Is there a stranger in your house?

Is there a stranger in your house you are unaware of?  No, I’m not talking about mold, but you should keep watch for that also. I’m talking about the hidden things, the things we allow in our house that we would never allow with us in church.  Does the evil of anger exist as an everyday occurance? How about the hidden sins of addiction, or abuse? Do they exist or seem to co-exist with you without you even knowing?  How about that hidden mold of indifference, that uncaring about your fellow man?  I wonder if we were to be given eyes for 24 hours to see the spiritually unclean things that exist right with us in our houses, what would we see?  Scripture tells us: “When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest, and not finding rest, it then says, ‘I’ll go back to my house where I came from.’ And returning, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man’s last condition is worse than the first.” Luke 11: 24-26  This verse tells us that unclean spirits do exist, and that we are capable of sending them out of our houses (minds), but it’s what we do after that makes the biggest difference. Notice that when this unclean spirit returns it finds the house swept and put in order. To me, that tells me that the person did not leave the place, (the mind) messy with other things, but put in order. But the difference is that it was not filled with good, it was not filled with something better, but instead was empty; just the ripe situation where the evil could return, and in this case stronger with more help than ever before to torment the person.   We do good when we pray for the Lord to take things out of our lives that obviously are bad for our spiritual health. But what do we replace it with?  It tells me that we will be filled with something, but what that something is, is what is allowed to be in our thoughts, in our hearts. So if you have a problem with addiction, don’t just pray to get it out, replace it with spiritual food, spiritual life. If the problem in our “house” is fleshly sins, and we pray to get rid of it, replace it with spiritual freshness and thoughts and actions.  If the problem is with anger or worry, or anxiety and fears, pray to get rid of them, but they have to be replaced, or they will come back even stronger.  The point this morning is that we spend a lot of time praying for the Lord to fix us, but not fill us.  It’s time we complete our prayers with the filling of the Holy Spirit, the filling of things Holy. Philippians 4:8 has the answer: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise – dwell on these things.”  It’s not enough to pray for the removal of things from our “house”, things that are bad for us. Even though that is important to pray for, it is also important to pray for the mind to think about things that fill us up with goodness, the things listed above.  This is a verse we should memorize if at all possible, and use it whenever you pray for the Lord to take bad things away from us. Then make the conversation, Lord, please fill me with You! Fill me with all that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable, because I want to have a heart of moral excellence, and I desire to be more like You. Is there a stranger in your house?  Get rid of him, but then invite a brother, our Lord and Savior to occupy the unused spaces. Pastor Andy

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