I heard a sermon once a couple of years ago that really stuck with me…
The pastor gave the analogy of our lives being like the houses we live in. He was challenging us to understand that God has huge plans for us but often we live in a box - or we only live in one room of our house. We limit God by not trusting in him to do big thing in our lives. Wy would we choose to only live in one room of our house when we have a whole house available to us?!
This image came to mind recently when I was thinking about allowing God to be present in every single aspect of my life, not just certain areas. I began thinking about the blueprints for a house in my mind, somewhat like the one below…
The different rooms in the house began to take shape in the form of all of the different areas of my life. As I thought about it, I realized that His Spirit is very present in certain rooms of my "house" (my life) but I shut Him out of others, which I believe allows a foothold for evil to dwell. Wouldn't you love to know that the Spirit of the Lord fills every square inch of your house (and life) to the fullest, and likewise, that evil is completely shut out?!! Walk with me for a few minutes here as I explain what I think are some very important areas that we need to allow God's presence to fill.
The Living Room:
Here's where we spend time relaxing with our family and where much of our entertainment takes place. We like to watch t.v. and movies and play games in our living room. In our family we like to turn on the stereo and dance too! Are you allowing the Lord to dwell in your entertainment choices? There have been many times in my life where I have uninvited the Lord (sometimes unintentionally, sometimes consciously) from movie dates because I want to see what I want to see. What are you filling your mind with? Would you sit down with Jesus and watch a movie (or read a book) with steamy sex scenes or crude language/jokes? I don't talk this way in my every day life because, you know, I'm a Christian! So maybe I don't need to fill my thoughts with these things for entertainment purposes. Matthew 15:8 These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Oh Lord I don't want to be one of those people! The more I allow God into my everyday activities, the more I'm uncomfortable watching (and reading) things that aren't healthy for me to see. Same goes for the music we listen to. Are the lyrics positive or dark? Do they degrade women or elevate the kind of love that is good for us in our lives? Something to think about! I believe when we choose to leave God out of our entertainment choices, we leave a foothold for the devil to come in and attack us. I find this to be true with horror movies. When I watch things that fill me with fear, I have nightmares when I'm asleep and feel anxiety at night when I'm alone - spiritual attack! On another note, don't forget to add friendships to your living room as well! Is the Lord dwelling in your friendships? Are they enriching your life? Are they good influences for you? God gives us one of his greatest gifts in our friendships… don't forget to allow him in! 2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Our self-image/self-esteem. Do we allow the Lord into this area of our lives? Or do we shut Him out because we feel less than adequate, or worry far too much about others' opinions? Did you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)?! What do you say to yourself in the mirror as you get ready in the morning? It is so important that we learn to tell ourselves the truth about who we are in Christ. The world feeds us so many lies and it's often in the mirror that we repeat these things to ourselves. Let the Lord fill this space in your life! Don't let the enemy maintain his foothold in your mind over your self-image. This may require help… reach out for support or counseling if you need it. Tape special scriptures to your mirror that you can memorize as you get ready. Listen to worship music to get you started in the morning. Replace your fears with His presence and invite peace into your life.
Yikes, now we get personal! This is our space. Our retreat. Our reprieve from the world. To me this area represents our purity if we are single, and our intimate relationships if we are married. Bear with me because this can be a difficult subject. If you are single (in this case casually dating or in a relationship but not married), are you allowing God to dwell in this area of your life? Are you walking with Him in other areas of your life but leaving him out of your physical relationships? Purity can be so incredibly difficult but also so incredibly important and rewarding for a healthy marriage down the road. You can begin by just asking the Lord to show you what he wants for you in your relationships. If you're shutting him out because you know you're not honoring him in this area, don't! He created your inmost being. He knows your every thought. He wants you to talk to him, to share your feelings, joys and struggles with him. Don't forget, the Lord created sex to be the amazing, wonderful, mind-blowing glue that bonds us with our spouse for the rest of our lives. This brings me to married women. Are you honoring God and your husband in this area? This can be a struggle for many, especially those who have experienced past abuse or even for those of us are just really exhausted at the end of the day. This one kind of struck me as I was thinking about it because I realized that I don't often invite the Lord into this area of my life (as a married woman). I need to be thankful more often for this amazing bond that I share with my husband and always ask the Lord to show me ways that I can improve this relationship with my husband. Do you talk to the Lord about your sex life (gasp!)!! This is important, don't shut him out of your bedroom! If you do, you may invite the enemy to enter in and I don't know about you, but this is one safe room in my house where I want the presence of the Lord to shut out all evil.
How many of you love the kitchen? How many of you have a love/hate relationship with the kitchen?! Are you taking care of your health? Guess what? God wants to dwell in this area of your life as well! I have slowly started making some changes in my diet and cooking habits in order to not only take care of myself, but also keep my family healthy as well and it helps my mood when I'm eating healthier! Do you struggle with your eating habits? Do you overeat or under eat? Do you struggle with guilt over food choices or feel a lack of motivation to exercise? How about what you drink? Does your one glass of wine with dinner turn into half the bottle by bedtime? Believe it or not, these things can be related to your spiritual life as well. We need to take care of our bodies just like we need to take care of our spiritual lives. Talk to God about this. Begin asking Him to show you what he wants for you in this area.
1 Corinthian 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink of whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.
Our Office Space:
Last but not least, the place where we get our work done. In our lives this represents our work. Do you allow God to go to work with you or do you leave him in the car?? Do you pray over your work and for your work relationships with your boss and co-workers? It doesn't matter what you do, there is ALWAYS a way to honor God through your work! Do the people you work with know that you love the Lord? This doesn't mean that you have to be pushy or even talk about it on a regular basis, it just means that your life should be consistent at work with the life you live at home and at church or with your friends. If your job, like mine, is to run a household, care for you children all day and everything that being a stay-at-home mom entails, are you allowing God to infiltrate your day? Are you showing his love you your children? What's your attitude like? Eek, don't ask me about my attitude!! Lord, I want you to be a part of my day all day every day. God help me to create a home that is a refuge for my family and where other people can come and feel your sweet presence. Colossians 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.