Cleaning out the Rooms
Jesus taught us much about healthy living and habits. If we pay attention to His words, we can learn how to develop good habits and stay whole.
In one of His discourses, He explained the temptations we face from past experiences and sins. He explained the spirit world. If we understand this principle, we can find victory in the areas in which we so desperately struggle.
The point of the story is this: when you get rid of the old, the bad, the ugly, you have to replace it with something good. It’s an intentional act. We will lose if we don’t make this decision.
“When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, he tries to find another place to go – another place that is empty and void. He goes through dry places, trying to find a place to rest. When he can’t find a place, he says, ‘I’ll go back to where I came from. Not only that, I’ll take seven more spirits with me to help fill up that room.'”
The Empty Room Problem
The spirit returns and finds the room clean and empty. There’s plenty of room, so he just waltzes on in and makes himself at home.
Jesus instructs the people (and us) that the condition of the person is now worse than when the spirit left the first time. He would have been better off not to have had the spirit leave than to have this evilness leave and then return, because the horror is even worse. The hold is even greater.
Why is this? Why is it, when we think we’ve conquered a habit or an attitude that suddenly, it seems to have returned; only this time it’s worse than it was before?
Jesus explained why. He didn’t say it has to be this way; He just explained why it happens.
You know what the spirit found when he returned back to that same stomping grounds? He found the room swept clean and empty.
The problem isn’t that the room was swept clean. The problem was that it was empty.
Filling Up the Room
When we try to change a habit, a behavior or an attitude, we can clean up and clean out all we want. Yet, unless we fill that room with something else, something positive and good, it will become a free-for-all for the evil spirit.
The problem with the empty room was that it should have been filled with goodness. If a room is already full, there is no room for the devil; however, we are free bait for evil when our minds are empty.
When God cleans out the room as we confess our sins and wrongdoings, it’s clean and we can have a fresh start. An empty room is fair game for the devil. Instead of having room for evil, fill your mind and your heart with good things, good thoughts, and wholesomeness.
Scripture tells us to feast our minds on these: things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and of good report. The places we go, the activities in which we participate, the things with which we fill our minds, those are the things that fill up our room.
Get busy with the things of God, and you won’t have time to investigate your neighbor or gossip about the newest folks in your church. Learn to immerse yourself in activities that help build your purity instead of keeping a foot or a toe inside the door of places you ought not go. Focus on learning to know more about Jesus by foraging on His Word. Stay busy involved in Kingdom work, and you won’t have time to open the door to the wiles of the devil.
I know this sounds simple and it is a lot easier said than done. Yet there’s another truth here: it works. In time, you will discover that the empty room won’t be a problem – because it won’t be empty anymore.