Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
- – Revelation 3:19-20
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I have written before that becoming a Christian is the easy part, although it was not so easy for me, since I was a regular church goer and ‘good kid.’ Being a Christian is a little tougher.
In a light-hearted way, C. S. Lewis addresses that topic in the quote above.
My favorite verse, because it was pounding in my head while I was struggling to accept Jesus, is Revelation 3:20. This verse is the second half of the Scripture above. It is possible that the image of this verse led Lewis to write this paragraph in Mere Christianity. Evangelists have used the verse to illustrate that Jesus wants us to freely surrender our will to accept Him into our heart. Jesus says in the verse that He will enter and dine with us. Thus, we have a door where Jesus knocks. Jesus comes in to dine, so there must be a dining room. Why not look upon us as being living houses?
But the Lewis analogy goes further. We are aware, or soon will be, of the clogged drains of our lives. We have clutter. We have dust…
They say that much of ‘dust’ is dead skin cells. I walked into our spare bedroom the other day, and it was filled with dust. No one had set foot in the room since it was thoroughly cleaned when our children / grandchildren were here in March. It makes you wonder if dust is a living and breathing thing. How did it get there since the door had never been opened during that time?
The concept of dust that invades out of nowhere might seem spooky, but a lot of our sin is like that. These sins come from old behaviors that we are simply unaware of. It might stem from not caring much about other people before being saved and now there is that wing in our ‘house’ that had been dusty due to lack of use. Our ‘dust sins’ might have a variety of sources. We are just unaware until the Holy Spirit lets us open a door that had been closed for months.
And this can be part of the easy Spring cleaning Jesus does inside us. Facing persecution, going out into the cruel world and telling people our story of how we met Jesus, and comforting someone who is struggling with pain, fear, or trial of faith… Those may be when Jesus breaks down a wall to add new rooms.
Just remember that it is Jesus turning your living house into a Palace so that He can live there. That means that He is there, inside you, during these trials. Whether He is the construction manager or the resident, He is there. Do not fear. You are going to like what they (Jesus and His helpers) did to the place once they are done with renovations.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.