Note: I first wrote this post in 2012 but thought it was worth reposting today.
I was on a mission to clean my house the day before my 34thbirthday. I thought this was an appropriate birthday gift for myself. Forget the flowers and candy, I just wanted to sit on my birthday and look at a clean house with everything in order. While I was on my mission, my tenacious two year old had his own agenda. He was looking for some candy. He knew that I often kept gum in my room, out of their reach. As I was cleaning, he was searching. I stepped out of my room for a few minutes and when I returned, Elijah had moved the ottoman from the front of my bed in hopes that he would find gum there. Instead of finding his treasure, he found a mess of clothing and random things that had fallen on the ground and had been covered by the ottoman. When I walked in the room, I looked at the mess, and did what any sleep deprived, mission oriented, I just want my house to “look” clean if only for a day mother of five would do. .. I pushed the ottoman back in its proper position and hid the mess again. PERFECT. As I pushed the ottoman back in its ‘proper’ place, I muttered to myself, “I just don’t want to deal with this today.” My focus was to clean the surface…only what could be seen.
How often have we taken this approach with our walk with Christ? We come to the Lord and we cry out, “Lord clean me, wash me, mold me.” All the things that sound good, the things we think God wants to hear. But as He begins to clean (purify) us, He pulls away the spiritual ottoman if you will that have been covering our mess. God uses different methods to expose our mess and to keep us accountable. He uses His word (written and spoken), our spiritual leaders, brothers and sisters in Christ, and by directly speaking to us. Of course this is not an exhaustive list. Sadly we often do what I did the day before my birthday. We push the ottoman back to cover the mess. Too much work to be purified. We want to remain on the surface. Lord don’t start shifting stuff and showing me how “dirty” I am, my imperfections. It is more comfortable to appear “clean” as opposed to allowing the Lord to go beneath the surface with us.
But consider this, I would have had to be the one to clean up the exposed mess in my room that day. However, it is not the same when God shows us our mess. He doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves, He does the job for us! He just wants us to humble ourselves and surrender to the process. We don’t have to get it right on our own! Isn’t this awesome news?! Are you resisting the deep cleaning that the Lord wants to do in you? Allow Him to do it, you won’t regret it!
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.