As I was driving across the prairie of North Central Idaho, I noticed the homes that dotted the landscape.  Some were farm and ranch houses that were obviously filled with activity throughout the day as the family members and others worked in the fields, barns and outbuildings.  I imagined lunch being served around the big kitchen table inside the ranch house or outside on the patio.  It was obvious, just driving by, that the place was used daily for activities of life.

There were other homes, though, which were quiet and still.  I was traveling in the middle of the day and it was apparent that these homes were owned by people who worked at a job in town or in another area of the country.  Some of these may have been second homes, but most of them showed signs of traffic coming and going each day, probably in the evenings when the work day was done.  I have traveled this same area after dark and many of these homes have lighted windows and cars in the driveway during the evening hours.

I began thinking of our homes.  My husband and I live over twenty miles from where we work and we are usually gone in the morning by 6:30 a.m. every weekday and usually don’t return until 6 p.m. or later.  It is rare for us to be home during the week in daylight hours.  We come home, have supper, do laundry, house cleaning and maintenance, and go to sleep.   I know of many people who live that way.  They may spend their weekends at home, catching up on the maintenance that needs done – mowing the lawn, fixing the screen door, weeding the flower bed, etc. – but overall they spend very little time at their house.

It used to be that the home was the base of all activity of the family.  Often, the land surrounding the home was the source of provision for the family and so the men would work the land and the women would work with the provision afforded by the work done by the men.  Gardens were tended, produce was preserved through canning, drying, and freezing, friends were entertained and the home was filled with a buzz of activity throughout the day and night hours.

I am not writing this to promote the return to a lifestyle which is actually not available to many people in this country.  My thoughts are in regard to the parallel of spiritual truth that comes when considering our home – our physical body as the dwelling place of the Spirit of God.  Because we have lives which are segmented and separated into categories such as work, home, play, we may have lost the understanding of the abiding presence of Jesus in this earthen vessel.

Imagine you had someone living in your earthly home who stayed there twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  This person was in your home while you were at work, running errands and going on vacation.  You would see that person when you came home at night and perhaps even engage in conversation.  You might call them during the day to check on things – see if they had done the laundry or needed something from the store.  On the weekends, you would have more time to spend with that person, but you would also have chores, obligations and plans to carry out in order to keep your home in good working order.  All in all, you would probably know the people you work with and interact with outside of your home much more than you would know the abiding resident in your house.

Many people view their Christian life in this very same way.  They have given their life to Jesus Christ and have declared Him to be Lord and Master of their life, but their lives continue on.  He is the resident of their home – their physical body, but His abiding presence in their life every moment of every day is not acknowledged.  They speak to Him in the morning before they leave for work as they have their morning prayer time and they may even call on him during the day to contact Him if they run into a problem or concern He might be able to help with.  In the evening, after the daily chores are done, there may be time to speak to Him again before they retire for the night, although the demands of life may make that time rather limited.  On the weekends, many have actually scheduled time for Him on Sundays (or Saturdays) to acknowledge His presence and spend time with Him and to join with others who also have Him abiding within them.

If you have been Spirit born, receiving the eternal life of Christ in exchange for your dead life of sin and despair, you are now the dwelling place or house where Jesus lives.  He lives within you always.  He doesn’t leave for work every morning and He never takes a vacation.  He cannot be left at home, like the cat, and His presence is ever abiding within the lives of all who have received Him.  To live our lives as though Jesus is only present when we recognize His existence is a deception that erodes the reality of His life being the source of all things.  When we treat Him as though He only fits into certain parts of our life, we disregard the truth that He is our only life – without Him there is no life at all.

I believe the time has come in the Body of Christ to live in the truth that we are the temple – dwelling place – home – of the Holy Spirit.  We don’t leave this body at any point during the day like we leave our house made with human hands.  We live in the very presence of the Most High God and since Jesus is now our life, we can rest in Him.  The care and upkeep of our physical body and soul is to be directed by the One who inhabits our being.  We have spent too much time working on fixing up and maintaining a building that no longer belongs to us.

So what do we do with our time, resources and energy with this understanding that Jesus is our life and is always present?  We make Him the focus and set our attention on Him alone.  He then leads the activities of this “house” and we find purpose, hope and direction that leads us into the only life we were created to live.  His life fills this earthen vessel and it is a treasure beyond compare.