It’s been a while since I’ve last connected with you all. I pray that your new year is off to a blessed beginning.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of house cleaning—both in the home I reside in and in my spiritual house. Inevitably, when you begin doing really serious cleaning of any kind, there’s usually a good amount of debris and trash that needs to be discarded. There’s no such thing as cleanliness residing in the midst of mess. It’s either clean or it isn’t. So, as I work, I thought I’d share some things that are helping me to spiritually clean house over the next few devotions.
When I clean, I like to go around the house and sort of scope things out first. Although I see the house daily, it requires a different type of perspective to see what exactly needs to be done to get it clean. For example, on a daily basis I don’t notice the cobwebs that may be in the corners or the dust behind a door. Generally, I overlook this type of examination day to day. Similarly, when we want to clean our spiritual lives, we have to examine ourselves, not neglecting to see ourselves and actions as we really are.
Self-examination is so very important to spiritual growth and maturity, so despite the difficulty in doing this, I can’t get things in order without taking a sincere and honest inventory of what’s going on with me. I’ve even gone as far as writing down some things that I really need to pray about and work on so that I can be used by Him. I no longer want to justify or excuse sinful behavior or thoughts.
After we all do some serious self-examinations, we have to be fully prepared to get rid of things in our character, actions, and spirit that are no like Him. I can be transparent and say that one thing that really challenges me is my quick-temper. When I began to do some self-examination, my quick temper is one thing that I know I need to get rid of. How do I know? I know because having a quick temper is not in line with the Word or God or His will. There are numerous scriptures that speak to this.
For example, James 1:19-20 says, “let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Proverbs 16:32 explains that “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” In addition, Proverbs 25: 28 says that “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” It has been sobering to think that having no self-control leads to having no protection or covering from the Lord.
Meditating on these scriptures and others about being quick-tempered has helped me to identify the behavior when it comes and cast it down. I can admit that it’s still a challenge, but I believe that it is something that I will be delivered from with continued prayer, consecration, and meditation on the Word. As a matter of fact, as I’m typing this, my one year-old insists on typing with from time to time in spite of the fact that he has several lap tops age appropriate for him (ugh!). My initial response to him laughing while pushing the escape button was to raise my voice in anger, but after he climbed back up and pushed it the second time, I remembered what I was writing on, stopped typing and re-directed him with something else. By the way, he’s happily reading an Elmo book and I am not frustrated because I took the time to take control over my emotions.
Whatever issues (attitudes, behaviors, people, thoughts, etc.) you may have that need to be worked on and/or discarded, whether big or small, I am praying that you have the courage and strength to take an honest inventory of your “house” because the Word tells us, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (I Corin. 3:16, 17).
Let’s begin 2010 with no more excuses for being who God wants us to be and doing what He has for us to do. The time to act is now. Ready to clean house with me? Drop me a line and let me know or visit the devotional blog site at MaRitaTeague.blogspot.com or MaRitaTeague.net
Blessings and Love,