One evening I invited Jesus Christ to live with me.
It was not a spectacular, emotional thing, but something very real happened at the center of my life. He came in, turned on the light, built a fire in the hearth, and filled the emptiness with His personal presence. Because I wanted to experience even more of this relationship I said, “Lord, I want you to feel at home in every area of my life. Let me show you around.”
The first place we explored was my study – the room of my mind. It was quite small and had very thick walls. He entered and looked around at the books on the shelves, the magazines on the table, and the pictures on the walls. I became a little uncomfortable. Strangely, I had never felt self conscious about this stuff before, but now that He was there looking at it all, I felt embarrassed. Some of it seemed completely out of place in His presence. And I realized for the first time that I had no business looking or reading much of what stood before me. Blushing, I turned to Him and said, “I know that this room needs cleaning, but I don’t really know where to start. Will you help me?” Since then, I have discovered that when my mind is centered upon Christ, His purity and power begin to take the place of my own impure thoughts. I have found that even my desire to think thoughts that are not pleasing to Him has decreased. While I still have quite a way to go, I can honestly say that my thinking has gradually been brought under His control.
THE DINING ROOM
After the study, we stepped into the dining room – the room of my appetites and desires. I had spent a lot of time and energy there. Proudly I said, “This is one of my favorite rooms. I believe you will be happy with what is servedup here!” He seated Himself at the table with me and asked, “So, what’s on the menu for dinner? What do you usually eat?” “Well,” I said, “I’d like you to taste a few of my favorite meals.” I set before Him all of my academic and athletic accomplishments and ambitions, as well as my career dreams.
When the “food” was placed before Him, He said nothing, and did not eat. I asked, “Master, don’t you like the meal? Is there a problem?”
He answered, “Do you honestly find this diet satisfies your hunger ? If you want to be truly filled, feed on Me and set your heart on doing the will of God alone. I happen to know that all you have been preparing for yourself will ultimately leave you feeling empty.”
That was difficult for me to hear. I had convinced myself that one day, I would finally manage to cook up just the right meal that would satisfy my hunger. I sat there stunned, trying to take in His words. Sensing my anxiety, He reached over and put a small piece of bread in my hand. I ate it. That was the first taste of pure joy I had ever tasted. The flavor was so rich – just a small bite gave me more energy and contentment than all of the empty calories I had been consuming for years. I found myself at once both full and wanting more. I have never had anything remotely like it in the world.
THE LIVING ROOM
From there we walked into the living room. It was casual, intimate, and comfortable. I loved this room! There was a fireplace, overstuffed chairs, a big sofa, and a huge entertainment center.
Jesus said, “This is a great little spot. We can come here often and just ‘hang-out’ and talk together.” I was thrilled. I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do than have uninterrupted time with Jesus. He promised, “I will be here every morning. Meet me here, and we will start each day together.” So morning after morning I would come downstairs to the living room and find Him waiting. He’d pull out a book of the Bible, open it, and we would read together. He began to unfold the amazing depth of His love and of His desires for my life. They were the most intimate and insightful times of my life.
Little by little, however, under the pressure of more urgent things, the time began to get crowded out, more hurried and less intimate. I began to miss days now and then. The appointments with Him that I had committed to, sometimes slipped my mind. I remember one morning rushing downstairs, choking down breakfast, on my way to do something critically important (I forget exactly what). I rushed past the living room and noticed the door was open. Curious, I looked in, and saw Jesus sitting there, praying for me by the fire. I felt a stinging-guilt flood through me. “I invited Him to live here with me,” I thought. “He has been my greatest friend, and here I have been ignoring Him.” I stopped, turned, and hesitantly went in. Hanging my head, I said, “Lord, forgive me. Have you been waiting here every morning?”
“Yes,” He said. “I want you to remember that I am constantly with you. But, I thought we agreed to meet here each morning. Our fellowship together is very important if you are going to walk in My love and follow the directions that I give you. I desire the best for your life, and, believe it or not, I value our relationship – I love spending time with you.”
The truth that Jesus really desired my companionship has done more to transform my devotional times with God than any other single fact. Mornings aren’t always the best time of day – sometimes I’ve had to ask if we could meet at night. But I have made it a point to carve out daily time with Him in His Word and prayer.
Before long, He asked, “Do you have a workroom around here?” Out in the garage I had a small workbench and a few tools I had picked up here and there, but I wasn’t doing much with any of it. Once in a while I’d play around out there, but I never really produced anything substantial. I took Him out to look it over. “Well, this is quite well furnished. What are you producing with your life for the kingdom of God?” He pointed to a couple little toys I had thrown on the bench and held one up to me. “Is this the sort of thing you’ve been working on?”
“Well,” I said, “Lord, I know it isn’t much, but I don’t have the time or skills to do much more.”
