Read His Words Before Ours!
Cleaning is not a relaxing pastime for me.
I enjoy the fruits of my labor, but not so much the process itself.
Therefore, when I recognized the time had come for some deep cleaning, I mustered up my best Rosie the Riveter mindset and believed, “We can do it.”
I gathered my cleaning supplies:
my Bible, journal, pen, and a box of Kleenex, and sat down.
It was time to do some cleaning in the Tabernacle of my heart.
Growing up, I remember reading a small book entitled My Heart Christ’s Home. Since the Holy Spirit dwells within us as Christians, the analogy of my heart being like an actual house has resonated with me for years. Sometimes I struggle putting into words the intangible aspects of faith; the concept of my heart being His home helps my thinking become concrete.
I knew that my heart needed a good cleansing due to the weight and weariness I’d been feeling the last few weeks. Today, tears had already been leaking from the corners of my eyes, and I had yet to actually plumb the depths of my heart.
I cry easily.
Often it is a telltale sign that the Lord is doing something within. Some Sundays it’s the sweet mercy of the Lord that I have any mascara left before reaching my car! However, today I recognized that simply releasing the tears was not enough;
my heart required more.
So, I chose to acknowledge the depths and dig deeper.
I opened my Bible and my journal. At the top of a new blank page,
I wrote the deeply profound prayer, “Help, Lord.”
I pictured my heart in my mind’s eye and worked to see things from a more heavenly perspective.
My heart opened to the living room where I had the television and radio simultaneously playing.
The window was open to the sounds of outside.
The ceiling fan spun to a steady rhythm of distraction.
My iPad had Netflix streaming with auto-play linking one episode after another.
The chaos crowded out loneliness,
but it also deafened my ears to the voice of the Lord inviting me to sit with Him.
He promised to lead me by quiet waters,
but I had refused to be still.
As I surveyed the room, I quieted my heart, and spent time reflecting on Psalm 46:10,
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I walked into the kitchen of my heart, surveying the dynamics.
A dish or two in the sink, but found nothing ridiculous until I opened the refrigerator door. There I discovered containers of manna far past their expiration dates. As I took them out and set them on the counter, I remembered the days I first tasted them:
a Bible verse that jumped off the page one morning,
a prayer time with a dear friend,
the encouraging card I received in the mail.
All of them were sweet blessings,
but they were not to be my only source of nourishment.
I found myself writing in my journal,
asking the Lord’s forgiveness for the lack of consistency in my time with Him and in His Word. Jesus said, “Man must not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
My soul desperately needs healthy, continuous nourishment from God’s Word.
The bathroom was the next room to tackle. Here the soap scum on the shower door captured my attention. Social media likes and comments covered the surface clouding my ability to see with clarity. More often than not, social media posts bring me timely refreshment as those I follow post encouraging words and truths. More than once the Lord has surprised me by speaking through the words of others as I scroll. However, as I cried with the Lord this day, I realized just how much residue remained behind from the time spent on social media.
Lord, help me keep my eyes focused on You.
Finally, I stepped into my bedroom, noticing the dark drapes pulled closed and heaviness filling the space. Oh Lord, help, I thought, sitting on the edge of the bed, hanging my head.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3)
As His Words of truth began to flood my mind, I sensed the drapes nudge open.
“In place of your shame, you will have a double portion.” (Isaiah 61:7)
I glanced at the window to discover what had appeared as drapes to actually be shrouds of shame blocking the light. They began falling into heaps on the floor as the Lord reminded me He had not given me a spirit of fear.
My identity is based in Him, and Him alone, regardless of how my current circumstances compare with society’s definition of success.
By now I had a pile of Kleenex in front of me, tear-stained journal pages,
and a heart much lighter.
I ended my time with the Lord thanking Him for residing within me and for the deep cleaning power of His Presence and Word.
Rosie the Riveter I am not, but thank the Lord,
He is the King of Kings and Lord of lords.
Through Him, we truly can do all things,
even clean the Tabernacle of our hearts!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!