It was hard work, but it was well worth the effort.
My floors didn’t look bad. Most would not have noticed the dirt. Still, I felt I should run more than just the vacuum over them this time, so I pulled the mop and bucket out and gave them a good cleaning. As I look at them this morning, I realize they really did need that deep cleaning. Admittedly, while taking another sip of my fresh and steaming coffee, I gave myself a verbal pat on the back. With a pleasing gaze at my freshly polished floors I said, “You look great!”
Often we don’t see the need to clean up because our eyes have grown accustomed to the veil of dust. It happens in our individual home and spreads throughout our culture. It’s easy for me to watch the news, see all the horrific things, and then feel I’m doing ok. After all, I don’t do that! The same happens to our spiritual eyes. We get caught up in the “I’m not so bad”* that we fail to see the areas of our own heart that do need tending to.
I know I can’t reach perfection while here on this earth, but I don’t want to settle for just ok. It’s not about me working to obtain God’s love, but because He loves me I want to live in a way that makes Him smile. He often needs to show me that my eyes need to come into focus, the frequency of my ears needs to adjust from what sounds good to what is true, and my thoughts need more than just a quick sweep. They need an all out scrubbing.
Ephesians 5 tells us that we are to, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.”
It’s true that most people never would have viewed my floors as dirty, but what they didn’t know is what my floors had been exposed to this week. I knew about the dirty work boots that had walked across them, and I knew how the gusts of wind carried pollen in from the outside. Then, there’s Coady. No matter how hard I try to keep him clean, my little dog tracks things in and leaves his subtle prints all over. Life happens, and exposure to the elements is inevitable.
Subtle prints will become imprints.
Throughout our days our eyes and ears are exposed to the elements of this world. It’s unavoidable. We’ll pick up thoughts and habits that should be evaluated, and sometimes scrubbed from our character. It’s easy to let the dust of this world’s view reside, but the longer we do the less likely we are to notice it and the more harm it could possibly cause. If left alone, the dust that was once harmless will scratch the wood floors and leave deep grooves. The same is true for the debris from our culture. Those elements, if left unchecked, will cause deep wounds in the heart of our foundation. The compromise that was once unseen will become seen by all, and all will feel the damage that comes with it. Like the feet of my little dog that carries dirt in from the outside, they too will carry some of the debris with them.
The “How To” Instructions.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). We renew our mind by thinking on things above, not on earthly things, (Colossians 3) and we do this by getting to know God through His infallible and unchanging Word. Only then, will we be able to “imitate Him”.
What needs to be scrubbed from your life? It will be hard work but well worth the effort. Let me encourage you with one last truth. You can’t do it. That’s right, you don’t have the strength to clean yourself up. But, once you make the choice to surrender your dust, God will give you the tools you need to begin sweeping away the debris. He gives you an endless supply of Himself, and “His power is perfected in our weakness.”**
“Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”
We have an unceasing supply of the Spirit!
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but it’s by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!” – Zechariah 4:3, 6-7a
Cleaning up is hard work, and we don’t always see instant results, but if we keep pressing on, keep enduring, and keep sweeping away the dust, we will wake up in the morning to hear God say, “Well done. You look great!” I personally think God will be sipping some fresh steaming coffee when He does!
Now what are you going to do with your dust?