House cleaning is not something I love to do. But there is something methodical about making things clean again, seeing them looking their best regardless of how old or damaged they may be.
This morning I tackled the lounge, and even though it seemed there were no small toy parts on the carpet, I heard the familiar tink-tink-tink of plastic being sucked up the vacuum tube. I kinda frowned for a second and stood pondering the value of switching off the machine and digging in the dirt for a piece that may or may not hold value. Honestly, I wondered if we could all just live without it, perhaps let it go. Because being frank, I had no desire to pull open the vacuum container and sift through the dust and dregs of our daily living to find a small piece that nobody would really even miss.
Whether I do it or not, is still left to be decided. But I did have a word from it that I’d like to share.
When we become Christians we give our hearts to God, and by that love, we become transformed. We renew our minds, the ways we think and act and do life, and naturally become more hungry to live a life that is pleasing to Him. (Romans 12:2) Part of this filters into how we behave, the actions we take, and the course of life we follow.
In many ways, it feels like we are that dirty and damaged item that God makes clean again, and even though we have dents and bruises, we are still new in His eyes. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
But how often do we lean on our fleshly desires and start to hanker for the life we once had? How often do we sift through the dust and dregs of our daily living to find that one small piece that we don’t really miss, but want? Why? Because it gives us that buzz, or that excitement high we long for. Many of us felt it at the point of salvation, but then as we move along we hang from Sunday to Sunday, desperate to feel it again.
I was listening to Katheryn Kuhlman recently and despite the decisions she made in her life, her greatest ministry was after she had renewed her mind and let God clean up the mess she had made. Something she said in one of her preaches really resonated with me, and I’ll paraphrase it. But essentially she said that too many Christians are just miserable. Miserable people that can’t do the things they loved because now they are a Christian. She passionately followed this up by saying that if we desire to do it so badly but are miserable holding ourselves back, you may as well just go and do it because you have missed the very point of finding joy in renewing and transforming our minds to be more Christ-like.
Of course, I am not as brazen as Katherine Kuhlman, but I do think her words resonate with so many of us. Why are we reaching continually into the dirty dustbag for exciting things that we don’t really miss, when we have been made clean by a Father in heaven that loves us?
Is it because we have not fully understood just how much He loves us?
When we think about our relationship with people, do they burst into song and dance when they see us because they are so grateful for our presence in their lives? Do our kids skip around and shout out how much they love and appreciate us when we fetch them from school? Do we shriek and scream and fall over when we see our parents because of how much they have done for us?
Well, I don’t.
Because due to the relationship I have with my children and parents, certain things are expected. My children expect me to provide for them, to love them, and to keep them safe. My parents expect me to honour them, to love them, and continually build with them. That is part of having a relationship.
And God loves us more.
We need to move on from salvation and into relationship.
To a place where we lean on expecting God to love us, to provide for us, and to care for us.
We so often live for second best, chump change because we do things in our own strength.
Do we forget that God so loved the world (that’s us) that He gave His only begotten son for us?
Why? So that we may not die, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
God needs to become more real to us than the person next to you. He needs to be more real to us than a list of expectations put on us by the church. Or a mold to fit crafted by the men and women prominent in the light of Christianity. God being real to us is of more value than any million-dollar ministry, Instagram following, or role-playing at church.
When God becomes real, our whole world changes.