Friday, June 6, 2008

Cleaning House

by Kathy Lay

This Week's Verse: Psalm 51:7, “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (NLT)

I was recently caught up in a whirlwind of cleaning. Company was coming and many, many weeks of mere “surface cleaning” (shuffling clutter and occasionally dusting and vacuuming) had culminated in what was now a monumental job. If I was going to do some really necessary “deep” cleaning, I was going to have to address a few things I’d overlooked or simply lived with for awhile.

Like cob webs! How do I not notice them on a day to day basis, but I really see them when someone is coming over and I look around the house through the eyes of a visitor?

Or like our stairs. I go up and down our dark carpeted stairs many times each day. But I don’t even see the lint, crumbs, and various other matter that collects on them until I know someone outside our family will be climbing them. And then I’m mortified.

When I finally expend a little elbow grease though and really get them looking good, I notice EVERY little piece of whatever shows up on them! Dirty? What’s one more little mud-clump? But clean? Don’t you dare go up those stairs with those shoes on!

That’s the way it is with our spiritual lives too. Just a tiny speck of sin may accumulate daily and then before you realize it, you’ve ridden a slippery slope into a massive nasty junk pile! And when we feel that grimy, what’s one more little stain? It will take a Holy Visitor stopping by to help us actually see the mess we’ve made.

The good news is He’ll help us clean it up too.

Matthew 12: 43-45 refers to a housecleaning incident gone bad: “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (NKJV)

Yikes! How do we prevent our house from ending up in even worse condition? We have to fill it up! The unclean spirit was able to reclaim the residence with his buddies because it was EMPTY. What we have to do is invite the Holy Spirit in to take up residence instead.

Equipped with God’s power and awash with the Spirit’s cleansing light, we begin to not only notice every little speck of dirt or stain, but we want rid of them. We’re able to deal with them sooner so they don’t accumulate and overpower us. We begin to desire not just a superficial once-over rinse, but a deep, purging, lasting cleanse.

When we allow ourselves to be rinsed out daily in His Word, we become clean and pure before God once again. Hallelujah!

As far as housework and never-ending cleaning goes, it sure helps when the whole family pitches in. And as far as keeping our temples clean--Praise God!--we have the Spirit of the Creator living in us to help.

Father, thank you for your indwelling. Your presence leads us to the truth and guides us away from the grit and squalor of a sinful path. And yet even when we do “make a mess” of things You willingly help us to clean it up. Thank You for that grace and for Your never-ending mercies. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

What sins have you lived with for so long that you may have a hard time even noticing them? Ask God to help you do some housecleaning.

Power Verses:
Philippians 2:15
, “…so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. (NLT)
1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (NKJV)
Titus 3:5, “He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning.(CEV)


marsha said...

Awesome insight! I'm glad He does the washin' in my house!

Anonymous said...

God is so very cool!!