We've all probably heard a saying about it taking a special person to make a house a home, or lots of love to make a house into a home, right? This is quite true, as houses are nothing without those who live within them. Those who dwell within actually create the "culture" of the home - they give a unique atmosphere to the home environment. The one who dwells within the walls of the house has a special way of making that house their own - by decorating it as they like, opening it to visitors, and often creating a family within those walls. Now, think about that a little differently - your body as a house of sorts. Your body houses the Spirit of God and as such, the atmosphere of your life changes, does it not? The one who "dwells within" the house makes a difference in the "culture" or atmosphere of the "house".
A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. (Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV)
The very atmosphere of our lives changes the moment the Spirit of God "indwells" us. The one who takes up "residence" within begins to affect the condition of the "house". He sets about to begin the subtle "redesign" of our interior by first bringing order to the inner workings of our lives. This happens when he begins to settle our emotions, sort out our mind's constant musings, and then reorder our choices. As such, he becomes integral to the "culture" of our inner being. We begin to see the affects of his "touch" by the evidence of these things. What once was pretty beat up and worn out begins to take on new life and fresh purpose.
God's Spirit brings into our lives much wisdom - through helping us to take knowledge we receive and turning it into knowledge we put into repeated and reliable practice in our lives. In time, he helps us to think differently about the "space" of our lives and begins to fill in the gaps which exist, unclutter the places which have become too "busy" with stuff which doesn't matter, and to rearrange things so we develop a sense of ease with who we are as individuals loved and cherished by God himself. As a result of the work within, there becomes evidence of "remodel" which spills over the outside. Just as a home owner may begin on the inside to make their "space" their own, they will also begin to focus on making the outside have a little "curb" appeal. Why? They want the work done on the inside to begin to be reflected to those who can only see someone "new" has taken up residence on the inside.
Now, this passage deals a lot with the culture we allow to be established in our homes and with our families. Yet, the culture of a family begins with the individual. The one who is wise will invite the work of the Spirit of God in their lives because they recognize the importance of creating the right "culture" within before they try to work the "culture" into the whole. As the one life is affected, the spill-over affect begins to occur in the lives of those who also dwell within the home. God doesn't just clean us up to make us "clean", but to begin to affect the "atmosphere" of those around us. As life change occurs, life choices change and this very change in focus or intent has a way of affecting the atmosphere of others. So, if we want our lives to be set in order and to reflect a different culture, or atmosphere, than we might have been reflecting in the past, we just need to begin by inviting Jesus to become the most important "resident" in our "home". Just sayin!