Any idea how long you spend cleaning whether that be personal hygiene, vacuuming, housework, the car or garden path? Some estimates are at least 10 hours a week which is more than 200 weeks for a person living to the age of 70. Power washing is a satisfying experience but no matter how clean you get the path, it doesn’t take long for it to become dirty once again. Even if you do a very thorough Spring-clean removing all the ‘hard-to-get’ cobwebs, those spiders are watching and their webs will be back, never mind the other crumbs and detritus. Take your finger nails - while short-clipped nails show an average of 370 germ colonies, even samples taken from underneath chewed nails showed an average of 16.6 germ colonies. Bugs and dirt seem to be part of life. And then there’s dealing with the soil of the soul that also comes through daily grind.
- ‘At the end of the day, I have to wash my face. I hate going to bed after a long day not washing my face. It's something I've grown into. When I was younger, I didn't care’ - Selena Gomez
- ‘We are washed both on coming into the world and on going out of it, and we take no pleasure from the first washing nor any profit from the last’ - James Stephens
- ‘Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold’ - Leo Tolstoy
- ‘If I see something dirty or untidy, I have to clean it up’ - Indira Gandhi
A pure white snowy scene is actually not so pure as within each snowflake is a tiny particle of dirt. In everyday life, dirt is more obvious creating a multi-billion dollar world industry growing at over 6% per annum. Dirt is part of life and scientists tell us that there is now no part of the world that is free from some kind of pollution. So much for the physical world, what about the spiritual realm? Those who know they have the grime of the world in their heart and soul can find total cleansing given alone by Jesus Christ. How so? There was a great exchange as the spotless Lamb of God took all the sin of others upon himself and bore our punishment on the cross. This supreme work changes the legal status from ‘guilty for sin’ to that of being justified, so that in other words the believing person becomes ‘just-as-if-they-had-not-sinned’. However, the mortal body never loses its vulnerability to sin and needs ongoing washing - this process is called ‘sanctification’ and gradually transforms us to become more like Christ.
- ‘There is no way that we by ourselves can generate sanctification. Our sanctification is Christ. There is no way we can be good. Our goodness is Christ. There is no way we can be holy. Our holiness is Christ’ - A W Pink
- ‘God works in us and with us, not against us or without us’ - John Owen
- ‘If Christ justifies you he will sanctify you! He will not save you and leave you in your sins’ - Robert Murray McCheyne
- ‘There may be some sins of which a man cannot speak, but there is no sin which the blood of Christ cannot wash away’ - Charles Spurgeon
We humans have a conundrum - though we long to have clear consciences and feel clean it is only a day later that we find some grime has again dirtied us to a greater or lesser degree. The work of the cross for the believer is not only to give a deep clean but to give a new beginning for a soul that has become alive to God. Whilst we are washed clean through the work of Christ, God has provided for our ongoing daily washing through the work of the Holy Spirit. Be encouraged:
- ‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin’ - Psalm 51:1-2
- ‘For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us’ - Psalm 103:11-12
- ‘But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God’ - 1 Corinthians 6:11
- ‘.. since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water’ - Hebrews 10:21-22
The life of a child of God is not free from struggle but it is free from condemnation. The apostle Paul wrote much of this, urging us to ‘put off’ the old nature and to ‘put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24). Next time you do your personal hygiene, housework or power washing, think about the state of your heart and conscience towards God - if there’s any daily grime, it would be a good time to bring that to him for an internal cleansing. You will certainly feel better for it.
TAGS – forgiveness, purity, holiness, discipleship, growth, progressive, transformation