Confession time: I am not a neat person, and my house, as a rule, shows it. This summer, I must admit, has been worse than usual. And I'm feeling bad about it. For the most part, I tend to clean only when I absolutely have to, and only as much as is necessary.
But the past week or so, I've been working on getting my kids' rooms neat for the school year. And they look great - but the rest of the house?
Pitiful in comparison. So, I'm getting started, and it's not gonna be superficial.
Instead of just trying to get rid of the mess, I'm trying to "find the clean" beneath it.An example? What I cleaned--really cleaned--the laundry room floor, I discovered that some of the pattern on the linoleum floor actually wasn't a pattern--it was dirt. And once I gave it a good scrubbing, the "real clean" shined through. Of course, once I found that one spot of clean under the dirt, I was especially motivated to find all the rest of it. And I wanted it OFF.
In a way, this is like our hearts. When the Lord saves us, he gives us a new, soft heart to replace our heart of stone. (Ezekiel 36:26) When we are new Christians, our soft, supple heart is especially sensitive to sin.
But as we spend a bit less time in His Word, and a bit more time focusing on our own wills, wants, and desires, sin starts to slip in and begins to create a kind of hard "coating" on our hearts--much like the dirt that got into the nooks and crannies of my floor. Sure, I might do a general "dusting" or light cleaning of the floor, but I never get back to that original clean unless I am serious about it.
And that, I believe, is what circumcision of the heart is about.
We cannot truly love, or feel the conviction of our and others' sins as strongly as God desires, if we have the hard, crusty remnants of sin surrounding our soft, supple hearts.And like the physical ritual undergone by Jewish males, the fleshly covering of our hearts must be removed so we can be all God wants us to be.
Heavenly Father, circumcise our hearts. Cut away the fleshy covering of sin so we can feel and use the pure, supple heart that you have given us as Your children. May we recognize the sin that is building up and confess it, allowing you to scrub the gunk off it so we can love You with all our hearts and souls. In the Name of Your Precious Son I pray. Amen.
Have you let sin build up on your heart? Do you need a serious cleaning - a circumcision - of the heart the Lord gave you when He saved you? Thoughts? We're chatting about this here, and at Living By Grace on Facebook. Hope you'll join the discussion!
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength