When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. (Matthew 12:43-45)
Alrighty. I hate cleaning. But I'm about to make a very important point about it.
I just spent my entire weekend cleaning my apartment. Some of it was things like Swiffering the floor, wiping down the sink, cleaning the toilet. And some of it was picking up all of my clean clothes from the clothes mountain on the floor and actually putting them away. I didn't get my entire bedroom cleaned and I haven't even looked at the hall closet, but I made a very sizeable dent in the whole process.
The thing is, no matter how good a job I do, I'm going to have to do it again.
Why you ask? Because if for no other resason I have long hair and a cat, and those two things contribute quite highly to a constant need of Swiffering.And it's annoying, really. I mean, I just spent a day and a half doing little other than cleaning. Once I'm done I should be done, right? I should just be able to lean back and enjoy the clean house, right?
Sadly, no. It's all about upkeep. You know this. I can wash every dish in the sink and put them all back, and in about 20 minutes when I have breakfast--whoops, now I have to wash another bowl.
Our spiritual houses are like this too. I'm just going to go on the assumption that you believe in "evil spirits" or "demons" here, and that they very much enjoy attaching themselves to humans in order to completely muck up their lives.
And of course, we don't want that. So we will do whatever we can to be delivered of these demons. And so we do--hooray! You are now demon-free. You should be able to just lean back and enjoy your clean spiritual house, right?
Nope. It's all about upkeep. You must keep your house full of Jesus, and that means that you'll be going in to clean stuff out pretty much every day. Because of course we sin every day, and you don't want Jesus living in a filthy house, now do you?
So what if you don't invite Jesus into your spiritual house right away after getting rid of those pesky demons? Well, they'll come back. Because they know you. They like you. You're a great host. And if they come back and see this nice clean empty house what will they do? Why, they'll have a party. And they'll invite all their friends. And pretty soon you'll be up to your eyebrows in demons, just when you thought you'd gotten rid of them for good.
What's the moral of the story then? The moral is that we need to be constantly and consistently cleaning up our houses, spiritual and physical. If we realize that we have let either one go, we absolutely must take the time to wipe it clean from top to bottom. And then we have to keep it clean. And in the case of our spiritual house, there's no better way to keep it clean than to invite Jesus to live there. We do generally take better care of our homes when we have a guest, don't we?
Only Jesus doesn't just want to be a guest, He wants to be your roomate. Like forever. So keep those dust cloths out, honey, because you're gonna want to keep your place in order for a long, long time. (But itsn't that better than the alternative?)
And no matter your views on cleaning, you know that it's important. Maybe you just didn't realize how important.
But now you do. :)