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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feeling a little dirty...

Have you ever felt so lazy that even a shower seems like too much work for you?  I mean to the point where you really don't care about the filth you have on you from the day before?  Perhaps you're just too comfortable sitting in your PJ's to get up and get in the shower and wash off the remains from the day before.  Or maybe it's just really cold in your house and the thought of taking off those warm clothes or getting from under your warm blanket and stepping into the cold air of a shower gives you the chills.

That's how I was feeling this morning.  As a matter of fact, that's how I feel a lot of mornings.  Rest assured, I take showers every day.  But there are moments when I just don't feel like it.  I'm far too comfortable in the current position that I'm in, and I'm just not willing to give up that comfort at the moment to hop in the shower.  Or it's just really cold in our house, and the thought of having to deal with the cold air--before and after the shower--just does not seem very appealing to me.  I choose to stay warm, I choose to stay comfortable.  Eventually though, I have to get up and wash the dirt off from the day before.  If I did not, I'd just continue to get dirtier and dirtier and people would start to notice.

As I was having this random thought earlier today, God spoke to my heart.  I always find it amazing how God can take any situation and use it to better explain Himself to us.  He showed me that it's a lot like sin, and living a sin filled life.

To a point, we all have dirt on us, even when we shower.  Dirt gets on our skin and it just stays there throughout the day.  When we shower over night or the next morning, we're able to remove that dirt by washing it away.  If we never shower, that dirt stays on our skin, and more dirt is added to us daily.  In the beginning, no one really notices.  You don't even notice and it's your body.  So you could say that it's somewhat acceptable.  Eventually, though, if you continue not to shower, the dirt begins to show up.  You start to smell.  You, along with other people start to notice it. 

Before I knew Jesus, I was knee deep in sin.  Much like going without a shower for a day, it started off passable.  I couldn't really tell.  No one else could tell either.  Each day I continued in this sin letting it fester all over my body.  It seemed like the more I allowed the sin to stay on me, the more other sins began attaching themselves to my body.  Once you have enough on you, it's easier for more to attach itself to you.  Too much dirt on you can cause disease.  And who wants disease all over their body?  Most people with diseases want to be cleansed of them immediately.

 If we don't shower for a few days, we're still able to hide the dirt.  We're still able to cover up the stink.  But eventually, it all comes out.  It can come out to the point that people either start gossiping about us, or people come to us with genuine concern for what we're doing.  You know what I mean:  A wife cheats on her husband.  She continues to do so, and it eventually comes out.  You become a social drinker or drug user.  You continue telling yourself you've got it all under control.  Then somewhere down the line, you wake up and discover the drugs or alcohol has control of you.  It is inevitable, the sins in your life can and will get out of control to the point that people begin noticing them.  You'll start to notice them. 

There is, however, a way out...

In Psalm 51:2-3 the psalmist asks God, "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me."  Verse 7 goes on to say, "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean, wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."

Our sins are like dirt.  They are filthy.  We all have sin in our lives, some of us just choose to ask for forgiveness for them and to be cleansed of them.  When we ask to be cleansed of them, God promises to do so.  In Jeremiah 33 He says, "I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me." (Jeremiah 33:8, NIV).

In this chapter, he was talking about the people of Judah and Israel.  But this is a promise that He's made for all of us today.  He's already given us this promise, it's up to us to stop being lazy and comfortable with our dirt and ask for Him to cleanse us of it. 

The best part about it, is God doesn't care how dirty we are.  All He cares about is that we acknowledge Him, and ask for His forgiveness for our sins.  When we do this, we can rest assured He is faithful and will cleanse us of them.  1 John 1:8-9  (NIV) states, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 

And once we do this...once we decide that we're no longer comfortable sitting in our sin...once we make the decision to stop be lazy and festering in our sin...once we come to Him and let Him take it from us, we can be confident to know that He's wiped our slates clean and removed that sin that once made us so dirty and smelly far from us.  Psalm 103:12 states that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions (our sins) from us."  This is how much He loves us...


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