“I Must Stay at your House Today”

“[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through.  And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.  And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’ And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.’  And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'” Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered the city and made His way through, measured and purposeful. Zaccheus was almost frenetic, his desire to see Jesus hindered because of the crowds, so he ran and hoisted himself up in a tree to catch a glimpse. At the perfect moment, steady met frenzied, love met longing, intent met intensity. Jesus was under love’s compulsion to save this spiritually hungry tax collector, and would have His way in effecting eternal transformation.

When God has a work to do at a specific time, in a specific way, He can be counted on to do it. He may bring particular wisdom, the scripture’s consolation, or palpable comfort. He might open doors to our mess of sin-proclivities and wayward affections for deep conviction and cleansing. His end is always that we know Him better, love Him more, and be sanctified. All He intends to do by way of coming into our house He must do, and will.

It’s important that we recognize we are Zaccheus: small before holy Jesus, and desperately in need of Him. Only then will we take time and effort to seek Him, only then can we joyfully receive Him. Only in responding to His love look will we know the blessedness and fullness of salvation.

Do we awaken each day with a sense of urgency for Jesus to come and enter our world? Would we invite Him to inspect every corner of our minds, all the space of our heart, each room of schedule and dreams? Would we fling open every closet door, every nook and cranny of confusion and consternation, greed and selfishness, of resentment, fear, and salacious indulgence, and yield to His poking and purifying presence? Would we welcome Him not only to come but to stay until He’s finished His work?

What difference is the Spirit’s power making in my daily life? How is His presence inspiring my attitudes and efforts in industry? How is He refining my impulses and cravings? What changes is He making in my discernment, my generosity in ministry?

Lord, may I ever welcome Your compulsion to abide with me. By Your Spirit effect every change You intend, for Your glory.

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