Carpets cleaned – check.
Tile sanitized – check.
Draperies laundered – check.
Humans enter – oh well.
Spring cleaning tasks are necessary. They go beyond the routine vacuum and dust and reach into the crevasses where month-old crumbs lie hidden and the detritus from the last popcorn and movie night have turned green.
Enter broom, mop, steamer, a hefty dose of Clorox or your cleaner of choice, and work begins. Hard, exhausting, back-breaking work that moves furniture and climbs to reach ceiling fans long forgotten.
At the end of the day (or week), satisfaction blooms as the clean kingdom is reviewed and relished.
But it doesn’t last.
People are messy, even when they don’t mean to be. Dirt accumulates, pet hair swirls, and the tracks where someone forgot to remove shoes – yep, they are splayed across the floor like sprinkles on a birthday cake.
Routines exist that keep cleaning up to date and less onerous, but we don’t always follow those routines. Just one day or three days or a week without sweeping won’t matter, will it? We have so many other things that we must (want to) do.
Sort of reminds us of how we treat sin in our lives, doesn’t it?
The Israelites in the Old Testament are prime examples of how human nature works. Just read through the books of history in Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Over and over the cycle repeats.
A good king or a judge would call the people to task, and they would destroy the idols, break down the high places where sacrifices to idols were offered, and turn back to God. They would enjoy the blessing of close relationship with Him, but gradually sin would creep back in. The idols would be reinstated, and the hearts of the people would turn away from the God Who chose them and redeemed them.
A verse regarding King Rehoboam in 2 Chronicles 13 sums it up:
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord. (2 Chronicles 13:14)
Rehoboam was Solomon’s son. He knew the right way; he just decided his way was better.
It is easy to look at the history of Israel, shake our heads, and say “Why couldn’t they learn?”. I mean God was working with them. He had parted the sea and performed miracles untold for this recalcitrant people. What gives? Why couldn’t they get it right?
I ask the same question of myself sometimes.
God has redeemed me, purchased me with the blood of His own Son, provided for me, kept me, and yet…
Rather than dealing with sin through confession and repentance daily, I let it build up in my heart – grudges, self-sufficiency, unkind thoughts, lack of love. I offer God a dead sacrifice from the past instead of the living sacrifice of everyday worship and service (Romans 12:1 -2). Don’t kid yourself – dead smells.
I can wait for some big happening or church service to rededicate my life (spring cleaning of the soul), and don’t get me wrong repentance and confession are always important.
Or, I can daily submit my life, my desires, my tasks, my vision, my future, my walk to His loving control; you know, a “living sacrifice”. I can refuse to allow sin to take up residence or be comfortable in my heart. God has even provided a way for routine cleaning that allows me to enjoy an open and joyous relationship with Him.
I John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I can daily prepare my heart to seek the Lord.
God has made a way; Jesus paid the price. Am I willing to follow His steps?
There is a great allegory written by Robert Munger many years ago that gives a great picture of daily living for Christ. Check it out: My Heart, Christ’s Home
As for me, I think I will do a sweep of my heart and see if there is anything there that needs to be cleaned out – today.
You are more than I could ever desire. You are my heart, my life, my destiny.
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me (Psalms 51:7, 10).
I offer all of me to all of You today.