C. S. Lewis has written these poignant words in Mere Christianity:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.”
How surprised we are to find Him dwelling in the palace He is creating in our lives; and what strange and remarkable gifts He brings to decorate the rooms. These are not to be hoarded or admired, but to be distributed. He paints hospitable pictures within our hearts which we in turn give away through the amazing work of the gift of hospitality.
Since prayer is so much the key to developing any gift of the Holy Spirit, here are some “knee” exercises to aid in practicing the gift of hospitality.
- Wait on the Lord, asking, “Who is it, Lord, to whom You wish me to extend an invitation?”
- Bend your knees to spend time in spiritual heart-reading. Ask yourself: Are there sins in my life I need to confess? Are there people in my life I need to forgive? “These I confess, O Lord, and these I forgive. Create in me a new and clean heart.”
- Take that clean heart along into the hospitality preparations. Remind yourself that it is the Spirit who creates an atmosphere of soul-to-soul, mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart. “Lord, You do the work of spiritual ministry. Help me to keep my human efforts from getting in the way.”
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.