6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

How many times have you seen a house that looked so promising, you couldn’t help but want to buy it? That very thing happened to me some time ago. I was interested in buying a home, and sure enough, there was one caught my eye! It wasn’t too far from where I was working, the price seemed reasonable, and it seemed to have plenty of living space.

Something else caught my eye, when I saw a room with a small glass window, facing north-west, as I recall. That room might be a good place for a study, or for storing my model trains, or any similar use, I remember thinking. That room added one more “piece of the pie”, so to speak, and my wanna-be-a-home-owner juices really began to bubble!

So, I made an appointment with a realtor and she told me all about the house. We looked at the main rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and it may have had a basement. Most everything looked fine, except that I wondered where the staircase was, so that we could see that upstairs room.

When I asked the realtor about it, I couldn’t quite figure out her reaction. Have you ever seen a realtor at a loss for words? She was, and then she eventually stammered something along the lines of “I guess they just didn’t want to keep access to that room, whatever it was”. In all fairness, maybe she didn’t know what had happened to that room either, and simply spoke what came to her mind first.

Needless to say I didn’t go any further with my dreams for that piece of property but that was due to other things. Besides, it may have been a lot of money to finance the access to a room that was already part of the house! And I certainly wouldn’t have had the cash to make it happen.

We can make a few observations from this house with the unused room. First, one of the previous owners had clearly made a deliberate choice to close off access to that upstairs room. I understand, of course, that extra room means extra money to keep it warm or cool, depending on the season. Less room, less expense—I get it. And it may have been cheaper to close off a room than to pay the heat bill!

Second, God wants to seal off certain things from us and for us. The nation of Israel faced a number of what seems like restrictions, but then they would have had God’s blessings had they followed God’s instructions (see Exodus 19:5, e.g.). They didn’t need to be copies or imitations of the surrounding, pagan, ungodly nations—but that’s exactly what happened. And they paid dearly for this rebellion against God. The Old Testament speaks plainly of this.

Finally, this modification to the house tells me that there was plenty of room for something, but because it can’t be accessed, it can’t be used. Have we built up walls when we could have built stairs, making the space or access productive? Unused, it didn’t profit anyone or anything.

Why not look to use what is available, and not close it off?

Related Sermon Illustrations

  • In The Book The God Chasers, Tommy Tenney ...

    Contributed by Chip Monck on Feb 15, 2005
    based on 1 rating
     | 2,019 views

    In the book The God Chasers, Tommy Tenney writes, "I don’t know about you, but I am tired of just being ‘another somebody’ to the lost around me. I have made a decision. I made up my mind and set my heart to declare, ‘I am going to pursue the presence of God in my life. I am going to get so close ...read more

  • 10. Is It Really Possible To Introduce ...  PRO

    Contributed by Chip Monck on Feb 15, 2005
    based on 16 ratings
     | 1,117 views

    10. Is it really possible to introduce pyrotechnics gradually? 9. Do rhinestones and choir gowns ever make a positive statement? 8. Never enlist a Worship Leader with a Marilyn Manson tattoo! 7. While drums can be a welcome addition to any worship service, is it really necessary to have ...read more

Related Sermons