The Angel continued, “Don’t seal the words of the prophecy of this book; don’t put it away on the shelf. Time is just about up. Let evildoers do their worst and the dirty-minded go all out in pollution, but let the righteous maintain a straight course and the holy continue on in holiness." Revelation 22:10-11 MSG
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12
When my husband and I made an offer on our house, we felt strongly that it was the house for us. The only thing we were waiting on was our inspection. It’s an older home, so we knew there were likely some issues. We were just hoping it wasn’t anything major.
After the inspection came back, we kept hearing the same phrase, “deferred maintenance.”
The previous owners simply didn’t take care of the house. The trees and bushes are overgrown in the yard, and at places are almost growing into the house. There are countless things throughout the house that are easy to fix, but have gone untouched for years. Weeds have covered the lawn, and crawled up the back deck onto the house.
We were ecstatic that everything found on the inspection could be fixed. After a few weeks in the house, we continually found quirks, broken or breaking things, and we kept shrugging to each other saying, “deferred maintenance,” and then ordering what we needed online to get the house back in shape.
The condition we found our new home in is one that I think we often leave our spiritual homes in as believers.
The trees grow slowly, and at first, you don’t notice the branches stretching out further and further, and suddenly, they’re about to bust through a window or fall on the roof.
The previous owners decided to ignore the first few weeds that popped into the lawn, and as a result we moved into a house that’s lawn was only weeds. Just like our house, it’s a lot easier to deal with a couple of weeds than it is to deal with an entire lawn of them. But in order to deal with those first few weeds, we have to be attentive to them.
This is true of the condition of our spiritual lives.
Skipping church once isn’t a huge deal, we all need a day off. But slowly, church online seems easier and suddenly you might find yourself distant from God’s house, disconnected, and unmotivated to worship without distractions.
Not finding time to pray on a busy day is something we’ve all experienced, but then one day you’ll find that you are in a situation where all you can do is pray, and you realize you haven’t talked to or heard from God in a while.
Opening the Bible everyday in our era of distractions almost feels impossible, and losing the discipline to do so doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Until your thought life starts to turn toxic and you cannot remember anything in God’s Word to refute the lies you’re speaking over yourself in your mind.
God cautioned His people throughout the Bible to “remember the Lord your God,” (Deuteronomy 8:2) and to be attentive.
We have to be aware of the condition of our spiritual lives, we have to be hyper sensitive to the first few things that create space between us and God.
Through Jesus, we have the opportunity to continually pursue God and turn to Him. To keep our spiritual lives in a condition that is cared for, we have to be attentive to the things that might come against us. We have an active enemy who is prowling around like a lion (1 Peter 5:8) just waiting and hoping to create distance between us and the Father.
When we pay attention, we see what He’s doing, and we don’t get into a situation of “deferred maintenance” like we were in with our house.
We pay attention to the first weed, or the growing trees, and we take care of it. We go to God. We read the Word. We pray. We share our struggles, doubts, and questions with a trusted friend or prayer warrior. We take care of our spiritual homes, we don't delay in our pursuit of closeness with God, and as we draw near we continue on in holiness.
-How have you experienced space being created between you and God in the past? How did it start?
-How near do you feel to the presence of God in your daily walk with Him?
-What does it look like to take care of the condition of your spiritual life? What changes do you need to make?
Invite the Spirit of God to highlight an area of your life where you need to care for your spiritual house. Pray that He would guide you on how to take action this week.
Jesus thank you for coming and bringing us hope so that we can grow in holiness. Help us to pursue a nearness and closeness with you throughout our days so that the enemy has no space in our lives. Guide us to care for our spiritual lives and to not delay in doing so. Amen.