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Spring Cleaning

Posted by Cinda On March - 28 - 2013

OK… Let’s do a little association game here. I say “snow” …you say “cold”. I say “rain” … you say “mud”. Oh, let’s be a little more positive. I say “rain” … you say “good grass for the cattle in a month or so.” Better. I say “winter” … you say “OVER!” I say “spring” … you say “windy!” OK, a little more positive again… “CLEANING!”

kitchen“Watch out,” I hear my child mumble to another in the hallway. Actually it is louder than a mumble, and really intended for my ears. “Mom is on a thing, again, you can’t get a drink or dirty a plate.” Now, the truth of the matter is that they can get a drink and eat; they just can not use a cup or plate! After all, I had just gotten all the dishes done and put away. I could actually see the countertop again- it is white, by the way. I have a tendency to forget what color it is- I see it so seldom. The kitchen was clean, from the formerly greasy stove to the sink, to the countertops and cupboards, and I just wanted to relish all this cleanliness for just a few minutes. That is all I asked. And, why is it, anyway, that as soon as the last dish is done and put away, someone wants to get a drink? Maybe I should install a water fountain (or bubbler, for those of you with roots in Wisconsin).

The spring cleaning frenzy extended to the bathrooms, and just as I managed to get all the soap crust off of the tub- you guessed it- someone feels the need to take a bath. They are, however, not nearly as upset about not taking a bath as not dirtying dishes, which brings me to my wondering (NO, not wandering) if the Lord ever sees us that way.

He saves us, washes away all of our sins in the life blood of His only Son, and yet, we don’t stay “clean” very long. Our propensity for sin puts us in a situation where we daily have to confess our sins and receive God’s forgiveness of them. For some of us, that daily turns into a moment by moment confession, since about all it takes for us to get off track is one bad thought. Thoughts give way to a pattern of thoughts, which gives way to actions. When it (sin) is conceived, it gives way to actions. Sin starts off there- in the thought life (James 1:15). If we don’t buckle down on the thought life, we can count on falling prey to a myriad of sinfulness.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we read that we are to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Ever wonder how we are supposed to do that? Sometimes thoughts fly through my mind so quickly. Other times I have mulled on things way too long, before catching myself and moving those thoughts along.

biblereadingThere is a way to take every thought captive. First, we can fill our minds with the Word of God. Filling our thoughts with God’s thoughts is essential to taking every thought captive. When we know what is important to God, we can filter every thought that enters our mind through God’s thoughts so we can immediately decide whether or not to keep that thought around. The second part to “taking every thought captive” is to ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit. The filling of the Holy Spirit is what makes the first step possible. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to convict us of what is not good. (John16:8) With the filling of the Holy Spirit, we have a measure available to us to weigh those thoughts coming into our minds, and decide whether they should go or stay. The closer our relationship to the Holy Spirit, the quicker we will be able to recognize and deal with potentially damaging (to our souls and our relationship with God) and harmful thoughts. The third step of “taking every thought captive” is to fill our will with God’s will. We have to choose to recognize God’s will in our thought life. We must choose to choose His will for our thoughts. Drive out, with His Word and His Spirit, what He does not want there. Driving out- taking captive- is active, not passive. In the Greek text, that is a continuous, active action. We have to take action constantly and be vigilant about it.

So, what do we do with this mind that is cleaned up? Do we just leave it empty and sparkling clean, and look at it? No, Scripture warns us about cleaning out our house and leaving it clean, yet vacant. (Matthew 12:44-45, Luke 11:24-26) We have to continuously fill our minds with the thoughts of God. Memorize His words of promise to you. Memorize His words of comfort and encouragement to you. A good place to continue with “taking every thought captive” is to replace the ones we took captive and fill our minds with the things of God spoken to us by God through Paul in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell (camp there!) on these things.”

Of course the parenthetical phrase above is mine. So, perhaps we should start afresh this spring on cleaning our minds, “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”, and filling it with the good mentioned in Phil. 4:8. As for the clean counters and baths, I don’t sweat them any more. Cleanliness is next to Godliness (No, that is not in the Bible, but it is a good concept), drink all you want, kids, snack if you wish. I can already see a day in the future when there will not be enough cups and dishes from the day to fill the sink… and it is way to close!

Author: Ann / CCF Contributor
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