Thursday, June 2, 2016

"No Vacancy"

Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. (Colossians 3:16 VOICE)

To inhabit, one must first "move in".  To inhabit implies the place of really "dwelling" somewhere.  You don't "inhabit" things which have not "become habit" in your lives.  In fact, what you just casually pass by never really becomes your place of "habitation" - it is merely a nice place to visit or take in along your way to wherever it is you are headed.  When we allow the Word of God to "inhabit" or "move into" our lives so as to take up permanence there, we are opening ourselves up to a whole bunch of new possibilities.  I recently cleaned the garage cabinets (at least most of them) - a project I rarely do, but which proves we keep way more than we really need!  In that cleaning project, I found out a couple of things, but mostly that I had "inhabitants" in the garage I did not really want like crickets and some signs there were also a few spiders I don't want to real deal with.  The things we leave unattended are often the things we "give over" to other inhabitants.  It is best to ensure the places of our lives such as our hearts and minds are well-inhabited, not allowing any "vacancy" to exist so that they don't just become "inhabited" by whatever wants to take up residence there!

There are some advantages to allowing God's Word to be what inhabits our minds - but most importantly, what inhabits the mind actually establishes the "protocol" for whatever else comes behind to attempt to inhabit our hearts. The things which inhabit these two parts of our being actually make all the difference in what we "do" with the rest of our bodies.  There are three things the Word of God does when it indwells us:

1) It teaches us what we don't fully know, or haven't discovered yet.  I went to my grandson's baseball game last night.  He does very well in the batting cages at the local park, hitting many of those "robotic pitches" which fling his way while surrounded in the safety and "consistency" of those cages.  On the other hand, he and other players like him don't do as well with the inconsistencies of the "human" pitches being flung their way by those human pitchers on the mound.  Why?  There is a great deal of variability in those pitches.  They haven't discovered how to deal with those variables, such as how to hit the ball curving to the outside corner of the plate.  As long as the ball comes at them with the consistency of almost perfect aim, they can pick it up - it is in the center of their strike range.  When life throws curve balls, we need to know how to hit them! We only learn to hit curve balls when we've been taught both the skill and then practiced that skill time and time again.

2) It brings us counsel we may not have considered yet, simply because we aren't seeing correctly yet, or we just haven't been exposed to the possibilities before us before.  Counsel isn't always "new knowledge" - it just comes to us in a fresh way in a time when we are more ready to receive it than we were when we first heard it (or if you are like me, when you have heard it a million times). There is much to be said about the readiness of the heart to receive what is given, but the main thing here is that counsel is advises us on a certain course of action.  The choice to actually follow that particular course of action still remains squarely in the court of our will.  We might receive much counsel in life, but not all of it is adopted.  What we choose to adopt actually takes up residence in our lives - become the pattern by which we fashion our present and future actions.

3) It allows us to be instructed, but it also acts as instruction to others in our lives.  There is nothing more annoying than to be attempting to go off to sleep after a long day while a cricket is hidden somewhere chirping loudly into the wee hours of the night!  Remembering that we either allow the "indwelling" of our lives through either purposeful pursuit of the right "dwellers", or we give over the indwelling of our lives through neglect or inattention, we can probably guess why the cricket is keeping us up at night!  It isn't because we make them a little "cricket bed" and give them a room of their own!  It is because we neglected to recognize we were giving them access to our lives, giving them the perfect breeding ground to make generations of crickets to follow in their annoying activity!  The Word of God instructs us in the things we can and should do to avoid giving access to the annoying little things in life which will keep us up at night!  It also helps our lives serve as examples of "clean dwellings" others can pattern their lives after.  Just sayin!