Is Your House Clean?

cleaning-house-2

Have you ever noticed how God uses the ordinary, mundane things of life to teach us? I love that the lessons He has for us are not usually sent by audible voice or great revelation but by everyday things that we can all relate to. It’s a new year! A time for new beginnings, resolutions, and plans.

By the time January 1 arrives, I find myself rather grumpy at the clutter of Christmas decorations and chomping at the bit to take them down. As much as I love Christmas and the beautiful décor that comes with it, I enjoy putting it all away and refreshing my home just as much as I did putting it up! Am I weird, or can you relate?

So earlier this week, I grabbed my storage boxes from the garage and started pulling down my garland and unplugging my lights. But as I did, I noticed something unpleasant: my house was dirty!

I’ve always considered myself a good housekeeper, one of those “a place for everything and everything in its place” type of people. But as I went deeper, I started noticing the crumbs and dust bunnies under the furniture, the dust on the top of my kitchen cabinets, the sand and debris under the living-room rug. Everything looked great on the surface. But those hard-to-reach hidden places that I don’t look at on a daily basis needed a lot of attention.

As I rolled up my sleeves and started to pull apart my house to take care of those neglected areas, it was almost as if the Lord nudged me. “This is what I want to do with you,” I heard Him say.

As I went deeper and moved more things, I found more dirt, more dust, and a couple of stains that I hadn’t known were there. What God wanted to speak to me was so evident. How often do I, do we, look nice and clean on the surface but hide dirt, dust, cobwebs, and stains inside? This is a short and simple truth, but it cuts right to the heart of our Christian lives.

Matthew 23:25–26 says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean” (NIV). Jesus was speaking to the religious, self-righteous, learned men of the day. He saw their pride and was unmoved by their words and actions. He saw beneath the surface, into the heart of each one.

What was spoken back then is still being spoken today. Not to the Pharisees but to us, God’s people. We spend a lot of time working on the surface stuff that people see, but much like in our homes, we don’t go deeper very often. I believe that as we move further into this new year, God wants us to dig deeper, to move things around a little so we can expose the dirt and stains in our lives that maybe we don’t even realize exist.

As I finished up my cleaning project and started putting my home back together, it felt good to know that even though those hidden places are usually unseen, the layers of dirt and dust in them were stripped away. They were spotless. For now. But I realized that it will be necessary to uncover those areas more than a few times a year. I made a decision to incorporate that task into my regular cleaning routine.

May it be so with our spiritual lives. I pray that God will continue to nudge me this year. To show me through the mundane, everyday activities and jobs I find myself in that He is interested in me, in my heart, and that He wants to make things new and fresh. May we recognize His voice, pull out the feather duster, move around the furniture, and respond.

Lord, help us to hear Your voice and act in humble obedience to it. May we allow You to expose the dirt that we try to keep covered and hidden. I pray that we would be transparent and allow You to do the work in us that You desire to do. Amen.

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He Never Sleeps!

How thankful I am this morning for His promises and faithfulness to me! The Lord directed me to Psalm 121 as I woke up today. hill“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.”

It baffles me that the God of the universe is able to watch little ol’ me day and night.  Along with everyone and everything else He has to deal with, He still knows my thoughts, my movements, my challenges and my struggles. He is my help! He is the maker of heaven and earth yet He still concerns Himself with my daily life. He is never off duty. He is always on the throne and His promises are always good.

I wonder how our lives would change if we truly believed what He says. We would have no fear, no doubt, no anxiety, no frustration and no concern for the future. We would be secure, solid and content; able to walk through any situation- knowing that He is in control, and has our best in mind.

Lord, help us to see Your hand in our daily lives. We are so blessed that you have our backs in every situation. You hold us in the palm of your hand. You see our days before we wake! Help us to let go and trust you.

Amen

Rest

come unto meThe Lords message to us this morning is short and sweet! “Come to Me!” We are so busy, and get so tired. More often than not, we try to fight through on our own. We just keep going, because that’s just what women do, right? Our schedules are so demanding. It seems like we are constantly running. Even in the midst of it all, Jesus still says “come”. We hear His invitation, but we have to respond.

Have you ever been invited to a formal event? It always includes a RSVP, right? We have a choice whether or not we will attend. It occurred to me this morning, that the same applies when we are invited by Jesus to ‘come’. We can choose to accept or decline.

When we offer our children comfort and rest after a long day, we hold out our arms and say “come here”. The comfort is not imparted until they are in our arms. They have to first accept our invitation.

“Lord, help me in my crazy, busy, overscheduled life, to stop and accept Your invitation to rest. Help me to realize that all I have to do is walk into Your arms. It’s that simple. Amen”