, look, or feel or a sense that you get. He asked questions like these:
- What if you came home today and Jesus was waiting at your door and asked to be invited in?
- What if you did just that; what if you invited Jesus into your living room?
- Are there things in your living room that you would want to put away?
- Are there things you wouldn’t want Jesus to see or are there shows that you wouldn’t watch while he was around?
I think this analogy is understandable for most people. We’ve probably all been in uncomfortable spaces, which we were waiting to “escape” because of that discomfort. Unfortunately, I don’t think it works for our relationship with Jesus, because it places the burden of fellowship on our ability to conform and our ability to be more uniform to people around us (including Jesus).
Have I been in homes that were uncomfortable for me? Of course I have, but if my relationship with another person, if my willingness to be in their home, is dependent upon their home feeling comfortable for me, then my relationship with them is built on the wrong stuff. It belies an expectation that they should look/feel/smell/sound more like me and/or my preferences.
I’m not saying that we can’t have preferences, and I’m not saying we don’t have baggage or clutter or sin that we ought to “clean out.” I’m saying that when Jesus comes into your heart, when Jesus comes into your life, when Jesus makes a home with you, and when the spirit comes to dwell in you, it’s not because your life is “homie” for the one true God. It’s because God loves you that God chooses to come and make a home with you. That God passed through the veil, tore down the curtain, raised us up to life — these things happened because Jesus desires to be with us, and you don’t have to worry about what’s in your living room, and you don’t have to worry about whether the shows you watch will offend Jesus.
The more time you spend with Jesus the more you will become like Jesus, but Jesus isn’t looking for cookie cutter copies of himself. Jesus loves us and dwells with us if we accept him into our lives regardless of whether our homes are comfortable, our hearts are comfortable, or our sins are washed. In fact, Jesus takes it a step further than that. Not only does he not shy away from our mess and our sin, he has come to clean up those things for us! He has come to cleanse us of our sin. He has come to clean up our messy lives. He has come to dwell in our home to walk with us and help us through the transformation process, and not just to help us, but to actually facilitate the entire process.
Because transformation is Holy Spirit work, nothing you do in your life can bring you from being human to being like Christ. Nothing in your life can bring you from mere humanity into the divine, so the entire process is 100% dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit of God — the Holy Spirit of Christ — in your life. That means that you don’t have to worry about what your house looks like. That means that you don’t have to worry about what your heart feels like. That means you don’t have to worry about those thoughts in your mind. Release them all to Jesus, every single one. Let Jesus be the one who cleanses your life, who heals your heart, who fixes your “house,” who reconciles you to God. Our job is not to be fixers of ourselves. Our job is to have a relationship with God.
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