Sunday, November 27, 2011

An empty space is a place*

"The Pharisees and Sadducees Come to Tempt Jesus" by James Tissot
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 12:43-50

TO CHEW ON: "Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it be also with this wicked generation." Matthew 12:45

The man in Jesus' little story to the scribes and Pharisees was set free from an unclean spirit. But he put no one in its place. When the spirit which had been driven out did a drive-by and found no one had moved in, he decided to take possession again along with "seven other spirits more wicked than himself." Seven, the number of completion, tells us this second enslavement was complete.

Taken in context (Matthew 12:39-42) it seems Jesus is referring to the state of the nation of Israel. An explanatory note in my Bible says, "Jesus' teaching specifically applies to the emptiness of Judaism in substituting reformation for regeneration. Israel will be in a worse state than before. Once the nation rejects Jesus, nothing is left to replace the vacuum except satanic deception" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1313.

I believe this applies to us as individuals too. Our minds and hearts don't tolerate a vacuum. We seek someone or something to love, serve and be loyal to. When we're set free from some sin or addiction, we need to put someone or something in its place or we may find the old bondage soon enslaves us again:

"Be warned that returning to a past bondage from which you were once delivered results in deeper bondage" - Leslyn Musch, "Truth-In-Action Through the Synoptics," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1440.

So it's a good idea to fill the tidied, set-free dwelling of our minds and hearts with a good tenant. Jesus would be an excellent choice. We can invite His presence to fill the house of our lives so that when old temptations and bondages come calling, they will find no vacancies.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends" - Revelation 3:20 NLT.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please teach me what it means to fill my life with Your presence. Amen.

MORE: More on the vacuum principle

John Piper applies the principle of spontaneous vacuum-filling to the church and what happens when leaders and theologians tinker with the gospel message in order to make it more palatable to the world.

"There are thousands of pastors and churches today that do not think that clear, Biblical, doctrinal views are vital in the life of the church or the believer. They believe it is possible to grow a healthy church while leaving the people with few and fuzzy thoughts about what God is like. But ignorance about God is never a mere vacuum. The cavity created by ignorance fills up with something else." Read all of "My Anguish: My Kinsmen are Accursed" - By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: (emphasis added).
*The catchy phrase "An empty space is a place" appears in the book The Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer.

Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...