Taking Inventory of Our Spiritual House

Taking Inventory of Our Spiritual House

~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore.  You can hear the whole sermon, Works Under Grace (part 4), from Agathos Church. Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.

The Bible describes our life as a spiritual house.

1 Cor. 3:9 says “you are God’s building.”  That same passage from 1 Corinthians depicts both a “foundation” and “building on that foundation.”  We are supposed to “take heed” how we build upon the foundation because “no other foundation can be laid than that which is laid” – that is Christ!  Christ and Christ crucified is the foundation of our spiritual lives.  Our identities (our standing with God, our relationship with Him) are completely, totally, and unequivocally based on the finished work of Christ-  the finished work of the cross!

But, we “are being built up a spiritual house.” (1 Pe 2:5)  The first part of the house, the foundation, represents our relationship (our right standing) with the Father.  The second part of the house is what WE build on the foundation.  A simple way to think of it is the foundation represents our relationship with God, while what we build upon the foundation represents our relationship with the World.

Now, all of us have spiritual houses that are in varying conditions.  Some of our spiritual houses are in good condition and are well developed – we may be giving generously, feeding the poor, healing the sick, casting out demons, delivering timely and powerful prophetic words to those we meet, leading many to the Lord, etc.

Some of our spiritual houses are in bad condition – perhaps half-built or falling over – people around us may not even know that we are open for spiritual business so-to-speak!  Meanwhile, those with a spiritual house in bad condition often have some other shack, some other building, that they have really been putting a lot of energy into.  Often, the thing they are putting their hearts into is not a bad thing at all – perhaps family has become their everything. Or career has become all they think about. The result is God has no room left to move in their lives.  In addition to misplaced focus, another issue that can result in a spiritual house in bad condition is doing works “for the Kingdom,” but with the motivation of trying to gain right-standing with God or to gain the accolades of men (both of these are works of the flesh as well).

Still others of us have built a high quality spiritual house that is “low quantity” (a spiritual house is so small a gerbil would need to duck to get into the front door)! When we give God a little space in our lives we build well, because our hearts are good, it’s just that we have so marginalized Him and His Kingdom in our lives that the resulting house is big on quality and small on size.

Now, we may never say we have relegated God to an unimportant part of our lives, but our lives scream it!  

So, let your life do the talking for a minute.  Don’t squirm.  Take inventory:

  • Do people come to you when they are hurting?
  • Do people ask you for spiritual advice?
  • Do they ask you to pray for their healing when they are sick or injured?
  • Would someone who needed God in their lives know to come find you?

Are you on the Spiritual Map as a “bold font city” with a star next to its name – or as a township whose name you need a magnifying glass to see?  People ought to know about our spiritual house – so that God may be known in our land!  People ought to be able to take refuge under our branches!  “Then He said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.'”  (Luke 13:18-19)

If you have a mustard seed of faith in the garden of your heart, but no branches for the birds of the air to rest in, don’t be condemned.  Don’t question your right position with Christ or God’s ultra-extravegant love for you.  Instead, rest secure in all of those things.  But picture yourself.  In the future.  Perhaps in your dying hours.  And picture your life now.  Your decisions now.  Your priorities now.  Take inventory.

You can make a change if you want to.

 

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