A dirty motel, yuck. It probably makes you think of a bad road trip stop, a horror movie, or just pure filth. No one LIKES to stay in a dirty place. Sometimes the outer appearance looks great, but the room is old or there is a foul smell. Perhaps you pull the sheets back and see stains or random hair on the bathroom floor. Grossed out yet?
What if I told you that WE are the dirty motel? That our outside might look really appealing but there’s old hurt, old thoughts, old resentment within? There’s random strands of things that were planted in us by people, not God. When you pull the layers back there’s hope of cleanliness, but many times just more hidden stains. And what’s worse, you may even stink. Think God is grossed out yet?
Throughout scripture God calls for holiness. It’s not just a command of old (Leviticus 20:7-8), it’s a command for now (1 Corinthians 7:1). Holiness is not about the length of a skirt or the moniker of a particular group. It’s about cleansing the vessel- setting it apart- for the one who desires to fill it, God.
The reason we should keep our minds and our hearts pure is because God speaks to us through our thoughts and imagination. Just think, the creator of the universe desires to reside in you- as holy as He is, as righteous as He is, as pure and unblemished as He is. But when your vessel is not equally yoked, it’s like hosting Him in a dirty space. Have you ever been to someone’s house that wasn’t particularly clean? Did you have a desire to roam and relax or did you stay in one spot, tense and looking around to ensure no residue of the place attached itself to you? God desires to dwell in YOU. But when He enters our space and sees it dirtied with our mess, our willful sin, and the thoughts and pain we refuse to let go of, He can’t rest comfortably. He cannot roam freely throughout each part of us and take pleasure in what He sees. The more dirt you hold onto, the smaller the space you confine God to.
…For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17 NKJV)
Do you feel dirty? Do you feel embarrassed that God’s been at your house and you haven’t even bothered to clean up messes, spills, and freshen the hair to accommodate His presence? Conviction is good, but there’s also good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. Despite our mess, He comes right back and hears our new day’s prayers, and answers them too. He peers inside us, looking for a place to reside. He still wants to be in, with, and for us (Jeremiah 32:28; Ezekiel 37:27) and in this we can rejoice! Your mess hasn’t scared God off but as 2 Corinthians shows, He desires for you to clean up so He can receive you in a more intimate way. It’s one of the many reasons why God ROCKS.
I challenge you to evaluate what it is that you need to tidy up to make room for God. Seek Him about what it is that will attract Him to you so that you can rid yourself of what you’re harboring that’s contrary to His desire. You don’t need to keep ANYTHING that’s crowding out the fullness of God in your life! Exchange your mess for God’s presence and I GUARANTEE you will begin to experience Him on a beautiful, comforting, and fulfilling new level.
Cheers to Spring cleaning!