I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to cleaning my house. I like order and organization. I like rooms to be spotless. Although, I’ve learned quickly that this is near impossible with a toddler. And dare I say, my husband may be even more of a fanatic than I. Don’t get me wrong, though. There are days where I am absolutely burnt out from life’s demands.
Usually, the start of a new week is when things are all well. Come Thursday, I feel dread about my daily chores. Then, come Friday, I just feel like giving up. And many times I do just that!
However, giving up one day from cleaning does not go unnoticed. The inhabitants in our home- including myself, my husband, our toddler boy, our cat, and our dog- leave a lot of substances behind. Our house becomes noticeably unclean. Then, my fanatic cleaning tendencies come rushing back. I inevitably feel regret for ever giving up that single day.
This weekly struggle of success and failure in cleaning my house had me considering my spiritual cleanliness. I was reminded that my body is, too, a home. Not only that, but it is my responsibility to keep my inner man clean.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
The same fanatic cleaning tendencies I have for my physical house are the same methods I’ve used when caring for my spiritual being. Some days, I’m eager to rid myself of anything that is unclean [sin]. Other days, I dread facing it. Until one day, I actually give up!
Surely that doesn’t go unnoticed either! For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.- Luke 8:17 (NIV). Any unclean thing I allow to take up residence in my body will most definitely be revealed in due time. How dare I ask the Holy Spirit- so spotless- to indwell in a home that is unclean?!
This home, my body, needs to be cleaned, daily. And often throughout the day. I must resolve to keep myself spotless. No, I cannot do it on my own. Because in my own flesh I will continually struggle with the regret that comes from failures. But, I can be successful by the power of God which dwells in me through the Holy Spirit.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life..- Philippians 2:13-16 (NLT)
Living [clean, innocent lives] is as simple as asking God to reveal to me those things which are unclean. Then, I can ask Him for His forgiveness and repent of those sins. Personally, I like to utilize a psalm as my prayer to God to reveal to me that which is unclean:
Search me, 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 (NIV)
Yes, I must continually seek God whenever I feel dread or feel like giving up. I am promised that He will “keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast” (Isaiah 26:3). It is He who gives me the strength to be successful with my tasks when my flesh feels all too weak.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.“- Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)