Does God live in your house? Or is God just a neighbor of yours?
You know, maybe you see each other when you come out your door to go to work or to school? Or when you bring your mail in or take your trash out? Or on a really beautiful day – when you just have to be outside – you run into God walking around your neighborhood? Maybe you’re even a good neighbor to God. You always keep your yard mowed, leaves raked or sidewalk shoveled as the seasons demand. You even toss His newspaper up closer to His front step if you’re the first one out in the morning. As far as you can tell, you never do anything to really bother God. And by golly! Anytime your paths cross you always smile, wave and say, “Hello!” to God. So you’re obviously a pretty darn good neighbor. Some people never say, “Hello!” to their neighbors after all. There have even been times when the two of you worked on some pretty meaningful projects together for the benefit of others.
Yet, somehow you know that every time you have a brief – and even polite – encounter with God, He wants something more. It seems like God would love for the two of you to really get to know each other. But, you just don’t have the time. You just don’t want God in your life in any real way. Not in any actual face-to-face, intimate, involved-with-your-life kind of way. Being God’s neighbor is just fine with you.
It’s not fine with God. God doesn’t want to be our neighbor. God is not Mr. Rogers.
God is our Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Sovereign and Intimate Lord, our Abba! And our God, who loves us beyond what we could ever imagine, wants to live with us and live in us.
“Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me, and I am in you.” – John 14:19-20
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” – John 14:23
God wants so much more for each one of us. Even if we have put our faith in Jesus as Savior, we may still very much need to fully open up our houses – fully open up our hearts – to honestly, intimately and powerfully let God, His Word and His Spirit take up permanent residence with us. Is God’s Name on the deed to your life? Do you know that God is your life? Do you know God loves you as your Eternal Abba – your Heavenly Daddy? Do you know God’s heart for you? Do you love and trust and obey God because you are His precious child?
God will never be satisfied, and we will never know the sweet joy of intimacy with God, if we keep God only as our neighbor, never letting Him fully into our houses, our hearts and our lives.
I pray that each of us will courageously open up the door to our hearts in a radical way to truly let God live with us, in us and through us – so that we will be God’s messengers of love and peace, grace and truth to all of our other neighbors!