PROGRAM W-1735 – Part I
The Bible teaches that as believers, we are not our own, for we have been bought with a price. Imagine you are a temple—a dwelling place, a house—and you’ve been bought by a new owner, the King of kings and Lord of lords. As a result, your body doesn’t belong to you any longer; it belongs to Jesus. If we think of our bodies as a house, we can relate rooms in a home to rooms in our heart where the King now lives. Obviously, that dwelling place—our bodies—needs to be fit for a king.
Will you use your imagination with me and imagine the King of kings inspecting your home? Remember, he has bought this house of yours and paid a great price for it—he certainly has the right to inspect it any time he wishes.
Imagine that you’re busy cleaning your house and, suddenly, there’s a knock on the door. As you open the door, you see an impressive, official-looking person there, and you say to him, “Yes, may I help you?”
“Excuse me,” he says, “I understand the King lives here, is that right?”
“Oh, indeed it is sir,” you reply. “The King lives right here.”
“But this is such a humble house,” he muses to himself. “I thought he would live in a mansion.” Then he turns to you and says, “Let me be sure we’re talking about the same person—the King of kings lives here—I do have the right address, don’t I?”
“Yes, Sir, you’ve got the right address,” you reply. “The King of kings lives right here.”
“I see,” he says. “Well, I am the Inspector General and I’m here to make certain the King’s house is in proper condition. I see you’re busy cleaning.”
“Oh, yes. Excuse my looks, but I always try to keep it very clean for the King,” you explain. “I wouldn’t want him to live in a cluttered or dirty house.”
“Well, it looks quite nice actually,” he says. “Now what room is this?”
You show him the living room, which is spotless and sparkling. “I’ve just cleaned it,” you point out with pride. “Got rid of some old stuff that’s been lying around too long. You won’t find anything here that is inappropriate. I just threw away a bunch of reading material and videos.”
“And why,” the inspector asks, “did you discard those books, magazines, and videos?”
“Well, I thought that the King probably would never read those things,” you explain hesitatingly. “I mean, it was mostly junk—has no real value and doesn’t do anybody any good—so I threw it out.”
“I’m sure the King will appreciate that greatly,” the inspector responds. “And what is in that closet there?”
“Oh,” you stutter, “. . . nothing really. Why don’t you come on in here? I’ll show you the kitchen. You’ll see that everything sparkles here in the kitchen. I keep it very clean.”
“Yes, it is very tidy,” he agrees. “Can I see in those cabinets?”
“Absolutely,” you respond. “You’ll notice how neat the dishes are. Nothing out of place.”
“Good. . .good,” he says. “Now, about that closet, I’d just like to see. . . .”
“Uh. . .uh. . .” you hesitate, “have you seen the bedroom? Here—come see the bedroom where the King sleeps.” You tug gently on his arm, leading him toward the bedroom.
“Yes, well, that is important,” he says. “My, that’s a lovely large bed. And quite nice curtains.”
“I want it to be perfect for the King,” you tell him with pride. “I want him to feel right at home here. After all, this house belongs to him.”
“Yes, I understand he has purchased this home,” he says.
“Indeed, Sir, he purchased it with his blood, and everything in it is now his possession,” you add.
“That’s good,” he agrees, “but before I leave, I would need to see that closet. Could you just open that closet for me?”
“Well, I don’t think I can do that,” you hesitate. “You see, it’s locked.”
“Do you have the key?” he asks.
“Yes, but there are some private things in there,” you explain. “When the King bought my house and took possession, I just needed some place where I could keep a few things. It’s just one little closet; I don’t think he will mind as long as I keep it locked, do you?”
But he says to you, “You see, the King has the ability to open locked doors and see through walls. So whatever is in that closet, he will know about it no matter how tightly locked you keep it. Therefore, it is my duty as Inspector General to make sure that everything in this house is fit for the King. I’m afraid you will have to open it.”
With this, you get a bit defensive. “You mean to tell me I can’t keep one little closet in this whole house just for me? What’s the big deal with one closet? The King has all the other space. I gave everything else to him and I keep it looking good. Everybody at church says I have the nicest house around. All I’ve got left is this one closet and it’s mine.”
Quietly, gently, he reminds you, “Did you not agree, when you asked the King to purchase your house, that he could control every area of it?”
Hesitatingly you answer, “Well, yes, but one little closet. . . .”
“And did you not tell everyone how wonderful it was to have the King live in your house?” he asks again.
“It is! I love to have him here,” you reply with enthusiasm. “He has changed my whole life; I’m a new person because he lives here. But one closet. . . .”
“If it is his home, doesn’t he have the right to that closet?” his quiet question comes again.
“But wait a minute,” you respond defensively, “I don’t live under law now, I live under grace. I am no longer condemned.”
“Oh, I know all that,” he agrees, “but I’m talking about what you owe the King after all he’s done for you. Why do you think the King wants in that closet? Not because he is a cruel and demanding ruler, but because he knows what is best for you. If you will open that closet to him, you’re going to be amazed at how free you are, because you’ll be free from the power of whatever is in that closet.”
This has never occurred to you. “Free from the power of what’s in that closet. . .?” you answer. “Oh, that would be nice. I have to admit, every time I walk by that closet, I’m convicted. I know I should clean it out, but I’ve had that stuff for so long, and really, it’s no big deal. But I just can’t seem to find the power to clean it out.”
“Ah, but the great news is,” the Inspector replies, “the King will help you clean it out. Here he comes now, why don’t you ask him to help you?”
Now, this is just a story, but the truth of it is clear: Does the King live in your house? Does he own it? Have you turned over the keys to him?
If you have been born from above, then indeed your house—your body, your spirit, your mind—has been purchased through the blood of Jesus and you no longer hold the deed. Listen to what the Bible tells us about our ownership:
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Jesus paid the price for your house when he died on Calvary and rose again. The perfect, righteous Son of God willingly took your place on that cross, to pay the debt you could not pay, so that he could own your house.
Why do you think he would want to own your house and live there? Certainly not because he has no other place to live! He is seated at the right hand of the Father—in glory and majesty. Certainly not because your house offers special accommodations and luxuries that he desires! Your house, like mine, is humble and unpretentious. You have nothing to offer him. Yet he desires to own your house and live in your body. Why?
Because he loves you deeply and he longs to have fellowship with you. He knows what is best for you—he has plans for you that are good, not evil. He wants you to be all you can be in him, and when he controls your house completely, you are free to be yourself. It is a great and wonderful paradox which Jesus taught us—that in order to find ourselves, we must lose ourselves. In order to know freedom, we must give up all rights to ourselves and allow the King of kings to control us.
You may have given him a good deal of control over your life but, could it be, like the story I just told, you have been holding back? You’ve got that one closet you simply won’t open up to the Lord. My challenge to you is to open up every area of your life—every closet you’ve got, no matter how small it is or how long you’ve kept it locked—and give him permission to clean it out and take possession of that closet.
There’s a wonderful little book which has become a classic entitled My Heart, Christ’s Home. If you’ve never read this booklet, I’d like to send it to you as a gift—while supplies last—to encourage you to remember that the King lives in your house and perhaps there are some rooms or closets that you need to make right for the King.