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Tidy Up

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:2 (NIV)

Series: “Cleaning House”

Dust, vacuum, wash the dishes, do the laundry, mop the floors, clean out the fridge, plan meals, visit a friend, buy a gift, trim the bushes, water the plants, take a walk—anyone tired yet? If your “to-do” or “hope to do list” is a mile long and you place unrealistic expectations for yourself to complete everything in a day, it is time to tidy up the way you approach your full plate.

We all have areas in our homes, and lives, that stay cleaner than others. Even in our families, we have distinct personality types that require different approaches when we tidy up. My husband prefers clean kitchen counters. And though I love the way it feels to walk into a freshly cleaned kitchen, I feel the need to see everything, which leads to my “piles” on all flat surfaces! Our unspoken compromise has been to keep the counters clean and I get one pile on my kitchen table placemat. Yes, it overflows sometimes (insert a slight smile here), but I am trying to be more disciplined with my “visual aids.”

Although it is fulfilling to have a tidy house and a completed to-do list—these aren’t all we desire. I believe our most important needs go much deeper than household chores, errands, or keeping a nice yard. As Christ followers, the most important tidy up starts inside of us. What does our spiritual house need? What steps are we taking to have organized, healthy minds, bodies, souls, attitudes, or finances? Without becoming overwhelmed with more to do, let’s take a few weeks and discover how God already has a beautiful plan for all of this. He knows our deepest desires, and how to line those up with His.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 ESV)

He chooses what is best for us. We choose what we think is best. He gives us endurance to complete what is before us, but we exhaust ourselves before the starting gun fires. Let’s stop, catch our breath, and refocus on the beauty God brings from the ashes of our situations, feelings, grief, confusion, and even past mistakes. He is the perfecter of our faith, the lover of our souls, and the cleanser of our sins. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV) tells us:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

As we lay down the areas of our lives that might need a little cleaning, let’s remember God’s transforming power is already at work within us. His cleaning schedule for me will differ from His cleaning schedule for you. We need only to look in the mirror – not side to side. Humbly ask God to continue the work in you, give Him access to the places only His light can reach. Rejoice that your true cleansing has already occurred at the cross if you have received Jesus as your personal Savior! Becoming more like Him will be the work of His Holy Spirit moving in your life. Are you ready to hand over the cleaning supplies and bucket to Him? I hope so.

Put your pens down, let Him write a better story for you. One in which there will be peace, goodness, love, joy, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self control. What a beautiful tidy up this will be. Hallelujah!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scriptures: Psalm 51:2, 10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 12:1-3; Isaiah 1:18; Galatians 5:22-23


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