"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10 KJV
Did you wash your hands? This question has been asked during this season of viruses, influenzas and contagious diseases. Washing the hands will help to stop the further spread of germs and contaminants from person to person. Schools have closed because of outbreaks of certain infectious conditions until a thorough cleaning process is completed.
In our private homes we choose special times of the year to do deep house cleaning. We de-clutter our rooms, wash windows, change filters, shampoo carpets, check smoke detectors and even give our walls a fresh coat of paint. Our goals are to get rid of junk, reorganize, make sure systems are functioning properly, disinfect, and make the house as germ-free as possible.
What about the house of the Lord? No, I'm not talking about the praying mothers coming in dusting off the pulpit area nor the environmental service personnel changing light bulbs and the toilet paper dispensers in the restrooms. I am speaking of a personal spiritual clean up time!
It is imperative and important that the preachers and all ministry gifts are active in presenting the Lord a clean "house" in which to inhabit. Before we can address the sin and diseased issues in the lives of our parishioners, we must present to God our hearts, hands, souls and spirits for inner cleansing. As people who are called to bring glad tidings into dismal places we are many times confronted and challenged with compromising positions that can contaminate our character, message and mission.
As we draw nigh to the latter quarter of the year allow these last weeks be used as a personal time of consecration and reexamination. Let's make use of the altar for ourselves as preachers! We must put our own houses in order through a spiritual process of eliminating, cleaning and even burning away debris in us that can spiritually contaminate and destroy those we lead.
There's an old song written by Margaret Pleasant Douroux that says "Give me a clean heart so I may serve Thee. Lord, fix my heart so that I may be used by Thee. For I'm not worthy of all Your blessings. Give me a clean heart, and I'll follow Thee."
Remember that throughout our travels we will all accumulate dust and dirt on the road. Therefore, we need to stop by the well of life for a time of washing and to revisit the altar of our hearts so that we can go through a deeper purification process before we enter a new year in the Lord's house.
We have been busy working and washing the feet of those we serve. Now allow the Lord to individually clean your feet, heart, mind and spirit as you consecrate yourself in His presence. After the process is over you will be ready to renew, restore and clean the Lord's house of spiritually contagious elements.
"How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7 KJV