How To Set Up House in 2020

Except for a handful of items, when I look around at the house we are renting, everything is new. Even though most items are second hand, to me they’re new. They’re new in my life, they’re new things to look at, touch and use. Plants, trees, decking, furniture, appliances, cushions, mats on the floor, blinds, curtains, everything. The whole place is new to me and I find it so pretty. It makes me feel happy:-)

The house is full of light – beautiful natural sunlight. It is painted and furnished in beautiful whites and creams – there are pops of colour with cushions and vases, picture frames – gentle colour. There’s a softness. It’s warm, it’s embracing, it’s cool at the same time and it’s all fresh. It is a totally fresh look for me.

It’s different altogether than what I’ve had or put together before. In the past I’ve had a culmination of house furnishings from family members and only a few items here and there have been things that I’ve chosen myself. The only other time in my life when I’ve gone and purchased things to make a real little nest for myself was when I was very young but even then I still had a mish-mash of family’s things, furniture and items along with things that I purchased.  Even when I married Derek, we used his furniture.

With the last two houses we lived in, in Perth, I didn’t do anything with them at all. The first house was completely furnished by what people had given us. There were half a dozen items that I got second hand but I didn’t put any work into the house, I didn’t add to it, I didn’t make it pretty, I didn’t buy plants or do any gardening or even put pictures up on the walls. It was just a house for us to live in while we were there. I treated both the houses we lived in the same way.

I have to say that all of this was a very rich experience  – having one’s house furnished by the body of Christ there. It was very special and we were very grateful.  I think in hindsight, that it helped us remain with an outlook that we were there to be with the church so the house wasn’t the purpose. The house and making it a home, wasn’t that important to us. And we knew we wouldn’t be living there forever. We thought we’d be there about 3 years but were prepared to be there longer or less, whatever God put on our hearts. But there was a sense of not putting our roots down there in the natural because we knew it wouldn’t be permanent. And so the little money that we earned was just to keep us there but our time and our lives were there for the church. Coming here where there is no church yet, we are again here for the Lord to build His church, and we see that that’s going to be a slow process.

We sense that we’ll be living in this little house for a good length of time because it takes time for the Lord to build His church and we could be just praying for two years. We’ve been praying so far for nine months and perhaps there is a little tiny ripple in the water. However, it’s the Lord’s work and it is His timing and His preparing of us and other living stones in the quarry before He brings us all in together onto the building site, so to speak. So at this time we’re being established here in this house and area in the natural as well as in the spiritual.

If you’ve never gotten rid of everything to start over again, I can thoroughly recommend it. It is an amazing experience. We came here with practically nothing. We just came with a few cartons of things we had in storage but nothing else, no furniture, no plates, cutlery, no cushions, no chairs, no lounges, no tables, no beds, no appliances. It has been a whole project to furnish the house to meet our living needs and to prepare it for others to be here with us so we’ve got enough seating and sleeping, got enough plates and glasses etc, to meet with other saints.

The Lord has been using this to teach me much needed lessons in delayed gratification because it’s been a long process. Its been a process as we waited on income to purchase this and that and only a bit at a time per pay packet. You know, what can we live without till the next pay comes in or the one after that or the one after that. For example, we didn’t need a microwave urgently, so that was a few months before we got a microwave even though it was only $40…that sort of thing. But seeing how the Lord has been furnishing the house in what He’s given us for free? Wow. What an experience.

Amazingly, so much of what we have now has been picked up for free on the side of the road! Or it’s been bought second hand on market place and we’ve done things up. When I’d walk Rocky I’d find an item and it would match everything else! I had a list before I left Perth of all the things that I needed and wanted to get to put in our new home wherever we would be. These things I have waited to cross my path. I could buy them perhaps but sometimes there was (and still is) a sense of “just wait”. Then I’d find it for free or I’d find a second hand one for a cheap price.

