Monday, April 12, 2010

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional - Coming Clean

I'm going to segway this week to the Psalms. I have been reading "The Narrated Bible" this time through and this past week was the story of David and Bathsheba. This is where Psalm 51 is inserted as it is David's prayer of repentance to the Lord for his sin. Something that always is highlighted for me in this passage is the issue of a "clean heart". Since we are at the beginning of spring, spring cleaning is on my mind. Especially under the current circumstances. It seems that I am cleaning the house more often. You see, the owner of our home is selling the house we live in and in doing so, people are coming through to look at it. What is really difficult for me is that I have never met these people and yet they are looking into the most private places, my closets.

The other day as a man was looking in my closet of personal things, it made me so self conscious of what he might find. This got me thinking about my heart.

David comes clean with God in Psalm 51. He was cleaning the closet of his heart. It begins like this, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." Verse 7 continues with "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Verse 10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me." The New Living Translation says it like this, "Create a in me a clean heart, O God and renew a loyal spirit in me." I like the words used in that translation.

David knew what he had done was wrong. Transgressions and iniquities are like the things we stash away in our closets that we can't seem to throw away. Transgressions are the wounds that happen when others impose their sin on us. Iniquities resemble that of a bruise, bleeding on the inside. The things we stash that are sinful acts that we hide from others that we never let go of. The hyssop that David mentions is what the Israelites used in Egypt to spread the blood of the lamb over the door frames so when the Lord passed over them they would not be struck down like the first born of the Egyptians. This was the symbol of freedom because it was after this Pharaoh let them go. They were finally set free from the bondage of Egypt. If we as Believer's today live by our spirit then Egypt would be like our flesh. David was so ridden with shame that the only way to be free from the bondage of sin was to confess. He knew only the blood could wash him white as snow. Because of the death of Jesus, his blood now covers us and washes us white as snow.

Much like these strangers who are looking in my closets, seeing my most personal items and even the condition I keep my closets in, I'm more eager to clean them out. What kind of person do I look like to them because of what is in my closet? If a stranger could look into my heart's closets, what would they see? Would they see shame, anger, bitterness, hate, unforgiveness, etc or would they see a woman who has the word of God hidden in my heart? You know in Deuteronomy, God says that is the only thing we are supposed to hide in our heart. Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

I know I have things stashed away in my heart that don't belong there. Those things don't stay hidden for long. Jesus said in Luke 6:45 "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his
heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." No matter what, the things in our heart will be exposed by what we say.

Today, I ask you to come clean with yourself. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your "Mr. Clean" and ask him to help you throw away those things that are stashed away and hidden that are not good. The things that even though you think are hidden, yet are what you talk about often. Open up those closets in your heart that carry bitterness, anger, hurt, guilt, shame, unforgiveness, etc. Do this, write down those things that you have stashed away on a piece of paper. Be sure to forgive others as well as yourself. Pray over them. Tear them up and place them in a trash bag and throw them away to never be picked up again. If we would do this regularly, we wouldn't live such heavy lives.

Coming clean comes at a price. Are you willing to let go of the junk that is cluttering your life? Or have you chosen to keep your heart cluttered with junk? Jesus paid the price for us on the cross. Think of him like the Salvation Army, take your stuff to him and leave it there.