Our team journal was written for you today by our Content Director, Jillian Vincent.
I’m doing it again. Scrolling Wayfair for a bigger dining room table. Peeking at listings online for minivans and SUVs. Considering buying bunk beds for my boys to make room for more kids to find a safe place in our home through Safe Families. I’m making room. It was one of my goals for 2018. I want to create space for more, expectant that God will use our home for safety, refuge, fellowship, feasting, and belonging. I have a vision that God has more purpose for this little blue house with maroon shutters, and our little family inside of it. He intends to use this space, and I’m preparing for the sojourners that God will bring our way.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about sanctification, the change God initiates in us, the way God makes room for Himself inside of us once we belong to Him. I’ve been thinking of that as I make room for others in my home, that maybe He is making room for more holiness in my heart. In Leviticus, as we will soon discover in #dwitw365, the Lord lays out His specific plans for His people’s holiness, and how they can purify themselves. This purification has a purpose, and that purpose is so that the people could dwell with him. Did you know that many of the food sacrifices God instructs His people to make and offer to Him, that they are also instructed to eat the rest? It is a divine meal between God and His people hosted by God Himself (Deut 14:22-29). He prepared a place and provided the meat for His people, purifying them so they could be in his presence and eat with Him at His table (Psalm 23:5-6)!
Yes, I made many a goal for my household this new year. And most of them have to do with hosting others around my still non-existent, large, round, dark, wooden, dream table. But I never once thought to ask the question, “What is God’s goal for me?”? Holiness. God’s goal for me is holiness. Why? Because He wants me with Him, at His table. Because He loves me and made room for me. He has made a home in my heart. He wants abundant life for me, a life where there is no Godless space. Because God is holy, and I belong to him, I must be holy. And when I am with Him, I am compelled to be like Him.
The Bible is clear on the how of holy. As we abide in Him, He does the work of making us holy, directing us back to Him and creating the fruit in our lives. (John 15) So I’ve been asking myself these questions as I abide with Him: What space am I holding back from Him? Where in my life is a Godless place because I have not made room for Him? What have I not consecrated to the Lord? And some scarier questions: What am I making room for instead? What have I welcomed that is not of the Lord? What gods have feasted at my table? What other gods have slept in my turned down beds? Or, used my wifi password? Or, eaten my French toast for breakfast?
And I know it is really the Holy Spirit inquiring about my choice of house guests. Yes, He is here. And He won’t allow any other god to shack up here. Including my old sinful self. She’s got to go. There simply isn’t room. He is the only God worthy of every space in my life, my heart, my breath and my very being. I am in Christ, which means I am hosting Holiness. Why? Because my heart is a dwelling place for Jesus Christ himself, the spotless lamb. When the Lord looks at me, He sees Holiness, because He sees Christ. That old Jillian? That old self? She’s gone. She’s been crucified with Christ. And now, I’m alive again because it is Christ who lives in me! Holiness himself. And I not only host Holiness, I host power -- the power of the Holy Spirit -- and I need to make room for Him.
If Jesus Christ walked into my little blue house right now, I would shove all the markers and play-doh and leftover crusty spaghetti noodles off my table to create a clean space for Him to sit. I would place Him at the head of my table and I would make sure all the friends He brought with Him were equally welcome.
Well, the Holy Spirit HAS shown up, and He has brought some friends. A lot of friends. A Holy Spirit soiree of sorts right to my doorstep. But the thing is, this is no temporary stay. I am not God’s “airbnb.” And you! Sister, YOU ARE NOT GOD’S HOSTEL. WE are his forever home. It is not, “Make yourself at home!” It is “Welcome Home!” WE are his dwelling place. We are his temple. He has moved in! Unpacked his bags! But He has not put up his feet. No, He is making us His Home.
And no, we didn’t come cleaned up by any housekeeping service, all the nooks and crannies in our lives were not spiffed up for Him before He arrived. But GOD! He himself, tender to us, because He has lived this human life and has known intimately its nastiest places, came to renew and restore everything. He is making all things new. Without condemnation towards our brokenness, He is redesigning, until every tile of backsplash and wooden floorboard has his signature touch.
So what does that mean for my life right now? Simply this: I’m sitting down to eat with the Lord at His table. I’m exposing my unfinished parts to Him, and I’m listening when He convicts me of trying to kick Him out of His own house! (It happens a lot.) I’m loosening my idolatrous thoughts of a better designer or a better design, because He is revealing His ultimate glorious one to me! And, sister? There is no comparison. God’s design is always better. And finally, I’ve stopped fashioning a guest room for him, because I’ve given him the keys entirely.
Lord, help me to host holiness, knowing it is you who does the work, and rejoice that though you are a come-as-you-are God, you don’t leave this house foreclosed. As I prepare my home for guests, would you prepare my heart for holiness? Leave no room untouched, and help me keep in step with your Spirit as you fashion a glorious temple for yourself.
Jillian Vincent loves Jesus. She's a wife, mother of two boys and a Dayton enthusiast. Jillian currently is a stay at home mama and spends nap times jotting on her blog and discipling other women. She would (almost) die for an avocado, a cup of coffee made by her husband, a novel that makes her cry, and a bouquet of sunflowers.