At times, I wish I had a Pinterest perfect house. (There is nothing wrong if your pictures ARE Pinterest worthy. Don’t go feeling all guilty on me if you are a great decorator!) As I think and pray through my selfish pride and desires to look “put together” it leads me to question: What exactly do I want to build?
I had these friends growing up. Their house was always full of fun, laughter, and silliness. We skated around the cement basement listening to Uncle Charlie on the radio on Saturday mornings. We made a slip and slide from black plastic, built forts behind the goat shed, and ate spaghetti straight off the table. When I came home from a weekend at their home, my little eight year old self exclaimed to my mom, “They have the most beautiful home in the world!” And I meant it. What I didn’t realize at the time is their house wasn’t really beautiful by appearances. Simple, a bit run down from the wear and tear of six kids, and never really all that clean.
What was it about their home that made it so, well, homey?
I met Jesus everywhere in that home. Quite literally, it was where I gave my life to the Lord, but I encountered Him in so many other ways. I found Jesus at the breakfast table as the mom scooped baked oatmeal and talked about heaven as though she had been there. I saw Jesus as the parents passed out homemade Valentine cards. I heard Jesus as the mom sat us kids down and lovingly got to the bottom of a childhood squabble. I played with Jesus when the parents jumped on the zip line and laughed long and loud. Laughter. Space and time to be together. A home where Christ lives and breathes and plays and rests. The truth is, though, I am far from that ideal. Tension often takes over my body and stress leaks sin out of my mouth. How do we transform our houses into homes? Homes where Christ is met at every turn? Here are some thoughts:
-Get our gaze set on the gospel.
“All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out of the changes that understanding creates in your heart. Faith in the gospel restructures our motivation, our self-understanding, our identity, and our view of the world.” -Tim Keller, The Prodigal God
“For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
-Feast on the Freedom of the Gospel!
“Jesus’s salvation is a feast, and therefore when we believe in and rest in His work for us, through the Holy Spirit, He becomes real to our hearts. His love is like honey, or like wine. Rather than only believing that He is loving, we can come to sense the reality, the beauty, and the power of His love. His love can become more real to you than the love of anyone else.” Tim Keller
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 Hallelujah!
-Deny the Desires of the Flesh.
Pursuing holiness as we go about our day requires denying our sinful flesh. “What then is holiness? Holiness is nothing but the implanting, writing, and living out of the gospel on our souls.” John Owen “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Galatians 5:13
-Rest in the Reality of His Ongoing Work.
When failure happens, and it will, have the humility to ask for forgiveness. Then rest in the knowledge that we are being conformed to the image of His Son. And press on!
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
“…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14