Neglected Cleaning

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Invariably when I pray I find myself stuck at the "Confession" step. I am certain this is not because I have nothing to confess, but rather I can think of nothing to confess. Could it be that the sin patterns that remain in my life are so familiar to me they no longer seem like sin? Or do I choose to ignore areas of my life I'd rather not have to deal with? Whatever the reason, 2 Timothy 2:21 tells me that when I am clean from sin, I will be used by God. I desperately want to be used by God so I guess I'd better get to cleanin'.

This morning I am in John 8:1-11. Here I find the story of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus to see how he would handle the situation. Let's pick up the story in Verse 5.
  • Those who bring her before Jesus are aware that the Old Testament provides that a women in her situation receive the penalty of death by stoning and bring her to Him to ask Him what to do. They are just using her though to attempt to trap Jesus, a detail of which He's obviously aware. (Verses 5-6)
  • At this point, Jesus begins to write on the ground with his finger. I have heard more speculation over the course of my life about what He wrote than I care to recount. What I am certain He didn't write is much more important to me than what He actually did. Jesus doesn't pen words like "Alone in Your Sin", "Unforgivable" or "Unredeemable". (Verses 7-8)
  • Instead of responding to their inquiry directly, He simply says that anyone of them without sin is welcome to throw the first stone. One by one they filed away knowing they did not meet that criteria. (Verse 9)
  • Finally, Jesus finds himself alone with the woman and asks her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?". She responds, "No one, sir." Jesus glorious reply is, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin". (Verses 10-11)

This is one of the most beautiful stories in the New Testament and a true picture of God's grace. Today I am lasered on the fact that Jesus did not tell her to go and no longer commit adultery. Instead, He says, "Go now and leave your life of sin". My heart is pierced, because isn't it the life of sin that gets me? It's easy to see big, glaring mistakes I've made but much more difficult to recognize a lifestyle pattern of sin that is just "part of who I am". Like unwanted, unnecessary baggage, Jesus says to leave it. I need to lay it down so I can continue on my life journey with Him free of its' burden.

Jesus, there is no corner where you can't sweep out the cobwebs, no light fixture too high for you to dust. I give you free reign to show me that dust bunny that's been sitting under my bed far too long. You are the Master Janitor. What you clean will never be dirty again.

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