From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Is it time for Spring Cleaning?

Spring is here in SE British Columbia. The buds are coming out on the trees, birds are chirping and with that comes my annual urge to clean! The winter months have been long and I am itching to refresh my home with the sights and smells that come with the first signs of spring. I’m sure that this urge comes from childhood memories of mother’s spring cleaning. I know it may seem old fashioned to some, but in my mind there is nothing better than to scrub away the grudge that has accumulated over the long winter months. I reach into every dark corner of my home in an effort to make it feel fresh and new. It is a lot of work but the reward of a fresh clean home with everything in order is well worth the effort.

Then it’s time to move outside. I love to pull all the dead grass away and get the flower beds and vegetable garden ready for new plants. The smell of the fresh turned soil and the promise of new growth are wonderful. It is sure to make me smile!

Sometimes we need to do the same thing with our spiritual house and surroundings. Just like the season of winter, our spiritual winters can leave us discouraged, lonely, and sometimes isolated. It is easy for us to grow stale and need a spiritual freshening up. The dust, dirt, mold, and weeds of life creep in. We need to scrub away the grudge, dejunk and pull out the weeds. We should always remember Who is dwelling in our spiritual house with us. We who have claimed the greatest gift have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Where He resides there is no room for the clutter of a spiritual winter and the weeds & junk of the world. We are to remove them.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 &18
Just think about that for a moment; isn’t that an amazing picture of the new life that spring gives us?

Now imagine the smell of a freshly mopped floor or the first lilac bush blooming. That is how fresh and fragrant our Lord would have us be.
“Now thanks be unto God, who leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ, among those who are being saved, and those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NKJ

You may have been through a long hard winter. Maybe you have accumulated that grudge in the crevasses, hallways and walls of your heart. Hurts, anger, selfish desire and bad habits may be tucked into our spiritual closets. Is it time to do a thorough cleaning? Our loving God desires to do a new thing!
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NLT

So you may ask, “How are we to go about this spiritual housecleaning?”

Get Rid of the junk – those hurts, anger, selfish desires, bad habits
If it’s something you should keep in your life it will pass the following guidelines of Philippians 4:8 NLT
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Scrub away the grudge – When you clean your house you know what supplies you work for you such as scrub brushes, mops, and brooms and various cleaners that are specific to the task at hand. For our spiritual house it’s much simpler. There is only one cleaner needed. God’s word and He will supply the good old elbow grease if you allow Him.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Kill the weeds-Is there a method to kill the weeds that hinders your spiritual growth? The answer is a most definite yes! We who claim the name of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation he offers us now have the power to “kill those weeds”. Jesus said He would send a helper in the Holy Spirit. When we have the Holy Spirit residing in us we have the power to sin no more. As we submit to leading of the Holy Spirit and the instruction of His Word; denying the desires of this world you will see the weeds die away. We do not have to be like the “others” referred to in this scripture. Do not let the worries of this life or the deceitfulness of the world choke out the life of peace and contentment that can be yours.
“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful”
Mark 4:18-19. NIV

Write a letter to God about what is going on in your life just like you’d write to a long trusted friend. Tell him everything! Are you happy, sad, angry, confused, or peaceful? Write it down. When it’s all down on paper write “God, I’m handing all this over to you to do as you wish.”
Now It’s Time to plant- Once you kill out the weeds you need to replace them with a good crop. God provides everything we need for spiritual growth. As Psalm 119 says, hide God’s word in your heart (plant it) so you may not sin against Him.
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 NLT

Fill those empty rooms with things of the Lord so there is no room for the “junk to return” God sent the Holy Spirit to help you through life. He longs to help keep your house fit for Him. You are his temple. Dejunking your spiritual life without filling it with things of the Lord leaves space for grudge and junk to move right back in.
“Whenever an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through waterless places looking for a place to rest but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will go back to my home that I left.’ When it arrives, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there.” Matthew 12:43

Tap yourself in to the power of the Holy Spirit! Have you ever heard of heavy duty extractor carpet cleaners? Many claim to have non-stop high flow cleaning. Well that is what the Holy Spirit is to us! Claim that for yourself by feasting on God’s Word and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 NLT

So, is it time for spring cleaning?

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