Dellas Linaman - Let Christ Be At Home With You - 2005

In Paul's epistle to the Ephesians, we find these words that God would grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your heart by faith or as another has translated, that Christ may settle down in your heart.

Without question, one of the most remarkable doctrines is that Jesus Christ Himself; through the presence of the Holy Spirit, will actually enter a human heart, settle down, and live there and make the heart His abode. Our Lord said to His disciples, "If a man love Me, he will keep my words and My Father will love him and He will come unto him." It was difficult for them to understand what He was saying. How was it possible for Him to make His abode with them in this sense? Inviting Christ is the first step in making the heart Christ's home. He has said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with Me." If you are interested in making your life an abode of the living God, let me encourage you to invite Christ into your heart.

After Christ had entered my heart and in the joy of that new found relationship I said to Him, "I want this heart of mine to be Yours. I want you to settle down and be perfectly at home. Everything I have belongs to you. Let me show you around and introduce you to the various features of the home that you may be more comfortable and that we may have fuller fellowship." He was very glad to come of course, and happier still to be given a place in my heart.

The Library

The first room was the study, that is, the library. Let us call it the study of the mind. Now in my home, this room of the mind is a very small room with thick walls but it is a very important room. In a sense it is the control room of the house. He entered with me and looked around at the books in the bookcase, the magazines upon the table and the pictures on the wall. I followed His gaze and I became uncomfortable. Strangely enough I had not felt bad about this room before but now that He was there looking at the various things I was embarrassed. There were some books there that His eyes were too pure to behold. There was a lot of trash and literature on the table that a Christian had no business to read, and as for the pictures on the wall, in my imagination and thought of my mind, these were shameful. I turned to Him and said, "Master, I know this room needs a radical change, will you help me make it what it ought to be? To bring every thought into captivity to Thee?" "Surely," He said, "That is 1 reason I am here. First take all the things you are reading and seeing which are not helpful, pure and good and throw them out. Now, on the empty shelves, put the books of the bible, fill the library with scriptures and meditate on them day and night. As for the pictures on the wall you will have difficulty controlling these images, but here is an aid." He gave me a full size portrait of Himself. "Hang this centrally on the wall of the mind." I did, and I discovered through the years that when my thoughts are centered upon Christ Himself, His purity and power cause impure imaginations to retreat. So He has helped me bring my thoughts into captivity. 

The Dining Room

From the study, we went into the dining room. The room of appetites and desires. Now this room is a very large room. I spent a lot of time in this room and much effort in satisfying my wants. I said to Him, "This is a very commodious room and I am quite sure you will be very pleased with what we serve here." He seated Himself at the table with me and asked, "What is the menu for dinner?" "Well," I said, "My favorite dishes, dried bones, husks, leeks and garlic, right out of Egypt." These were the things I liked. Worldly fare, I suppose there was not anything radically wrong in any particular item, but it was not the food that should satisfy a Christian. When the food was placed before Him, He said nothing about it but I noticed He did not eat it, I said to Him, somewhat disturbed, "Savior, do You not care for the food placed before You? What is the trouble?" He answered, "I have food to eat that you know not of. My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me." He looked at me again and said, "If you want food that really satisfies you, seek the will of the Father, not thine own pleasures, not thine own desires, not thine own satisfaction, but to please Me and the food will satisfy you." And there around the table, He gave me a taste of doing God's will. What a difference there is. No food like it in the world. It alone satisfies to the end. 

