I’ve been getting that itch to do some “mid-summer cleaning”. Our home has several little nooks and crannies that have collected odds and ends of various kinds. There is one closet in particular I hardly want to open for the dread of seeing the organized chaos that abounds therein. It’s not a matter of heaps of garbage being stashed around, just little things that have built up over time.
As I’ve seen this in our home, there has been somewhat of a parallel work along these lines in my soul. God is putting His finger on places that have collected little bits of debris and become somewhat disorganized and lax – areas where I am giving into laziness or lack of discipline or unnecessary distractions.
There is a temptation to justify these things. “The main areas are clean!”, my flesh wants to protest, “No one will really see those ‘closets’ where a little bit of clutter has collected.” However, God has not freed me from sin and given me His Holy Spirit to sanctify only the “big” areas in my life, but every single aspect of it!
I don’t know about you, but when there is a mess in my house or a drawer that is in desperate need of organizational help, it is really distracting even when I can’t see it. It’s kind of like a tiny splinter you can’t see, but is incredibly irritating if rubbed up against. It doesn’t bother you most of the time, but in the back of your mind you know it needs to be taken care of or it will continue to plague you.
When God begins highlighting an area that needs sanctification, it can be painful. And it’s easy to focus on how uncomfortable and tedious the process of “cleaning” will be. But when you surrender to the work the Lord desires to do, what relief comes when it is taken care of! Not only is that area renewed and cleansed, but the hinderance has been removed that inhibited greater intimacy with the Lord.
Hebrews 12:1-2a says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…”
When our eyes are fixed upon Jesus, our desire will be to live in such a way that brings glory to Him. We will gladly welcome His all-encompassing excellence so that when someone observes our conduct or watches us when we are unaware, they will see Jesus through and through. When God does a work, He does it well. And that is no exception with us! He redeemed us to display to this world His power, His love, and His goodness by the testimony of our transformed lives!