The Pain of An Empty House

“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45 NLT)

Something is filling your life! It’s either God’s Spirit or something else.

You may be overloaded by near frantic busyness, but not be fruitful; addicted to tv, the internet or your phone, but not filled with the Spirit of God; your time and life may be filled to the brim with commitments that aren’t producing Godly character; maxed out by your pursuit of happiness, filling your life with trinkets, but which leave no time or desire to seek the Treasure. But why?

Why are we so preoccupied by the need to live such a crowded life? Perhaps we’re terrified by emptiness. In the verses above “empty” can mean “vacant” or “unoccupied,” but it can also mean “to cease from labor, to loiter” or “to be idle” or “to give oneself to a thing.”

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Each day as I’m walking my pups, I pray for each person in each house, asking the Lord to release His Spirit in unprecedented ways to open the hearts and minds of my lost neighbors. I try as often as I can to engage any neighbor who is outside. One such neighbor is often sitting at his workbench in his garage. I asked him if he was working on a project, to which he replied: “No, I’m just killing time.”

The “house” of his life is empty. He put in his time working, so now he’s just waiting to die. I invited him to breakfast or lunch and he got a funny look on his face and said: “Not if you want to talk about religion.” I assured him I had no use for religion, that I mainly wanted to listen to him, to hear his story. He told me he’d think about it.

What’s your story? Are you filled with zeal for the Kingdom of God? Or are you “kicking the tires” of “religion?” Satan thrives on people whose lives are empty, pointless, idle. He doesn’t even care if you’re not living like the devil, as long as you’re not living like Jesus.

It’s ironic that emptiness can result in inactivity – “just killing time” or hyperactivity devoted to a “thing.” What’s my point? You don’t have to do anything to end up in hell. It’s your default destination when you’re not purposely and wholeheartedly following Jesus. Or, you’re pursuing some “thing” that occupies your mind and time, but not your heart.

Think of hobbies that people love – golfing, boating, camping, hiking, running, surfing, canning, eating – the list is literally endless – but to what end? NOTHING! There is no purposeful end other than occupying a person’s time. So, what if you become an expert in whatever it is you’re devoting your life to? If it’s not Jesus, it’s valueless and your eternal destination doesn’t change.

And please don’t misunderstand. The irony is, you can be involved in any of those things, using them for a tool to reach others for Jesus and it’s not idleness, it’s ministry! It’s not necessarily what you do that occupies your emptiness, it’s why you do it.

Why are you alive? What fills your life? You see, the pain of an empty “house” sometimes isn’t realized until we stand before God when this life is ended. Accounting for idleness isn’t going to set well with a Father who gave His only Son so that your meaningless life could have purpose.

Food for thought.

Blessings, Ed 😊  

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