Is anyone familiar with the show “Clean Sweep”? The premise of the show is that a team of “organization experts” goes into someone’s home, usually at the behest of family members or friends, to de-clutter. And, I use the word “de-clutter” loosely. When I watch the show, I am always amazed at the squalor people live in without even knowing it! I mean, they are usually totally unaware that they need to tidy up a bit!
January… What better time to think about spring cleaning? Two of my friends emailed me just today to let me know they are in the mood to sort through stuff. One is hosting a garage sale, the other wants help organizing her closet.
The theme is not lost on me. Lately, God has been doing His own “clean sweep” in my heart. He has been showing me a variety of areas in my life that are in need of spiritual inventory. And, to be honest, it has caught me by surprise. I was unaware that I was in need of so much change (duh!). Here I was, in the middle of a very dirty house, and I had NO idea.
What are some of my issues? 1) Prioritizing spiritual maturity and purity, namely making better choices about what I watch and listen to via movies, TV, and other forms of entertainment. 2) Choosing not to be easily offended. 3) Choosing to show my husband love despite my pain. 4) And, prioritizing healing in our sex life. Whew! I’m tired just naming them. They are BIG things. And, I know this list is still incomplete.
Your “issues” are likely different than mine, but I’m betting that there has been a day in your life (maybe even recently) when you have felt God’s leading toward some major growth…a day when you realized it was up to YOU, not just other people to change.
Why is this worth talking about? Because when God’s discipline comes there is a great temptation to feel condemned, defeated, DONE. Stick a fork in me. I’ve got enough to deal with already. (And, I do, by the way! I bet you do, too.) We could even be so embarrassed that anyone (even God) has looked that deeply into our hearts that we want to close the door and continue to live in our dirty house. Why risk taking a shot at cleaning it out?
I think the answer lies in my growing understanding of the fact that I serve a HOLY God. Hebrews 12:10-11 says, “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
God cannot fellowship with sin. He wants to fellowship with me, though. So, my holiness is important to Him. God is jealous for me—all of me. Because He loves me and I belong to Him, He longs to finish what He started in me. He has somewhere He wants me to go, and He is going to get me there, one way or another. He actually has in mind for me to share in his holiness. That boggles my mind.
The question is will I be humble enough to submit to the process? I think that if I will, amazing things await me! Do I want to experience the redemption and healing God promises in His Word? Yes! I’ve asked Him for that! Do I want to be transformed by the truth of His promises? Yes! I want to know without a doubt that what I have believed for so long is actually trustworthy. Then, I realize, I must endure his “clean sweep”.
Picture this with me: God takes His big, strong hand and runs it across a cluttered desk to wipe it clean…kind of like they do in the movies. That desk symbolizes my life. “Wow, God, that was abrupt,” I think. If it were me, I would have carefully moved things off the desk one by one. But, somehow I have begun to recognize that God has gotten really tired of looking at that cluttered desk! It is time for action! He wants to give me what I have been asking for, and this is the only way.
When God runs his hand across the “desk” of your life, will you choose to be encouraged with me that He is fighting for your fellowship with Him? Will you see his discipline (His teaching, redirection, correction) as His promise to you that He wants to help you get to the finish line?
Will you embrace January with me? Will you get excited about what God is going to do in YOU this year?
If you’re in, then stay tuned! I have a bundle of topics that I want to address…many of which I need to study further in order to be able to say anything useful and truthful. I am so pumped, though, and I can’t keep my hands off my Bible and lots of other books that help me understand it better. I want to discuss more facets of grief, how to combat our culture’s perversion of God’s great design for sexual intimacy, what it means to be a fierce, brave, warrior princess like the Proverbs 31 woman, and what God’s Word says about forgiving (and forgetting…and remembering). There is so much more to learn as we live the transparent, victorious life that Jesus offers. So, if anyone out there is listening (and only God knows why), I’m still armed and dangerous. Come along!
Blessings to you, and Happy 2010!