The Empty House - Part 2
I've gotten alot of mail regarding the "Empty House" letter of the other day, and I thank you all for the comments, insights and sharing experiences you've had. The general theme in the responses I have received state the same things, that the Lord is preparing His bride and getting us in order. Even though it is a painful process, He is slowing conforming us to the "image of His dear Son", and questioning our motivations.
To briefly recap the dream I had, the Lord showed me a new house I was having built that was almost finished when I found out it had been "gutted" by fire. The outside structure was still intact and on the surface looked like a fine house. It was all brick and very attractive. However, when I went up the driveway to look into the house, I could see that the house was just a shell. It reminded me of the fake houses used on movie sets, nothing more than an exterior. The only remains that could be found inside the house were ashes that could barely fill a dustpan. A "voice" (which I assumed was the builder) told me not to worry, that the house would be finished in "6 months". On first thought I assumed there was some "natural" correlation, like I was going to move, the house would burn and would have to be redone. However, the more I pondered the dream, the more I realized that it was symbolic. Many times when God is trying to get a message across to us, He uses "dreams", otherwise known as "dark speech". Other times He can use friends, relatives, children, a spouse, spiritual leader or just about any other thing to confirm or deny plans, choices or simply reveal motivations hidden to ourselves. The latter applied to me in this dream.
David said in the Psalms for the Lord to cleanse him of "hidden faults". Sometimes things are so buried away inside us that we don't realize they are there or why we act the way we do sometimes. I believe God was helping me to examine my "hidden faults" through this dream. As I mentioned in the previous article, the "house" was my life and the fire was God's judgment. The things inside the house were burned and nothing remained, however the structure of the house, foundation and framing were intact. I get from this that the "foundational" things in my life were fine and could withstand testing, but that the other "things" could not. To better explain this, read the following passage from I Cor. 3:10-15:
"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with FIRE; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is BURNED up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire." Well, we all now know what happened to me. :)
The Word teaches us that if we judge ourselves we will not be judged. I believe it is time for many of us to "judge" ourselves and question our motivations, before "that day", when our true works will be revealed by fire. I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand before Jesus and explain why I only have a "dustpan" full of ashes to offer Him as evidence of my work for Him on this earth.
Willie Jefferson, 7/31/97
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