It seems to me that in such a loving way, a colour scheme has risen out of nowhere that the Lord has put together. (It’s risen out from Him of couse). Things that I’ve been attracted to and gathered – well just amazingly when I look around the house, everything is connected. Every room is connected in a colour scheme and a style and its incredible seeing the Lord furnishing this house in the natural.

This is just speaking into what He’s doing in the spiritual of course and that it takes time for Him to prepare, build, and get what He is after. There is delayed gratification when waiting on the Lord in spiritual matters. There is a time of waiting, there is a time of preparing. Through the project of setting up house, He’s been showing me that there’s just one step and then you wait and then another step and you wait. Oh, and there’s also a surrender. There’s a giving up, letting go. That is an imperitive part of the process to remain in peace and surrender to Him, lest ‘things’ become idols and become way too important. God won’t share His place in our hearts with anyone or any thing. Not any interest, hobby, taste, passion, desire, nope – nothing.  We must be prepared to lose everything tomorrow, if He asks us to. So there’s this reliance on His provision. And nothing is gathered that doesn’t serve a purpose, that isn’t needed. There’s a waiting on His instruction and direction. And one piece at a time. Everything has His flavour in it so it’s all reflecting Him.

And that’s how its going to be here with the church that He’s building here in Newcastle. It will be fresh, it will be new, it will reflect His life, His nature, His character, His personality and it will be built over time. One piece at a time according to His plan, His timing, His purpose.

He’s the architect, He is the master builder, He’s the one that lays the foundation, He is the foundation. He is the colour scheme, He’s the furnishings, He’s the decorations, He’s the adornments, He’s the environment, He’s the atmosphere, He’s the beauty, He’s the peace, He’s the calm, He’s the warmth, He’s the natural light shining in.  It’s all about Him.

His house is so pretty. His house is the prettiest house in the street.  In all creation His house is the prettiest house. It’s the most welcoming house, it’s the most open house, it’s the warmest house and yet it is hidden and yet it is visible.

The saints in Perth sent us a parcel recently, filled with things they had made together to minister the Lord’s life to us and encourage us. In the parcel was a picture frame around a cross-stitch picture of a house and garden and the words ‘Home Sweet Home’.  So I painted the frame white to match everything else and it sits humbly up on the wall near our beautiful solid timber dining table that we found on the side of the road which Derek restored beautifully.

Yep, God’s Home is sweet alright. And He is the carpenter, He’s the restorer. We love Your house oh Lord. We look forward to You getting Your house here in this place. It will be the prettiest house and You will love it and call it Home.

What Is God’s House Like?

nature-1984314_1280For the month of January, the awesome dudes on 3rdrace.org blogged about ‘God’s House’.  It was part of a series they’re doing pertaining to God’s Eternal Purpose – (God having an ultimate intention, desire and passion for obtaining a house and a family for the Father, a bride and a body for the Son and a temple for the Holy Spirit). For the month of February they are focussing on God’s desire for a ‘Family’ as the next part in this series and I will be contributing to that. I thoroughly recommend visiting their site to read the current posts.

As most of you would know by following my blog, Derek and I have just relocated to Perth. We arrived five weeks ago and are soooo blessed to be staying with a wonderful brother and sister who have welcomed us (and our dog Rocky) with open arms. We are truly so thankful to these guys. 🙂

Reading through 3rd race’s posts on God wanting a house and with us being in this situation of not having our own house just yet, has really opened my eyes to why having a house of His own is so important to God. So I’d like to share my thoughts.

Derek and I are looking for a rental but God doesn’t want a rental. He doesn’t want a Guest House or a B&B. He wants His own house. He doesn’t want your house or my house. As nice as it is when we cry out “You are welcome here today Lord”, He doesn’t want anyone else’s house where He can be a welcome guest. He wants His own house.

Why do you and I like to have our own house? Well, it’s where we dwell, right? We want a permanent place to dwell where we can rest, be comfortable, relaxed and feel completely free to be ourselves – hence the expression to ‘feel at home’ means all these things.  It’s in our nature to desire a home because it is in God’s nature – it is part of us having been made in His image.

