- Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Imagine this scenario. You just came home from a busy day. It could be a busy day at work, a busy day with your family and friends, or a busy day running errands and shopping for groceries.
You exit your car and enter your house. Then you see it. There are papers strewn out all over the desk. The dishes are piled in the sink. You enter your room and set your keys down on the nightstand. You see it again. Papers are covering the top of the filing cabinet. Shirts, socks, and underwear are covering the carpeting. You go to pick up your clothes, but you realize why they are there: the laundry hamper is overflowing. In looking closer at the carpet, you see dust everywhere.
Your inspection continues. The stove top is caked with grease and crumbs. Dust is caking the floors. Papers and other junk are everywhere. At this point, you can’t take it anymore.
It is time to clean house.
Houses, like anything that you own, require time and care to maintain. But in this case, I am not referring to cleaning a physical house. What I am referring to is the cleaning of your soul. Have you cleaned your house lately? Have you really taken a good look within yourself and have begun to clean your house?
- Assess the Cleanliness of the House
“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what makes a man ‘unclean’…”
To begin, we need to assess the state of the house. Is your “house” clean? Some of you may already have a clean house and some of you will not. The things that make your house unclean can be the things that come out of your mouth, and they will make your house unclean. Once we know the cleanliness of the house, we can then know the kind of work that we need to do to clean it.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”
Our fleshly desires is another thing to consider if your house is not clean. Going further in the passage, These desires can lead to wanting something, but not getting it. This leads to quarreling and fighting.
But let’s not forget the key of the passage. “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3-4) Your house may be unclean because you are not asking God for what you need. Asking must be done with a sincere heart, and not be done with a heart driven by fleshly desires or pleasures.
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
Your house may not be clean because there’s an issue with your relationship with God. If you are a friend of the world, you are an enemy to Him. Do you think that your house is not clean? In just realizing this, you are on the right track. He desires you and wants your house to be clean. Going further in James, it says that “without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely” (James 4:6) When we are in the wrong, when we see that our house is not clean, remember this: He gives us more grace. He knew that our once clean house would become dirty, but he is here to help us clean it up.
2. Submit Yourselves to God (James 4:7)
When you know that your house is dirty, you can then turn to the one that can make it clean. A proud heart doesn’t think that their heart needs to be clean. Or if it is dirty, they will try to clean it themselves. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Getting back to the verse in James 1, it says to “Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (v.21) This means letting go of any selfish tendency to try to do it yourself. You can’t. Give it all to Him because He knows how to clean it the best.
3. Resist the devil (James 4:7)
Resisting the devil means letting go of all the tricks and devices that he has used to try to deceive you. He is not going to do anything to make your house any cleaner. He is the cause of the mess. He is looking for someone to devour and his agenda is only to steal, kill, and destroy. His power is in the lie so sever all ties to him. And when you sever all those ties and run to God, he will flee like the coward he is. Hold onto the truth and say no to the devil and all of his ways.
4. Come Near to God and He Will Come Near to You. (James 4:8)
The closer that you are to God, the closer you will be to His presence. Now while you were unclean, your hands got dirty. You are now aware of the sins that you have committed. The passage tells us to “wash your hands”. Confess your sins to him. You know that you did it and so has He. He now wants you to “come clean”.
Another thing that the passage tells us is to “purify your hearts”. A double-minded person has an impure heart. Your heart is an important part of your house that needs to be cleaned. Start there. Tell Him who you are and be real. He will hear you and clean this most important part of your house.
A third thing that the passage tells us is to “grieve, mourn, and wail”. Your house cannot be clean unless you are grieved over the sins that you have committed. With a pure heart, you should be able to cry. Think of this as the water that He is using to make your house clean.
5. Humble Yourselves Before the Lord, and He Will Lift You Up. (James 4:10)
When your house became filthy, you were brought down. Now you have washed your hands, purified your heart, grieved your sins, mourned over them, and cried. He has heard all of your crying now. Humble yourselves to Him. Commit your house to His care. When you do this, He will lift you up. Entrust Him for all the routine inspections. If there is anything unclean that He detects, He will let you know.
So is your house clean now? Have you given a good look inside of your soul to see if you are clean there? It’s one thing to pick up a few things, but the house needs to be clean. Remember who you invited in. You invited Jesus into your house and He wants all the rooms clean. Everything inside and out. (If you have never invited Jesus into your house before, I invite you to read “Why The Fountain?” just below.) Now He will help you keep it clean but you have to let Him. When you give way to compromise, or ignore His reminders to clean up your house, don’t ignore Him. Remember how unclean your house was and the grace that He gave you. You do not want to return to that place of filth again. Trust God, and He will keep your house squeaky clean.
Why The Fountain?
The purpose of this blog series is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to encourage people during these dark and difficult times.
If you have never received Christ before, it is not too late to do so. The truth is we are all sinners and have fallen short of God’s standard. The good news is that Christ was sent to die for what we all deserved. In believing that Christ died for you, you receive Christ and become an heir with him, with the promise of eternal life. All you need to do is confess to him that you’re a sinner, ask him to come into your life and rescue you, and he will send you his Helper to be with you forever. (John 14:16-17)
At the Fountain, you will always find Living Water. Refreshing water for these difficult times.