When God takes up residence in the heart of His children, He does not have any intention of sharing that space with anything or anyone who has dwelt there in the past. He wants it clean, whole, and devoted only to His will. Our God is a jealous God, and He wants us all to Himself, whole and healthy. He comes into our hearts intending to clean house and get rid of all the things that have kept us from Him. He finds all the things we thought that we hid so very well before laying out the welcome mat. His housekeeping techniques often seem brutal and unkind, but His grace will let nothing stand between Him and our hearts. He is loving and gracious. He wonít force us to put off what keeps us from him, but He will turn us over to it if we refuse His housekeeping services.
He also comes in with His healing to patch the holes and mend the cracks that have left us hurting and bruised.
The list of things that God wants cleaned out of our hearts is very long. He longs for us to be more and more like His Son, and He knows that it is a process that takes time and learning. The first things He wants to remove from us are the sinful things that we hold on so tightly to. God chips away at our sin with a spiritual hammer and chisel. Removing our sin can be a very painful process, especially when it is a sin that we fight hard to hold on to. One way we know that God is at work on our sin is our feelings of guilt. We who are in Christ all know guilt, and it always hurts when it surfaces, but it is a small price to pay for the housekeeping God is doing. Another way we know that God is working on the sin in our lives is a lack of peace. We struggle between the pleasure of our sin and the delight of our Savior. God is at work, and we must take heed of the things He is working on in us, for if we neglect the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be aware of the sin in our lives, God will turn us over to it.
Many things from our pasts create clutter that God wants to clean out and help us become wholly who He created us to be. Many believers struggle with despair, regret, shame, insecurity, pain, and fear. These things, while often justified because of painful experiences, are not what God designed for us to live. He wants them gone, and we need to pay attention to how He is working on them in our own lives. Christ came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. That means without the laundry list of negative emotions and experiences that keep us from living the victorious life He created us to live. If Christ already died for all our sin and for all the sins committed against us, what right to we have as children of the King to hold on to the things He sacrificed His Son to cover? The answer is simple. We donít. As believers, we must fight through all of the things which keep us from Christ. While it sounds like an easy thing to do, it truly is not. It is a very difficult and challenging path that God asks us to walk when He comes into our hearts. Christ warned us when He was on the earth that in this world we will have struggles, but in the next breath, He told us to find our comfort in the promise that He has overcome the world. Why are we surprised when we hurt? Why are we shocked when someone causes us pain? Why do we expect everything to fit in our neat little box of expectations for life this side of eternity?
When we expect life to fit inside our box of expectations, we can miss the glorious promises of God, which often come miles outside of your box of expectations. Christ often worked outside the expectations of those who loved Him and followed Him.
And He works outside of our expectations in order to draw us closer to Him and to teach us more clearly who He is.
I have recently been reminded that my only responsibility is to be faithful to the path that God has put me on today. It is my job to parent my children in a way that honors the Lord, but it is His job to save them. It is my job to be the best wife I can be to my husband, but it is His job to lead us and grow us in Him. It is my job to serve my church in the ministries I have committed to, but it is His job to bring the volunteers and sustain the ministries. It is my job to put one foot in front of the other, trusting Him for the outcome, but the outcome is His responsibility, not mine. What great comfort is there in that? The sovereign God of the universe does not ask you for perfect outcomes. He only asks you to trust Him and obey.
What is God asking from you? Is there sin in your life you have been reluctant to let go of because it brings you comfort in the here and now? Is there pain, revenge, anger, or fear in your heart that you refuse to let God clean out for you because you are too scared to live your life any other way? Have you let Him into your heart, yet refused to let Him make your heart truly His? Trust Him, believer. He has promised that you will have trouble. Do you choose to honor Him and let Him help you overcome it, or do you choose to be left in the darkness you have always known? Come out of the darkness. Step into the life abundant that He has planned for you since before the foundation of the world. Life is difficult and messy, but as long as you let God be the housekeeper, His home in your heart will always reflect Him.