Sunday, June 9, 2013

Clean-Up Day

Clean-Up Day
June 10, 2013
2 Kings 23:3  "The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant."

Clutter piles up.  It happens.  We forget to keep things clean and the next thing you know there is junk all around that was never intended.  It happens in our physical lives and it happens in our spiritual lives.  Depending on how long it takes you to realize the clutter, the more clutter you have to clean up.  In the physical sense you might just have a clean-up day where you discard the unintended stuff, the unnecessary, unimportant things that aren't healthy to keep around.  It happens to everyone, even the most devout of neat freaks.  It happens to the best of the best, physical and spiritual clutter happens.  In small amounts it isn't a big deal, but if left alone, the clutter has an opportunity to dwarf everything and anything healthy.  It can create dire living conditions.

The Israelites let this happen on more than one occasion.  The spiritual clutter had collected so much that the new generation of Israelites did not have a relationship with the Lord.  In fact, they knew nothing of his laws, decrees, or promises.  The clutter had enabled them to fall away from the Lord completely.  Then one day, they were literally cleaning up the temple of the Lord (it had fallen in dis-repair) and someone found a book.  It was a book of all the Lord's laws, decrees, and promises.  It was the book of the Lord's covenant with the Israelites.  They read the book and realized they had so much spiritual clutter that their lives no longer paralleled what the Lord required of them.  They all read the book aloud and vowed to get back on track with the Lord, to clean up the spiritual clutter in their lives.  Then they had a ceremony to renew the covenant with the Lord.  Though the Lord never needed to renew His end of the covenant, the Children of Isreal needed to refresh their stance on living up to what the Lord required of them.

You might have a clean-up day around your office or desk, your yard, maybe even your church, but have you thought about a clean-up day for your heart?  Is your heart in disrepair?  When was the last time you read the book of the Lord's laws, decrees, and promises aloud?  Do you need to renew your covenant with the Lord?  You might think you are OK with the Lord, not fallen away if you're reading devotionals, but take an honest look at your heart.  There is a small amount of spiritual clutter sitting there and you walk past the pile every day, ignoring it, thinking it isn't a big deal.  It may not be a big deal today, but it has the potential to stack up and overtake things completely.

You think you can handle it, and in small amounts you probably are living just fine.  But it is not the life the Lord has for you, free of clutter both in the physical and spiritual.  Cleaning out your heart is an opportunity to be honest with yourself and vulnerable with the Lord.  It is a chance to evaluate everything and decide if it is healthy to keep around.  Clean up your mouth, clean up your thoughts, clean up your actions, clean up your friend list, clean up your media content, clean up your reading material, clean up your weekend habits, clean up everything that is not of the Lord.

Once you've cleaned up all the junk in your heart, have a renewal ceremony with the Lord.  Renew your vows to Him, rededicate your life to His service, reestablish yourself as the strong Christian leader the Lord has called you to be for Himself and for others.  If the Israelites needed to do this on multiple occasions, it is probable you and I might need to as well somewhere along the line.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Deut 29, Josh 8:30-34, Josh 23 & 24, 2 Kings 22

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