“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45, NIV)
For many the thinking has been, “I will just get ‘my act’ together, and then everything will be all right.” Later on it is found out that after all the work to clean up our own “house” has long been completed, and we have stayed away from the big sins of the world, we find ourselves in a worse situation than our prior manner of existence. How can this be?
God is not simply asking us to get rid of all the spiritual filth in our lives. He is asking us to fill our lives with righteousness. He is asking us to love and serve him; to love and serve our fellow man. A life does not stay “clean” because it simply avoids evil. It stays clean because it has found acts of humility and service to Christ and his people.
A life that has been sacrificed to serving others is a life that has no place or time for wickedness because it is full of godliness expressed through kindnesses and affections of service to others. Both the Scripture and life teach us the clean house is the one that serves.
Serving with Jesus,
Keith C. Brown