During our marvelous time visiting Israel this spring, the one unfortunate detail we noticed was the considerable amount of litter in some areas of the country. Due to the 1960’s and 70’s “Keep America Beautiful” campaigns, I’m keenly aware of the importance of properly disposing of trash. After all, it’s difficult to forget the tearful image of Iron Eyes Cody, who portrayed a Native American, shedding a tear at the sight of litter in our nation. And here we were in God’s holy and chosen land, but the inhabitants had littered the landscape. Feeling the sadness well up in me, the Lord then shifted my thoughts to the garbage in my heart and life, because after all, He dwells inside me through His precious Holy Spirit.
How do I grieve my Lord by not keeping myself pure?
Perhaps our litter is composed of one or more of these elements:
Busyness—I felt compelled to put this at the top of the list. These days most women are active and engrossed in numerous concerns. As a busy woman, also, I realize many of these activities are good and many benefit ministry. But busyness leads to lack of intimacy with our Heavenly Father. God’s Word exhorts us “… to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:5, NIV). Furthermore, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” (Psalm 46:10, NIV).
Loose Lips—Why, oh why, do we say some of the things we say? “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). Enough said.
Selfishness—We all have a desire to do what we want to do, but is our spirit of “me first” causing pain in the lives of others? How are my selfish actions causing others to suffer? Colossians 3:5 (NIV) admonishes us to, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
False Teachings—Only the Bible itself is reliable and infallible. Are we filtering what we see and hear through the lens of God’s Word? “Those who cleanse themselves from the latter [false teachers] will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21, NIV).
Disobedience—Sin gains a foothold even if by our estimation it’s just a “tiny” one. Are we holding on to something a little too tightly? “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8, NIV).
I’m thankful for sanctification as His holiness cleans out the litter in my life. We can’t do it on our own but only through His Spirit which imparts His power. May our prayer be, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10, NIV). May it also be our daily prayer.
Additional Bible Truths:
2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV): “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
2 Peter 3:14 (NIV): “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”
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