I live in an empty house in many ways… I desire my house to be emptied. What is it about my house that I really don’t care for? I guess it’s the body of death that I wander around in that I’m referring to. This temple, or as Paul said this tent. We all live in them and the Christian hopefully has a better understanding of it than the average person.
2 Corinthians 5:1-3
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.
I want my earthly home to be destroyed because it’s not a very good one. In fact it’s a mess and the closer I draw to Christ and see His amazing goodness the more I’m overwhelmed by my wretchedness. I desire a better place. A cleaner place, a place that glorifies and honors Him instead of bringing Him the shame I so often consider in my fleshly life. I see that my desires continue to shift in that I really hate my sin. I really hate that I try to overcome certain things and the going is very slow.
Lest I sound too gloomy there is hope… But shouldn’t we sometimes just stay in this place? Shouldn’t we just bathe in our own filth for a while? Not that Christ hasn’t overcome because He has but I mean for me? And for you? Shouldn’t this help us understand what it took to accomplish our redemption? Really give us a glimpse of the misery we are in?
2 Corinthians 5:4-5
For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
Here is the good news!
For believer’s we have a guarantee. We have a guarantee of salvation because the Spirit has been given to us. The word means a guarantee, earnest money, a down payment and the full amount to be paid subsequently. It’s a sure thing.
We see two truths existing side by side in the way that God so often shows us things that are sometimes hard to understand. The fact that we need to detest ourselves yet in that have the utmost of all hope. We hate our sin, but we love our Savior. We detest our flesh but seek the Spirit. There is this bizarre thing going on that is almost too much for the human mind to make sense of. It’s like a puzzle that makes no sense on the surface but as we stand back and gaze upon it later on it all comes clear.
God is that way in so many of the things He does. We don’t understand how sorrow and mourning produce repentance and faith. We don’t get that persecution brings joy. We don’t get it because we can’t see it the way God sees it. We only see the short term, the temporary state of our being.
We don’t always recognize that God is producing in us something that is far more valuable than what we want for ourselves. Perhaps we want something that seems good but maybe God says you are not ready yet. And so we wish for things but God says, “No, not yet, or maybe ‘No, never’ because I have something different for you.”
It’s hard to understand sometimes and I must admit in my flesh I don’t like it and I want this earthly tent to be gone. I want to be in glory with Christ where the struggles of the world are done. But then again, He says “No, I’m not done with you yet…”
And sometimes it’s just great to say it all out loud and cry out to Him for help. “Lord, cleanse me…. Lord forgive me for I am in a sad state of affairs… “
In all of it I find if we don’t know what to do then we can only trust and we can only do our best to obey. It seems obedience is a recipe for success if you will. There is a time when just laying down our arms and giving in to that which we know is true is the best way to go. But yet so often we fight against it. And I don’t want to do that but yet when I do, when I receive the chastening, it produces a peaceable fruit of righteousness and I know I’m a son that has been trained for it.
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
The day is coming friends when we will appear before the judgment seat. All I have to offer the Lord is my obedience and that is not enough so my hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ and that is enough. My focus and my desire needs to be Him and all the rest falls into place. That is my desire. I hope it is also yours.