Clean. People define it differently and engage in various activities to achieve it.
Before running water and electricity, once a week baths with sponging off in between constituted clean. Even after these inventions, my grandparents didn’t bathe every day but still considered themselves clean. For others, clean involves showering or bathing daily.
Beyond bathing is our obsession with hand washing and hand sanitizer. Although some germs are actually beneficial, we wash them away with our compulsion. Wipes are carried to sponge them away, and hand sanitizer bottles are toted like Kleenex. Too much of a good thing can actually be bad.
Jesus did a little cleansing himself. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple (John 2:15 NLT). Worshippers came from distant lands making it inconvenient to bring a Passover animal sacrifice. They also brought coins with pagan ruler’s inscriptions. Local merchants took advantage of the situation by charging outrageous prices for the animals they sold and the coins they redeemed. Jesus reacted by giving them a spiritual bath.
God wants to conform my actions and attitudes to his Son’s…he wants me to act and think like Jesus. In minor and major ways, he bathes my attitudes to transform my actions. The response is up to me but determines the final outcome. I can resist his cleansing as the religious leaders did. They wanted to know who gave him the authority to do what he did. Or I can accept his cleansing reluctantly. My actions may change temporarily, but they won’t permanently because I’m convinced against my will. The proper response is accepting the bath joyfully and learning from it because by faith I believe God knows what type of spiritual bath suits me best.
How are you reacting to God’s attempts to bathe you?
Prayer: Thank You Father for loving us enough not to leave us in our disobedience and unwise patterns of thinking and acting. Give us faith to respond to Your baths with obedience and an eagerness to learn.
Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s
kid,” author, speaker, and freelance writer and editor currently living in
Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders of Love Lines
From God, a devotional ministry that helps those who want to enhance their
spiritual journey with Christ. His latest book, Grits & Grace & God, is
available at Amazon.