If you were to come over to my home and ring the doorbell, and I opened the door to see you smoking a cigarette, I would ask you to put the cigarette out before coming into my home. I don’t have ashtrays, nor do I let anyone smoke in my home. So I would not be able or willing to facilitate what you brought with you.
If you came to my home and started cussing like a sailor, I would ask you to adjust your language because I do not allow profanity in my home either. If you came over with your girlfriend or guy friend and had been invited to stay the night with us, you could not sleep in the same room or the same bed. I would show both of you to two separate rooms because, in my house, no matter what you do in your own home, you would not be able to share a bedroom. Or do drugs. Or drink strong alcohol. You get the point.
The reason why you would not be able to do those things is because you’d be in my house. And in my house, there are certain governing guidelines by which all who enter must adjust.
Maybe in your house you smoke cigarettes, swear, or drink Jack Daniel’s. But that wouldn’t matter much to me when you came over to my home. Since I pay the mortgage on my house and I pay the bills for my house, it’s my domain. Thus, you would have to adjust to my rules. If you fail to adjust, we are going to have a conflict. And even though I may have invited you over, it may not be a meaningful get-together—or a long one—because I will simply ask you to leave if you choose not to abide by my rules.
My daughter Chrystal has a very strong heart and mind. She knows what she wants to do, and that strength has given her the ability to go far in her life, despite challenges and difficulties. But when she was younger and still living at home, that strength sometimes collided with my own. One day she came to me arguing about something, and the argument went on for some time. Seeing that I wouldn’t relent on my stand, she decided to walk away while I was still talking to her. I quickly asked, “Where do you think you are going?”
She replied, “I’m going to my room!”
To which I said, “You are not going to your room because that is not your room. That is my room, and I let you sleep in it. And right now, you cannot go there.”
See, Chrystal had a wrong view of the room she used in my house. She didn’t own it; she got to use it. If you are a parent, then you probably can relate to this. As the parent, you pay the bills and provide the electricity, gas, food, and furniture. And yet your teenagers often want to argue about your rules. They want you to adjust to their rules, but it is your house. Good parenting doesn’t adjust. Good parenting establishes loving guidelines and boundaries, which then teaches the children respect, self-control, and obedience.
Friend, we may all understand parenting pretty well. But somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten these principles as they relate to God. But God has a house. The name of His house is called His kingdom. God’s kingdom is His comprehensive rule over all creation. Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”
God calls His creation His abode. Because it’s His abode, He gets to run His house the way He wants to. He makes the rules.
Tony Evans, The Power of Jesus’ Names (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2019).
We have just released a new Bible study on topic of The Power of Jesus’ Names. This study supplements Tony Evans’s book by the same name.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Part 1: Power in His Positions
2. Alpha and Omega
4. Lamb of God
5. Great High Priest
Part 2: Power in His Person
7. I Am
11. Son of God, Son of Man