In yesterday’s blog I shared some pretty pointed stuff about the condition of many churches. I can’t go without expounding on some of the areas we miss when trying to help each other grow in the faith. I will address some of those helps in the next few days. Today I will address the best way to distance yourself from known sin. Hopefully these next few days will be helpful to you if you are going through some of the problems I speak to in this blog.
Before getting into the ministry I had an assortment of jobs. In one of my jobs I worked on the Mississippi River as a deck hand. I had worked there probably two months when they had a layoff and I was fortunate to have an inside influence that got me a union job building a soybean processing plant. i was in the laborers union and one thing I noticed real quick was when you were on the job you wanted to make it stretch out and “pace yourself.” I noticed this after the foreman told me and my brother-in-law, who was also unemployed, to sweep out a warehouse that was probably the size of a football field. It was my first day and I wanted to impress so we started sweeping at a very good pace. When we got to the trailer to punch out I told the foreman we were done. He said, “You’re done?” That was supposed to be a three day job for you guys. He just laughed, took our brooms, and said, “See you tomorrow.” Tomorrow came and as we went in to pick up our brooms, he said, “Take these instead.” To my surprise he had given us two very course brooms that just kind of passed over the dirt. Unlike the fine haired brooms we had the day before these were given to make us leave more dirt than we cleaned up. That way we would have dirt to clean up the next day. “Job Security 101” So, we were told to clean up the area, but when we were too efficient he gave us another broom that would just skim over the top. After changing to the new brooms we never did get that warehouse clean. We could still be sweeping it out today if we had stayed there. In other words, we thought we were going to sweep it clean, but in reality we were just skimming the top.
When dealing with sin the word “superficial” comes to mind. Superficial means to be at, on, or near the surface. It also means the external or outward. The last definition is the real kicker though where it means apparent rather than real. We live in a world where movie and Broadway actors put on such good shows to the point that you really believe they are like the person they are playing. When in reality they are playing a role, a fake, a ruse. In other words, it’s all an act. In my life I can be the best actor of all by putting forth a deep heartfelt attitude about something, when in my heart it is very superficial at best. We do a few things to make ourselves feel better and it is apparent we are trying to improve by our actions, but is it real. In the book Normal Christianity, Watchman Nee explained that when we allow Christ in our lives, we are no longer in control. He is the real in our life. He is in charge and He looks to our core, or our heart, and responds to it. Outward expressions that don’t involve life change probably are temporary at best , but inside there is no change. God’s wisdom shows us that the “superficial” attempt to feel better still leaves us captive to our sin and we won’t walk away from it. Just like when I was given a broom with bigger bristles to keep me from sweeping all the dirt in the warehouse, we keep Christ from getting to our core by giving an apparent attempt at freeing ourselves from a particular sin. In reality God wants to sweep it out and keep it out. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful to forgive (or sweep) our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When God was choosing a King for His people He chose David, a man after His own heart. He knew David’s heart and His desire to serve God with His life. Through Jesus Christ we have a heart that is just as desiring to serve God as David. We must give control of our heart to God on a daily basis. If we do that God will change us and call us to serve Him as never before. Let’s be honest. Many times when we confess our sin to God, we are just burdened because we got caught, not because we truly feel bad about it. God wants us to confess, repent, and walk away from the sin and let Him do a “‘clean sweep” so we are no longer held captive by that sin. There is no other freedom as great as the freedom God gives us through the forgiveness of sin. It is liberating, empowering, and life changing. It is the catalyst that sets into motion that clean sweep that is brought on when God exposes our heart to us. The real me. The real you. Let Him do a clean sweep in your life. Walk away from that defeated half grown Christian Life that is only superficial at best. Sin is no longer in control and now is the time for you to have clean sweep in your life. Remember, God has a big broom and He doesn’t delay when getting on with things. This is the first big step to a whole new way of life. A CLEAN SWEEP!!
The Pilgrimage continues..