When an impure spirit comes out of a person, 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 swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven others spirits more wicked than itself and they to in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. (Luke 11:24-26 NIV)
The most hilarious explanation of this parable I’ve heard is from those who hate housework as much as I do. I love a clean house; I just hate cleaning one. But anyway, I’ve actually heard people say, this is why they shouldn’t clean house–for evil spirits will come in and take up residence there. That’s not what Jesus was saying, and while it’s good for a laugh, it’s not so good for a house that’s never cleaned.
When people are delivered of bad habits and wickedness, they must be careful to “replace” the bad with good. If they are empty–with voids in their lives–Satan returns and brings with him more evil and wickedness than the person knew before. Evil spirits thrive in people who are empty and don’t know which way to turn. But the joy of The Lord–fills us to overflowing.
When cleaning house–the only way to keep it clean is to pay attention to every detail on a consistent basis–never allowing the dust to accumulate to the point they form shapes and move at will. The longer we allow to dust to stay, the more particles from the air it attracts and builds a covering–keeping natural beauty hidden and only the dust is seen–mocking all who see it.
Has anyone ever noticed that if we keep paper laying around, more paper accumulates? Garbage attracts more garbage and the longer it takes us to get it out of our houses, the worse the stench becomes. And sometimes, the stench becomes so strong, it permeates every piece of furniture or curtain and the stench wins if we don’t do something about it.
This is the way sin wins in the lives of many people. They may stop doing one thing, but if they are not vigilant in making sure sin has no means of accumulating again, they’ll attract other sinful things to do. The way we keep our spiritual houses clean is to wash ourselves with The Word on a daily basis. We should be so saturated with the Word in our hearts that sin doesn’t have a chance to enter and entice us to do evil. When our faith is solidly built on our resurrected Savior and our obedience is immediate, Satan doesn’t have a chance. For with The Word, we have a defense against the enemy’s lies, and our with faith sustained in Jesus, we have the power to withstand any dart the enemy launches against us, but we must remain vigilant–never thinking for a moment that he won’t try to get back into our lives and make a bigger mess of them than they were before.
Let’s face it–we all have had a time in our lives before we met Jesus and got to know Him when we did whatever we wanted and didn’t care. Satan was not concerned about us then–he had us. But when we came into knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ and accepted Him as our personal Savior, Satan had to pull out all of his tricks to get us back in line with him. The only way Satan wins in our lives is when we allow him to do so.
Let’s clean house and dust-proof and stench-proof our houses (mind, body, and soul) with a constant washing with The Word of God, so the enemy will never be welcomed.