Spring is here and it is such a wonderful time of the year. A time of new beginnings. The temperature begins to warm and the world begins to take on a fresh new look. The trees start to put on leaves, the grass begins to turn green, and the flowers begin to bloom. Everything is beautiful! A sure sign that spring is here is that many people have started their spring cleaning.
That’s right Milley, get busy! So, I get out my Swiffer Wet Jet for my kitchen and bathroom floors, my Bona mop for the other floors in my home, window cleaner, paper towels, dust cloths and I put away winter clothes and bring out my spring wardrobe. It looks like I am getting ready to clean house, get my house in order. Throw things out that are cluttering my life.
Spring cleaning goes beyond normal everyday cleaning. It’s a major project of home revitalization: to make everything new by removing dust and dirt, to make sure everything in your household is in working condition for the coming year.
Spring is a natural time to go forward and celebrate the energies which are coming out of hibernation of Winter…Now that spring has come, we can support those tender little sprouts of Life by creating a space for them to grow and flourish.
Spring is the time for each of us to usher in new growth and possibilities. You can’t do this if you are weighed down with the burden of sin in your life. Along with physical clutter we also have spiritual clutter to be concerned about. We need to get rid of the dirt and grime in our lives. Our souls need spring cleaning because as our daily lives unfold, we lose track of our souls’ needs…Noise, clutter, stress, or life chaos seep into our lives and dim our ability to care-take our souls. Sometimes in nature and inside of each of us, there is another season between winter and spring, it’s Mud Season. The snow that we sometimes have during winter has passed, the rain comes and the dirt roads become worn in Mud Season. Often in life, we end up in ruts which we may or may not have chosen, for 10 years, or 20, or even more. Ruts of addiction. Ruts of prejudice and narrow-mindness. Ruts of relationships that don’t work anymore. Ruts of not being able to get out of our own way. Ruts of not being able to forgive someone for something they’ve done to us. Ruts of not being able to forgive ourselves. Ruts of laziness and sloth. Ruts of perfectionism and self-sufficiency. Ruts of self-indulgence. Ruts of self- denigration. Comfortably numb ruts which make us not want to change anything about our lives, even when they’ve grown too small of too limited or even lifeless. We all get stuck in ruts at different times in our lives. But some spring cleaning can help us by taking personal inventory. Clean your house well because good spirits will not live where there is dirt.
Someone recently mentioned to me that a person in their family was cohabitating. It was also mentioned that even though they are living together they have a Bible in every room of the house. Well, that will not do one bit of good unless they are reading it, and if they were reading it and living what the Word of God says, they would not be living together.
When I was young, occasionally unmarried couples were known to cohabit but people generally viewed it as shameful and immoral. People who did it were ashamed to admit it. Yet in a single generation it has become socially acceptable. Everyone knows people who do it. Those who are involved speak of it casually and without shame. Other people justify a practice if they have some loved one involved in it. I have heard people say, “That’s just the lifestyle now, that’s just what people do.” But Jesus said we must disagree with loved ones if necessary in order to please Him. Matthew 10: 34-37; “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and his daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Also in Luke 14:26; “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciples.”
Many people think if the government allows a practice, then it must be acceptable. But the Bible says in Acts 5:29 that we should obey God rather than men. In Hebrews 13:4; “Let the marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
The 2000 Census counted nearly 4 million couples living together without being married. What are We The People…saying or doing? Are we taking a stand for God’s Word and informing people that in the sight of God this is not acceptable and with your choices you also have consequences? In I Corinthians 6: 9-10; “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. I Corinthians 5:9; “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.” I Corinthians 7: 1-40 informs us that each man should have his own wife and each woman should have her own husband. I Corinthians 6:18; “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” As long as a married couple stays within the bounds of their marriage there are no diseases, no STD’s. But when you are sexually immoral and have multiple partners you may have a STD or what I call Stupid Thinking Disorder.
In sexual matters, many people do what seems right according to their own human wisdom. But the Bible repeatedly shows that what seems right to people is often wrong. Proverbs 14:12; “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Jeremiah 10:23; “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We must be willing to sacrifice and deny our own desires in order to please God. Matthew 16:24; “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Romans 12: 1-2; “ I BESEECH you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Revelation 21:8; “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, the murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Exodus 20: 14; “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” I Corinthians 6:13; “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.”
Confession is good for the soul. When we hide sin, we hide ourselves from others. But when we come clean, we can, as James writes, live together whole and healed. James is not suggesting confessing our sin to a preacher or priest. We confess our sin first to God, but we must confess our sin to those who have been affected by our sin. Private sin requires private confession. Public sin requires public confession. God’s Word informs us that for the lack of knowledge people perish. Hebrews 13:8; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Malachi 3:6(a); “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Matthew 24:35; “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.” Is your house in order? Are you prepared for the time when death will come? Have you left anything undone that you would do today? James 4:14; “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanished away.” God loves you and if you ask Him in the best way that you know, He is willing to forgive your sins and to cleanse your heart. I pray that God will open your blinded eyes that you may see and know Him better. May God help you to identify things of the flesh so that you can more fully give yourself to Him. Galatians 6:8; “A person who is sowing to the flesh will reap corruption and a person sowing to the Spirit will reap everlasting life. Ask God to take complete control of your life. In Jesus you will find the love, purpose, and direction you have been seeking. Now you have read the Word and have been informed. As the song of the Five Blind Boys of Alabama entitled Nobody’s Fault but Mine: “Nobody’s fault but mine, Nobody’s fault but mine, If I die and my soul be lost, Ain’t nobody’s fault but mine.”
Dear Jesus, during this time when we think of “spring cleaning,” we ask You to forgive us when we do wrong and make us clean. Amen.