Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there. If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! (Ps.139:7-10, Message)
Several years ago, we took a trip to Hawaii, one of several dream destinations for a lot of people. We always wanted to go, but, to be honest, I was a little reluctant because the idea of flying across hundreds of miles of ocean was a bit disconcerting to me. Thankfully, I got over that, and we had a very nice time there.
On one of our outings, we decided to hop on a shuttle to try to find some shopping. We stopped at what was supposed to be a shopping center. It was, indeed, that; but we once got inside, we were confused. It appeared that there were several office-like suites. As we explored further, we finally discovered that there was an entire floor dedicated to duty-free shopping. It was a zone where products were sold without the import, sales, value-added or other taxes. You’ve probably seen them in some airports and even on cruise ships.
There are, obviously, many types of zones, but there is one particular type of zone I want to talk about. In our first book, Marriage is Not for the Faint of Heart, we discussed the idea that many people seem to feel that their homes are a sort of “God-free zone.” The concept was that, as Christians, they knew they were to behave in a Christ-like manner throughout their day as they interacted with the “world.” However, once they crossed the threshold of their homes, they could now let their hair down and act anyway they please. They may not have consciously declared their homes as a God-free zone, but all of their actions said it loudly and clearly.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the television series, “The Twilight Zone.” Most of the stories had odd endings that revealed that things were not always as they seemed. Unfortunately, although a lot Christians may not be living in a “twilight zone”, per se, their home lives may not be exactly as they appear to be from the outside. They are, in fact, living in a “God-free zone”.
So, how do you know if you’re living in a so-called God-free zone? You can determine it by asking yourself the following questions:
- How do I treat my spouse and/or children when no one else is looking?
- What tone do I use? Am I rude and unmannerly?
- Do I use foul or abusive language?
- Am I ready to pounce on every mistake my family members make?
- Do I make every effort to represent Jesus in my home?
- Am I an encourager or do I use put downs to make my point?
- Do I try to win disagreements by going for the jugular?
I could go on and on with the questions, but I think you get the point. Why is it that we don’t particularly care what the people closest to us think of our behavior? They are, after all, the ones on whom we have the most influence. They are, in fact, the ones who can tell the world who we really are.
Let’s not get it twisted! God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. We couldn’t escape Him if we tried. Instead of living a life of duplicity, why not let the Holy Spirit inside of us transform us into the very image of God so that we are whom we appear to be no matter where we are – home or otherwise. Let’s not allow our homes to be a God-free zone. Let’s say, joyfully, “God you are welcome into every part of my life, nothing is hidden from you, I have no secret rooms you aren’t allowed into.” (Pam)