November 10, 2008
Clean House and Clean Heart
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10 (NLT)
I was tired of tripping over shoes, left over belongings, stray hangers, and dirty clothes!
I finally admitted I had to clean out my closet. After hours of sorting clothes, I stepped back to admire my clean, neatly organized closet. I breathed a sigh of relief and reveled in my success. Although it took quite a long time, it was well worth the effort. I could hardly wait to get up the next morning and enter my tidy closet, looking for my clothes with a fresh, new perspective.
Cleaning is something we all prefer to avoid, but its something that is necessary. When it comes to cleaning house, the more we neglect doing what is needed, the worse things get, and the longer it will to take to get clean again. That was the case with my closet.
As I admired my coordinated closet, I considered how our hearts are like messy houses at times. On the outside we look in order, but on the inside our hearts are full of clutter – clutter such as unforgiveness, bitterness, self-condemnation, sadness, lack of joy, worry and much more. All this clutter makes for a huge mess behind the closed doors of our hearts. Just as putting off cleaning our homes creates chaos around us, the longer we allow our hearts to stay cluttered and messy, the more messes our bad habits make in our lives. Think about the havoc negative self-talk, selfishness, or grumpy attitudes have caused in the past.
I felt God nudging me to do a little house cleaning, or should I say, heart cleaning. For example, in a house with two young teen daughters with changing hormones, busy social lives, and lots of drama, sometimes I have to remind myself that they need a happy mommy, not a grumpy mommy. They need a patient mom, not an impatient mom. They need a forgiving mom, not a mom who constantly reminds them of their mistakes. My husband needs a happy wife. My friends need a faithful friend. My church needs a willing servant.
The mentality of cleaning up our heart can apply to every area of our life – marriage, family, work, relationships, and even self-image. Let’s face it, as nice as a clean house is, it is more important to have a clean heart!
Today’s verse reminds us how we should desire a clean heart. When David prays this prayer, he desires a new heart, a clean heart, and a spirit that desires to be like Christ. David knew that the only way he could achieve a clean heart, was through the power of Christ. So it is the same with us. Therefore, we must ask God to create a new heart, a clean heart, within us and believe that as a result, our spirits will be renewed.
Maybe you know you have some serious house cleaning to do, but could it be you have some heart cleaning to do as well?
Dear Lord, I seek Your face today and ask You to restore in me a clean heart. Help me to rid of all the clutter in my heart which is keeping me at a distance from You, and preventing others from seeing You working in and through me. Infuse me with a desire to maintain a clean heart throughout each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Cleaning up the Clutter by Emilie Barnes
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Pick an area of your home to de-clutter this weekend. As you clean, pray for God to purify your heart.
What has been burdening your heart lately? Is there some unforgiveness there? Bitterness? Or doubts?
Ask God to renew your perspective and help you begin the cleaning process.
Jeremiah 17:9-10, NIV “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 10 November 2008.