No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. ~Mark 3:27
Spring Cleaning. It's the big tradition in the states; it's even become a coined phrase used by many cleaning supply companies. It's a big deal. It makes the keeper of the house feel a great sense of accomplishment and it makes anyone else who may be living there quite happy as well.
I too am one of those who tend to jump on the Spring Cleaning band wagon. However, I also have another mood that hits me about this time of year...perhaps it could be called "Fall Cleaning". I know, I know. It doesn't quite have the same pep in it's step when you say it, but, none the less, it motivates me just about the same as the other. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is the fact that I know a long winter awaits, especially now that I am living in Northern Europe, and that the atmosphere of my humble abode is something that will be even more important during the long winter days ahead that I may be stuck at home. How clean it is... how organized it is...These are things that are going to be staring me in the face on a much more regular basis here in the near future. And, like anyone with a Momma who taught them well, I care. I really care. I haven't always cared so much, but the inner Ms. Homemaker in me has made her debut and the slightly OCD Martha Stewart side is starting to peek it's way through. My latest project: organizing the closet. Granted, I moved to Europe with only 2 suitcases worth of my belongings to live off of for over a year, and just a few random things have been mailed to me since, but you would be greatly surprised at how much I managed to squeeze into those two suitcases! That said, my closet now looks like something that would make even the manager of the highest end department store proud. And, this being the last of my extreme cleaning/ organizing projects for now...my home is now officially "winter ready".
In the midst of all this I'm reminded of one great thing about being single and not yet having a husband or children: Everything I have cleaned, and especially everything I have organized, will remain exactly as it is unless I personally choose to change or mess it up. Now, stick with me, I'm going somewhere with this...
Such is the Christian life. No matter how close you are to other people, whether family, friends, mentors, etc, you have to do the cleaning and organizing for your life and only YOU can truly change or mess up what you have worked so hard to "clean" or make right. Others can try to affect your decisions in positive or negative ways, however you choose whether you will ignore or heed to what they say. YOU make the final choice as to if you will act or not act on their advice. You and only you are the "homemaker" in your life. When all is said and done, it will be you that will stand before the Lord your maker by yourself. Your heart...your home, is your own. No one but God should ever be allowed to dwell there. God's voice should always be the one you listen to the closest when it comes to the cleaning and organizing of your life.
The Bible says that "you are not your own" but that "you are bought with a price". If you are truly sold out, if you are truly "not your own", then when your house is clean, you'll keep it that way. Anyone who has ever cleaned knows how much easier it is to get everything really clean, and then clean up efficiently on a regular basis, than to let everything get dirty and gross and then try to get it all cleaned up. The latter is much harder and in the mean time leaves you and those close to you in a very uncomfortable living situation as well. Why not just keep your "house" in order?
At the beginning of this blog I quoted the verse about the strong man, one often used in reference to evil, rather than good. However, it works the same both ways. If you are Spirit filled, the God in you is WAY stronger than flesh or any evil spirit. YOU are the one who chooses whether to be an overcomer or allow yourself to be bound. You choose the voices that you will listen to.
Your House = Your Heart
Keep your heart clean! Get things right with God. Then, die (repent) DAILY. Yes, daily. Don't just ask God to forgive you quickly then move on along, but ask Him to search your heart. There may be things hanging around that have been there for a very long time, of which you are not even aware,that are affecting your very being. However, if you won't take the time to listen to God, rather than just speak to Him, He certainly won't bother to reveal them to you. God is a gentlemen, He gives men the power of choice and will not speak out of turn. The cool thing: When your heart is clean the organizing side will gradually just fall in place. When you're repenting daily and seeking God's will daily, He WILL speak. He WILL lead you. You WILL feel a peace that passes all understanding, because you will trust and know, on a whole knew level, that God does ALL things well.
He desires your heart to be clean much more than we could every desire our homes to be clean. There is a great contentment that comes from having a tidy home. Philippians 4:11 says, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." When your "house" is clean, you will know contentment because you will daily be acknowledging that He does all things well and has all things in control. It is through this manifestation of your faith that He will begin to reveal his perfect will to you.
Do what you can; God will do what you can't. Keep your house clean. Find your contentment in God and He WILL, not might not maybe, not possibly, He WILL "order your steps" and "supply all your needs according to His riches in glory."