The Drawing Room

We walked next into the drawing room. This room is very intimate and comfortable, I like it. It has a fire place, overstuffed chairs, a bookcase, sofa, and a quiet atmosphere. He also seemed pleased with it. He said, "This is indeed a delightful room. Let us come here often. It is secluded and quiet and we can have fellowship together." Well, naturally, as a Christian, I was delighted. I could not think of anything I would rather do, than have a few minutes apart with Christ in intimate comradeship. He promised, "I will be here every morning, early, to meet with you and we can start the day together." So, morning after morning, I would come downstairs to the drawing room and He would take a book of the Bible from the bookcase. He would open it and we would read together. He would tell me of its riches and unfold to me its truths. He would make my heart warm as He revealed His love to me. They were wonderful hours together, in fact we called the drawing room the withdrawing room. It was a period when we had a quiet time together. But little by little under the pressures of many responsibilities this time began to be shortened. Why, I don't know, but I thought I was just too busy to spend time with Christ. This was not intentional it just happened that way. Finally, not only was the time shortened but I began to miss a day now and then. I remember one morning when I was in a hurry rushing down the stairs, eager to be on my way, as I passed the drawing room, the door was ajar. Looking in, I saw a fire in the fire place and the Lord sitting there. Suddenly, in dismay, I thought to myself, "He was my guest, I had invited Him into my heart. He had come Lord of my home, yet here I am neglecting Him." I turned and went in. With downcast eyes I said, "Blessed Savior, forgive me. Have you been here all these mornings?" "Yes," He said, "I told you I would be here every morning to meet with you." Then I was even more ashamed. He had been faithful in spite of my unfaithfulness. I asked His forgiveness and He readily forgave me, as He does when we are truly sorry. He said, "The trouble with you is this: you have been thinking of the quiet time together, the bible study and prayer time as a factor in your own spiritual program but you have forgotten that this hour means something to Me, too. I desire your fellowship, I want your fellowship." 

The Rumpus Room

I remembered the time He inquired about the playroom. I was hoping He would not ask about that. There were certain associations and friendships, activities and amusements that I wanted to keep for myself. I did not think Christ would enjoy them or approve of them, so I evaded the question. But there came an evening when I was leaving to join some companions and I was about to cross the threshold. He stopped me with a glance, "Are you going out?" He asked. "Yes," I answered "Good," He said, "I would like to go with you." "Oh," I replied, "I don't think, Lord, that You would really want to go with us. Let's go out tomorrow night to the bible study, but tonight I have another appointment." He said, "That's all right, but I thought that when I came into your heart, we could do everything together. We were going to be partners. I want you to know that I am willing to go with you." That evening I spent some miserable hours. I felt wretched. What kind of a friend was I to Christ? I was deliberately leaving Him out of my associations, going places and doing things that I knew very well He would not enjoy. When I returned that night there was a light in His room and I went up to talk it over with Him. I said, "Lord, I have learned my lesson, I cannot have a good time without You. We will do everything together from now on." 

The Hall Closet

There is just one more matter that I might share with you. One day, I found Him waiting for me at the door. There was an arresting look in His eye. He said to me as I entered, "There is a peculiar odor in the house. There is something dead around here. It is upstairs, I think it is in the hall closet." As soon as He said the words I knew what He was talking about. Yes, there was a small hall closet up there on the landing, just a few feet square. And in that closet behind lock and key I had 1 or 2 little personal things that I did not want Christ to see. I knew they were dead and rotting things and yet I wanted them for myself so I was afraid to admit they were there. I went up the stairs with Him and as we mounted, the odor became stronger. He pointed out the door and said, "It's in there, some dead thing." I was angry, that's the only way I can put it. I had given Him access to the library, the dining room, the drawing room, the rumpus room, and now He was asking me about a little 2x4 closet. I said inwardly, "This is too much, I am not going to give Him the key." "Well," He said, reading my thoughts, "If you think I am going to stay up here with that odor you are mistaken," and I saw Him start down the stairs. When you have come to know and love Christ the worst thing that can happen is to sense His fellowship retreating from you. I had to surrender, "I'll give you the key." I said sadly, "But you will have to open the closet and you will have to clean it out. I haven't the strength to do it." "I know you haven't," He said, "Just give me the key and authorize me to take care of that closet and I will." So with trembling fingers I passed the key over to Him. He took it from my hand, walked over to the closet, opened it, entered it, and took out all the rotting stuff and threw it away. Oh, to have those things out of my life. What victory and release.

Transferring the Title

"Lord is there any chance that you will take over the responsibility to keep my heart what it should be?" I could see His face light up as He replied, "Certainly, that is why I came. You cannot be a Christian in your own
strength, that is impossible. Let Me do it through you and for you. That is the way, but I am not owner of this home, I am just a guest and have no authority to proceed since the property in not Mine." I saw it in a minute and, dropping to my knees, said, "Lord, you have been the guest and I have been the host, from now on I am going to be the servant and Yyou are going to be the Lord." Running as fast as I could to the strongbox, I took up the title deeds to the house, describing the assets and liabilities, its situation and conditions. Then, returning to Him I eagerly signed it over to Him to belong to Him alone for time and eternity. 

May Christ settle down in your heart and be at home as Lord of all.