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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clean


"When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, 'I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before." As He was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, "God bless Your mother—the womb from which You came, and the breasts that nursed You!" Jesus replied, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice." (Luke 11:24-28 NLT)

I'm watching right now as people are cleaning out various areas of the church building.  It's always good to do "spring cleaning" (even when it's not spring) and get back to the original room.  It's a lot like the "factory reset" I talked about yesterday.

Once the room is cleaned out, though, (or the computer is reset), the next step is every bit as important as the first.  What are you going to put back in the room?  What programs are you going to put back on the computer?  Are you going to keep some of the same things or are you going to put new things in their place? Will you have the same amount of stuff or will there be less (or will their be more)?

Then the Lord said to him, "You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn't God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. "What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. (Luke 11:39-42 NLT)

A "clean room" is great, but it won't be long before it becomes cluttered again if we continue doing things the way we have always done them.  The real benefit in a deep clean (or factory reset) is the ability to choose what goes back in there.  The same is true in our lives.  Cleaning our schedules, starting over with budgets, and reevaluating our jobs is a good thing as long as we put the pieces in place that God desires for our lives.  Otherwise, we will be no better off than we were before.