In our own home we furnish it with things we like and furniture that we find comfortable and that works well for our needs. We set up the house to reflect our needs and pleasures. If you’re a handyman you probably like a shed where you can keep all your tools and have a great work bench to make things. If you’re a cook, you’ll probably want a kitchen that functions well for a lot of cooking and you’ll have appliances there that suit your needs. If you’re like us and you love to watch movies, you’ll probably want a comfy couch and a big screen tele so you can get the best cinematic experience you can. And on it goes.

So what about God’s house? Initially I was going to say that I don’t know Him well enough to know how He’d want to furnish His house, other than to say that I know He’d want it to be a place where He can rest, be comfortable, relaxed and completely free to be Himself. However, I think I actually do know how He’d want to furnish His house….(in fact, how He already is furnishing it).

Just take a look at these scriptures;

O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8)

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23).

So the Word became human and made his home among us...(John 1:4)

We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’ (Mark 14:58)

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:17)

As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

Your testimonies are very sure: holiness becomes your house, O LORD, for ever. (Psalm 93:5)

In my Father’s house there are many rooms…I go to prepare a place for you…(John 14:2)

Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples (Isaiah 56:7)

“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Matthew 21:13)

Reflecting carefully on these scriptures, I would describe God’s house like this;

God’s house is a spiritual house, not yet complete. It is being built together of living stones and not built by human hands but by the Spirit of God. It is an Owner/Builder one-off project. It’s foundations is Christ. It’s cornerstone is Christ. It’s capstone is Christ. It has many rooms in it. The Father and the Son both dwell there in love. Therefore its rooms are filled with  love and the presence of God permeates the walls, floors and ceilings with a heavenly fragrance. The Word of God lives there amongst the living stones. Its walls are decorated with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control – it is altogether beautiful.  Instead of a television, the light of God’s glory fills every room. It is a house that is set apart from all others because it is filled with God’s holiness – there is not another like it and never will be. Every piece of décor is a one-off original, and by design, a ‘Divine’ label.  It is a sacred place that is constantly filled to the rooftop with prayer and spiritual sacrifices where its living stones minister to God as priests day in and day out. It has an altar in the centre of it where the living stones practise the one-another’s of the New Testament (love one another, be kind to one another, carry one another’s burdens, lay down your life for one another, submit to one another in love and so on) reflecting God’s nature. It is a place that pleases God. He really, really likes it. He is completely ‘at home’ there and sees Himself reflected in every aspect of it. It is built and decorated to His own unique taste. It is filled with joy! And it has a huge ‘Welcome’ mat at its front door welcoming all people. 🙂

God’s house completely reflects and embodies His Son’s life.

The thing is, we ARE the living house of God – because His Son lives in us. The Father and the Son have made their home in us and so we ARE being built together* as a spiritual house for God, a place where Jesus Christ can lay His head, be comfortable and express Himself and His Father, freely.

Jesus said;

For whenever two or three of you are gathered together* in My name there I am in the midst.(Matthew 18:20).

As I meditated on this thought, I saw in my mind’s eye a picture of Jesus walking around amongst the two or three that are gathered. I realised that when we are gathered in His name, it is then that Jesus gets to experience being ‘at home’. In that brief picture it was as if the heavenly living reality of God’s house that exists now through the church reflecting Christ’s nature, was made visible and I could see that Jesus is ‘at home’ in that environment. When we meet in His name, there He is! He’s walking about in His own home because He is able to move around and express Himself in each one of us as He wants to – relaxed, comfortable, full of joy and at rest.

Does this change your perspective on the way you have always seen the house of God?

Oh Lord, build Your house, transform us, build us together as Your living stones, that You may dwell richly among us and be ‘at home’, for Your sake.

Amen.

*Note: According to scripture Christ does not appear in the midst of one singular separated member of His body but when two (more than one) or three are gathered together in His nameAccording to scripture one single separated member does not suffice as a spiritual house – we are a spiritual house being built together.