“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45 KJV)
“Empty, swept, and garnished…” When we are in the midst of a mess, is that not exactly what we want? To be done with the situation. To be out of this kind of work. That we may have even the opportunity to put all this in order. Would an empty house be better than a house full of this? So, what allows the spirit (and those that he has brought) to enter this house? Think carefully about this question. It is key. The house is empty. Really? Our efforts during clean up seem to be a foundation effort for what we are going to build once we finally get rid of the previous mess. But are our efforts anything but new management?
You know it is an interesting thing being filled. Especially in terms of being filled to overflowing. A cup or a vessel that is overflowing is never empty no mater how much spills all around it. No matter how small or large the container is, it is never less full. Not only is the love of Jesus powerful enough to clean us, forgive us, and make us right again; it maintains a fullness within us. A fullness that not only keeps us full when everything else is trying to drain us, but makes us a uniquely water tight container that gives much needed water to everyone around us. It is a house unlike any we could build even if we thought that we had the means.
“And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods. But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?” (2 Chronicles 2:5-6 KJV)