Ephesians 5: 25-26: …Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.
The other day my husband cleaned out the gutters around our house. I watched as he pulled out the wet, dark and smelly gunk that had filled them. It made me think of some of the hidden things I need to clean out. Oh, I’m not talking about spiritual things, I’m talking about my messy desk, and my overcrowded closets, and the baskets of old cosmetics in my bathroom vanity. Those things aren’t as smelly and unappealing as the gutter contents, but they are still clutter and have a tendency to make you feel, well, a sense of unrest when you gaze upon them.
It pricked my conscience enough that I felt I should do something about those little hidden messes. My husband will tell you that my desktop holds a lot of unhidden mess. He has his way of working and I have mine.
But, in the midst of all this gunk removal and great plans for a tidy desk, I began to think that we also have very untidy lives at times. As Christians our untidy lives are usually hidden. Sometimes they are just old things we haven’t thrown out, like maybe old ideas or mind sets. Other times they may be every bit as smelly and disgusting as that stuff in our gutters. Those are usually found accumulating in our minds. Evil thoughts against a neighbor, or even darker secrets hidden away, like lust and greed.
Sometimes the really filthy mess can be found in our mouths, rolling off our tongues. Needless to say, whatever our mess, no matter how innocuous or how disgusting, we need to rid our lives of it.
We the church, God’s people, are called the Bride of Christ. He’s coming again to take us to be with Him. He tells us in His word that His bride must be without spot or blemish.
Can you picture a bride coming down the aisle in a torn wedding dress, covered with dirt, grime, or even food from her last meal? How about a gown covered in blood from someone she had tortured or killed? What groom in his right mind would be glad to see such a sight marching toward him in the church?
Christ will not accept a bride with blood on her gown from people she has wounded. Wounds cut deep by a vile tongue, or from a heart pierced through by slander or lies. He won’t accept a bride who licks her lips from the taste of those she has hurt by her behavior. Nor will He accept a bride whose gown is torn from careless or wild living.
He’s coming soon! We need to get busy cleaning out the gutters, closets and drawers of our lives. We need to search high and low for the messes we are content to hold onto. From the attics of our minds, to the floor where we live. Our family life, those we work with. We need to check and re-check our behavior toward them. Then we need to go to the basement of our lives, where we hide the darkest, deepest secrets, and remove them in the name of Jesus. The pornography, the dabbling with the occult, the secret sin that holds us back even now from being free in Him.
Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Don’t forget to clean out those hidden places. We all need to. Until next time!