Let's Deep Clean this Soul House!
What would your soul look like if it were a house? Would it be tidy, airy, and sparkle like the sun? Or would it be messy, caked with grime from the years which developed into a living black hole?
Or in other words, does your soul look like this?
Most of us are somewhere between perfection and chaos. As a visual person, it is helpful to use analogies like this to make sense of what I cannot see, i.e. my soul. If we were to imagine that our soul is a house than just like a house, each room serves a purpose and requires maintenance. If we neglect the integrity of our souls, consequences can be detrimental to not only our wellness but also our walk with Christ.
We can think of the different parts of our soul in the following terms/rooms: the livingroom (our outward appearance), the bedroom (our inner living), the kitchen (our source of sustenance), the attic (our memories), and the basement (the dwelling of sinful nature that we've let in).
The Living Room
The Living Room is what we present to the world. Because of this, it is most likely to be tidy than any other room. Even if people don't "enter" your living room (which is to say enter your presence), they can peer into the window (see you as they walk by).
Inside the living room you showcase your treasures such as your achievements and fond memories. In one word, a living room is supposed to be pleasant. We want to project an image of stability.
However, the living room can be misleading. If we are not careful, our living room can end up being the only room we upkeep because we want to avoid shame if our inner mess was displayed. This happens when we subconsciously dust our vices under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind, right? As long as other people don't see, why bother with the rest!? This room ends up being superficial, and our soul feels artificial.
Furthermore, if we don't clean the other rooms, it WILL eventually spill into the living room. An un-wrangled mess only expands its reach, never recedes.
Sometimes in shame, we don't let Jesus even into the living room! We are content either letting him see through the window or crack open the door enough for us to peer through. However, retreating from God entirely only escalates the mess-the mess that was already too much for any person to take on. Jesus is the only one equipt with the Holy power washer to get tough sin stains out!
While we should always put our best foot forward, we should remind ourselves that our wonderful qualities come through Christ. What we showcase should honor and represent God, not ourselves.
The bedroom is the exact opposite of the livingroom. Where the living is public, the bedroom is private. Privacy is not bad in its self since we have to guard our hearts against principalities/influences of this world. However, we shy away from revealing our inner thoughts/struggles to the most important people in our lives, namely Jesus.
What takes place in your bedroom? Truth is, Jesus already knows your heart even if you lock the door. In the end, we do more of a disservice to ourselves by shutting him out.
The experience is painful, but living with a broken heart is worse. We have to mentally refrain from closing off God. Every morning, night and even throughout the day, pray for God to come into your heart and lead you to do His will.
The Kitchen is where we nourish our souls. As it says in the Bible, man cannot live on bread alone but by the word of God (Matthew 4:4). How often do we allow ourselves spiritual junk food instead of a hearty and fulfilling home-cooked meal? Like manna, good food only lasts a certain amount of time. We cannot store things away in the cupboard and tell ourselves, "I'll save this for later," but never don't use it! God's wisdom is practical. Not only do we have to receive and store it, we must use it.
Is your pantry stocked with expired or unhealthy foods? As the saying goes, you are what you eat.
The attic of is where our memories are stored. Some items have been sitting there for years undisturbed, collecting dust while others are at arm's length at the door having been looked over countless times.
The attic can be a wonderful jog through memory lane but sometimes we live in the attic. We take a seat and ruminate over the same memories over and over again. We neglect the kitchen for wisdom and strength, our outward appearance in the living room, and create a new bedroom by conforming ourselves here.
How long is too long spending time in the attic? It's when we ignore Jesus knocking at our door to let him in. We play our old tapes to drown him and the world out. A life in the attic is one being stuck in a loop.
It is tempting to make our residence here since there is comfort in the known, but the attic is no place to rest. Instead, we should use the attic as a reminder of how much God has done for us/taken us through. Never lock the door behind you when you look back through the past. Instead, hold God's hand to help you sort out your past pain.
The basement trope is that it is dingy, not well-lit, and often the stage for horror movies. Likewise, the basement can be where our metaphorical demons live. Our bad thoughts, habits, and beliefs manifest here. Even if we try to lock the door behind us, it mysteriously always reopens!
Sometimes we don't even care to deep clean this part of our house! We are content with the madness downstairs since we've allowed its existence and we think we have control over it. Only Jesus can bring sufficient light for us to see what the basement truly houses, which is sin.
This house analogy isn't perfect since as Christians our old sinful nature is dead (therefore not a part of us like the "house" analogy might imply), but we can invite sin back in as guests.
The Terrible Guests
Although we cannot be controlled by evil spirits (since the Holy Spirit dwells in us), we can allow them to influence us as "guests". These guests stay for an extensive amount of time to which they've made themselves right at home. Like roaches, they infest the entire house. You might be able to live with them for a while, but it always gets out of hand. Only Jesus can truly exterminate these unruly and intrusive inhabitants. It is our job to not let sin in or call Jesus to do His work in us.
Jesus doesn't want us to deep clean our inner being by ourselves. He didn't ask us to clean up and THEN surrender. He is asking us to surrender and He will bring the mop and bucket. When we allow him in every aspect of our lives/soul, that is when true transformation takes place.
I hope this post encourages you to draw closer to God! What are some more ways you can think of our soul being a house? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!
Take care and God bless!