Spiritual House Cleaning Part 1
written by Charisse Graves
As Christians growing in grace, our desire is to cultivate what pleases the Lord. Our daily lives should reflect an intentional effort toward “semper reformanda,” Latin for; always reforming.
“…we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:9, 10
God has created us with a body, mind and spirit. When we are drawn into a relationship with the Lord through the hearing of Scripture, and the Holy Spirit bringing to life our spirit that was formally dead, we become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we need to address first and foremost our spiritual communion with God before His throne of grace.
We are most useful to God’s service when we present ourselves as a clean vessel ready for action. To properly prepare, we have been granted open access to the Mercy Seat where we can petition the Lord to show us our blind spots and remove the planks from our eyes. This is a crucial first step and must be approached with adequate time in God’s Word and prayer. We must prepare our heart (through the work of the Holy Spirit, reading the Word) to make it soft and pliable, and ready to receive the Lord’s instruction.
“Search me, O, God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psalm 139: 23, 24
“’Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, Return to Me with all your heart, And return to Me with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate…” Joel 2:12, 13
We can petition the Lord to grant us wisdom as Paul did, and pray for:
“the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Ephesians 1:17
James, the brother of Jesus, also encourages us to walk closely with God through the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:8-10
We would be wise to plead with the Lord as King David did in Psalm 51:
“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You and You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight… Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom, Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me… For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:1-4, 6, 7, 10, 16, 17
Take time with the Lord in His Word and He will show you your heart and do a work in your life that only He is able to perform. Part 2 will deal with bringing to light those hidden hurts and ungodly acts that have crept in and accumulated like cobwebs in a forgotten attic. However, we need not fear these things because:
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18
Grace and peace in Christ Jesus.