We’ve all heard the old addage: “Out of sight, out of mind.” I’m pretty sure this is my children’s philosophy on cleaning. They tend to grab anything out that I might see but whether or not it gets put in the correct place is questionable and I have to be mentally prepared to open their closets and look under beds.
And before I am too hard on them, I can have this tendency as well. Does anyone else have that random “junk” drawer or the pile of papers in your bedroom that you will get around to looking through later? I have to be really bored to decide to deal with that stuff!
And, I’m going to be totally honest, sometimes my house will have the illusion of clean when people come over but meanwhile, there is dust collecting on the fan, cobwebs in corners, and I don’t even want to talk about the crumbs that a small animal could live on that collects in our couches!
How to Keep a Clean Heart
I was thinking the other day as I stood and supervised my girls cleaning under their bed that this can apply to our spiritual lives as well. Everything looks good on the outside. I’m serving at the church, putting a smile on my face, showing up for Bible studies, and there are no blatant sins to discover. But, on the inside, deep in the corners of the heart and mind; there can be harbored anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, anxiety, worry, and/or pride.
The danger to these kinds of sins is that sometimes, we don’t even realize they are there until they’ve manifested into something else entirely. So, what’s the solution to “cleaning up” these hidden sins? I think that David gives us some really great insights in the Psalms on how to keep our heart clean and I want to focus on Psalm 19.
1. Make it Our mission to Glorify God.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
We can learn from creation just what it looks like to show His handiwork. We should constantly be uttering speech and revealing knowledge that testifies to our Heavenly Father.
If our minds, voices, energy, and intent are on glorifying God like His creation, then there is no room for negative or hurtful thought or speech patterns. We have the glory of the Lord filling us like the sun and “nothing is hidden from its heat.”
In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that our weapons of warfare are divine power to destroy strong holds and ” take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
2. Read and Know the Word of God.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
I really don’t feel like we need to do further explaining on this. It is so beautifully written. God’s word converts our souls, makes us wise, puts rejoicing in our hearts, enlightens our eyes, cleans us, warns us, and we have rewards when we keep them!! If we want to keep our hearts clean and pure, we must daily be in His word and make memorizing and meditating on scripture a priority.
3. Allow God to Search Our Hearts and Confess!
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
That’s our down fall as humans, we are so easily fooled into thinking we have it all together. Jesus knew it well when he said, ““Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ” (Matthew 7:3)
But, we can’t discern our own errors and we don’t even know the depravity of our own hearts. (Jeremiah 17:9) So, we need to get alone before our God and ask him to show us, forgive us, and keep us from those sins.
Ask God to Keep Your Heart Clean
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Praying scripture is so powerful. This simple prayer of Davids at the end of the psalm expresses a desire of a heart that wants to be clean before the Lord. A heart that says “Lord, I want to please you with my words, my desires, my actions, and I acknowledge you as the Rock who will help me do it.” Amen! (How to Be Persistent in Prayer)
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