An Empty House

vacant houseThere is something sad about a vacant house. As a boy, I remember driving by a vacant house with my dad. The house had been empty for quite sometime. My dad commented that an unoccupied house seemed to deteriorate much faster than one that had people living in it. From then on, every time we drove by that house, I remembered his words and witnessed with my own eyes the deterioration. Windows were broken, roof shingles blown off, and even the sidewalks seemed to have cracked.

My dad was not the first to make such an observation. Jesus’ use of an analogy about an empty house is recorded in Matthew 12:43-46 (NKJ). The overtone of the Master’s teaching here is more than sad – it carries a foreboding tone. “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which he came, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 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.” 

The implication is clear to me. Obviously, the critical first step in spiritual life is the ‘new birth’. However, once the unclean spirit goes out, the job is not finished. Although old things (sins) are gone out, new things must be brought into a believer life. The old adage, ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’, is true in this case. The old life, with its habits and shortcomings, will move back in if the house is left empty.

The words of Peter contained in 2 Peter 1:5-10 (NKJ) gives essential instructions: “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 

Let our lives be filled with the good things of the Lord. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:19 is “that you be filled with all the fullness of God.” 


~ Brother Roy


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