Away then with sinful, earthly things; deaden the evil desires lurking within you; have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires; don’t worship the good things of life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger is upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world; but now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing, and dirty language. Don’t tell lies to each other; it was your old life with all its wickedness that did that sort of thing; now it is dead and gone. - (Colossians 3:5-9)
Spring means many things to us. But one of the most notable things that comes with spring is spring cleaning, when we go through our houses and take care of all the messes that have built up over the months.
I heard about an interesting custom in Italy for New Year’s Eve. At midnight, the windows of every house open, and everyone pitches out whatever they absolutely hate — furniture, clothes, dishes, unwanted wedding presents — they all come crashing to the ground. Now, I would call that serious housecleaning!
I have to confess here that I’m not the tidiest person on the planet. Ironically, I like to be in tidy surroundings. But in contrast, my wife, Cathe, is Mrs. Clean. She just loves to clean and does it all the time.
In our spiritual lives, too, some of us allow messes to develop. Becoming neglectful, we allow anger, bitter attitudes, lustful fantasies, or unconfessed sin to remain in our hearts. Before we know it, we find ourselves reaping the inevitable results of sin. Before long, we’re crying out, “Oh God, get me out of this mess!”
And then there are others who live their spiritual lives the same way that my wife cleans house. They’re careful to cultivate and maintain their relationship with the Lord, constantly asking God to search their hearts, and confessing their sins before God (as David did in Psalm 139:23-24).
You and I need to be cleansed from sin on a daily basis. How much better it is to ask for that on a regular basis than to allow a major problem to develop in our lives. We need a professional. Essentially, we need God himself to come and clean house.
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When God doesn’t make sense, when it seems that He is asleep, when it feels like He doesn’t care, we must remind ourselves of His promises. Going back to God’s promises, we find something that we desperately need in those hard times: perspective.
That eternal perspective is the focus of Dr. James Dobson’s book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, which we’re offering as a thank-you to anyone who gives a gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.