“Would you like to do better?” He asked. “Certainly,” I replied.
“All right, let Me have your hands. Now relax with Me and let my Spirit work through you. If He controls your hands and your heart, you can accomplish any assignment I give you.” Stepping around behind me and putting His strong hands under mine, He began to work with me. The more I relaxed and trusted Him, the more He was able to do through me.
THE REC ROOM
He asked if I had a place where I got together with my friends. I was hoping He wouldn’t ask me about that. There were certain associations and activities that I wanted to keep to myself. One evening when I was on my way out with some buddies, He caught my eye and asked, “Are you going out?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Great,” He said. “I’d love to go with you.”
“Well,” I answered awkwardly, “I don’t think you’d really enjoy where we are going. Let’s go out together ( just you and me) tomorrow night. Maybe to a Bible study or church or something, but tonight I have other plans.”
“I’m sorry,” He said. “I thought that when I came into your home, we were going to do everything together.
I just want you to know that I am willing to go with you.”
“Well,” I mumbled, slipping out the door, “let’s go someplace together tomorrow night.”
That whole evening I was basically miserable. “What was I thinking? I had deliberately left Jesus out of my social life. Didn’t I trust Him around my friends? Couldn’t He do for them what he had done for me?”
When I returned, He was waiting for me. I decided to talk the situation over with Him. “Lord” I said, “I’ve learned my lesson. All my best times have been with you. From now on, I want us to do everything together.” He led me back to the Rec. room and pulled out His plans for remodeling. Before long, He was comfortably hanging out with my friends. A few of them even invited Him into their homes. He also introduced me to new friends and we had some exciting and meaningful conversations. Powerful music has been ringing throughout the house ever since.
THE CRAWL SPACE
One day I found Him waiting for me at the door. An arresting look was in His eye. As I entered, He said, “I’ve noticed a peculiar odor in the house. Something must be dead around here. I think it’s coming from under the crawl space under the rug.” I immediately knew what He was talking about. There was a crawl space under the floor where I stored several personal things I didn’t want anyone to know about. I knew they were dead and rotting leftovers from my former lifestyle. I kept them hidden and figured nobody would ever suspect anything. Occasionally, I’d mess around with a couple of those old habits or nurse some old grudge. I was afraid to admit to anybody that I still dabbled in these things. I tried to make excuses, telling myself that I only visited the crawl space when I had a particularly bad day.
Reluctantly, I went with Him and pulled back the rug to reveal the trap door in the floor. I felt angry. That’s the only way I can put it. This was private! I had given Him access to the library, the dining room, the living room, the workroom, and the Rec. room, and now He was asking for entrance into this little out of the way crawl space that wasn’t hurting anybody as far as I could tell. I said to myself, “This is too much. I am not going to give Him the key.”
“Well,” He said, reading my thoughts, “if you think I’m going to stay around here with this stench, you are mistaken. I’ll be on the porch if you want Me.” When one comes to know and love Christ, the worst thing that can happen is to sense Him withdrawing His fellowship. I had to give in. “Wait! I’ll give You the key,” I said sadly. “But I doubt you’ll be able to clean up that mess. I’ve made a number of futile attempts before. I never had the strength to do a very thorough job and it’s so dark and musty in there that the stuff grows too fast.”
“Just give Me the key,” He said. “Trust Me to take care of the crawl space and I will.” With trembling fingers I passed the key to Him. He unlocked the door and started cleaning. The process was often uncomfortable. I hated admitting that I had involved Jesus in this filthy, tedious project. He finally finished and applied a fresh coat of paint.
A thought came to me. “Lord, is there any chance that you would take over the management of this whole house and operate it for me as You did that crawl space? Would You take responsibility to make my
life what it ought to be?” His face lit up as He replied, “I’d love to! I’ve longed to fill and freely move through every part of your life. But,” He added slowly, “to do that, I must have not only full control of your house, but complete ownership as well.”
Dropping to my knees, I said, “Lord, I have been treating You like a guest and I have been a poor host. From now on I will be Your servant. Please do with this place whatever You find best - I trust you.” I ran over to the strongbox and took out the title deed describing all the assets and liabilities of the property. I eagerly signed it over to Him. “Here it is, all that I am and have, forever. Now, You are in charge. I will submit to You as both Your servant and friend.”
An adaptation of "My Heart, Christ’s Home" by Robert Munger.
When making changes in your life seems overwhelming, you need to know God is there for you. He’s already figured out the shape He wants your life to take.
What does it mean when people say God changed their lives? Is God’s love really that powerful?
Change requires risk, which means it also requires courage. It takes motivation to overcome obstacles along the way. Sometimes those obstacles are too much for us to face on our own, but true love can help us find the courage we need to change.
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