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Fresh Water to be Made Clean

Fresh Water to be Made Clean

Fresh Water to be Made Clean.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites and play-actors! You have become so pretentious in your hypocrisy. You are proving yourselves blind once again by being more concerned about ceremonial cleanliness than inner purity. It’s as if you think your job is done when you wash the outside of yourself, ignoring your filthy inside self. You just care about appearances, forgetting that God can peer inside you with perfect vision. And He won’t like what He sees! You want a religion that helps you look good at a superficial level but is unconcerned about things like greed and gluttony at a deeper level. Learn to scrub your insides, purify yourselves, so that it matches the spotless outside, and your religion will really mean something. (a paraphrase of Matthew 23:25-26).

In Other Words. Do I care too much about appearing squeaky clean to others, and not giving enough attention to my inner character? Is my clean image, my spotless reputation, more important than the status of my heart? Why do I focus so much on appearances, on being impressive, and not on how God sees me? Am I more concerned with outer purity than inner purity? Do I deep down believe that I am earning my salvation with good behavior?

More cleansing thoughts from Scripture: “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow… Though your sins are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:16-18). ‘O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?” (Jeremiah 4:14). “Purge me with the shrub of purification. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:7, 10). “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8).

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8).

You will cheer with delight when your innermost being is cleaned of mixed motives and impure thoughts. Congratulations! Your clean inner reservoir of instincts will now more clearly reflect a pure image of God, and your eyes will open to see more and more of Him.

Sometimes we have hidden agendas, even kept secret from ourselves. Often we are mysteries, even unto ourselves. We can surprise ourselves with our double-mindedness and questionable convictions. How can we ever see deeply enough into our psyche to determine if our motives are really pure? Can we consciously choose to have innocent knee-jerk reactions to situations in life? Will we ever have spotless, involuntary impulses? These are deep internal matters, and here we find ourselves right where God wants to work. He wants us to be gradually purified at our subterranean level. He longs to see our motivations become unmixed with inner sinfulness. He yearns that our heartfelt reactions become clean and upright. God wants to transform our deepest, most innermost beings to become unsullied, a pure mountain stream flowing way below the surface with all the impurities washed away. God wants our unbidden thoughts to be righteous, our random feelings to be filled with goodness.

This purification process is a continuous cleansing, it is ongoing. When we daily submit to that process, we are to be envied! We are supremely fortunate! For hearts filled with light and purity allow us to see God more and more clearly. The purer our hearts, the more light that is allowed to reach under the surface, the wider open our eyes to recognize the Lord. When complete purity has been achieved, it’s time to celebrate! We will then be seeing Jesus face-to-face! In the meantime, our vision of God will only sharpen as we ask the Holy Spirit to wash us clean at that deep, deep level. Ask for a daily bath down below in the heart. We are unable to cleanse our own hearts at that level. Only the Spirit.

“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.” (Ps. 139:23-24).

 

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