Cleaning house has always been a difficult task me and our kids. My wife often has to remind us to clean up behind ourselves. She says to us, “would you guys please put your stuff away?” Sometimes we forget and other times we just don’t do it. I have to admit it– we simply get lazy and satisfied with the way things are. The results are a mess until we get things cleaned up.
It reminds me of my mom and dad telling me to clean up my room and pick up after myself. On one occasion when I was young, my Mom said, “if you do not clean up your things, I will come and clean up for you,” which means she would throw everything away that makes the room junky.
As God’s children, we will be aided by his Holy Spirit in sweeping and cleaning out the untidiness that cause us to sin and fall short of his glory. He wants us to have a clean house — one that public pollution can not inhabit. Our battle should be, “Clean me from the inside out.” Purity of heart is knowing that God’s holiness makes us clean and righteous on the inside, even if we may appear dirty on the outside. You see, purity frees us from getting a fever of spiritual infection and strengthens our soul’s immune system. “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” II Corinthians 7:1
Sometimes I wonder — if I never received a spiritual house cleaning, would my life be as clean as Christ wants it to be? If all the worldly attitudes such as hatred, greed, self-centered living and envy piled up in my spiritual house, I would indeed need a cleansing by the power of his Holy Spirit. The Message Bible says in Hebrew 12:28b, “He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and don’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!”
A lot of us have “stuff” taking up space in our heart that impedes the fruit of the spirit from taking root in our daily walk with Jesus. You see, the Lord wants us to remove the junk from our life and have a pure heart— one that he can use for his purpose. “Create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit with me.” Psalm 51:10. God can no doubt clean up our lives from the inside by sweeping up and cleaning out the clutter that causes us to sin and fall short of the blessings he wants to bestow upon us.
Have you ever done a load of laundry without using soap? If so, you know the clothes were still dirty when you were done. The same goes for our spiritual lives. We need God’s cleansing power to scrub the dirt from our lives. Often as he purifies us internally, people notice externally that we have been washed in the cleansing blood of the lamb.
On the TV show “Clean House," the producers search for homes that are dirty and full of stuff that make the place nearly unlivable. The big question is, “Who wants a clean house?” The interesting fact is that the owners need the helpers to do the cleaning. If these owners didn’t have help to clean their home, it would remain one big pigpen full of mess and mayhem. Hebrews 10:22 tells us, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
Today we have God’s promise of being as clean as newly fallen snow, as pure as sweet honey and without spot or wrinkle. We need to allow the master cleaner to take out the trash in our lives and to fill us up with his wonder working power that comes through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
If you need to be reminded to pick up after yourself and to clean out the sins of your life, please look to Jesus who is the author, finisher and cleaner of everyone’s life. Let him know that all his cleaning is well worth it – giving you a total and complete house cleaning makeover. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Major K. Kendall Mathews is the regional coordinator for The Salvation Army.