Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cleanse us, O Lord - Part 1

*Quite some time ago, I wrote this article with the thought to encourage young ladies in their walk with the Lord. The article came to fruition after the Lord used 2 Corinthians 7:1 to speak to my heart during one of my quiet times.

As children of God, we should have a great desire to study and know the Scriptures and then to apply these words to our lives. Many times this is difficult as it often requires the surgical sword of the Lord to remove areas of sin in order that our lives may be more conformed to our Savior’s perfect image. The Scriptures are full of verses that instruct us in removing impurity from us and clothing ourselves in righteousness. 2 Corinthians 7:1 is one of these verses:

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

What promises are referred to in the first part of this verse? The promises are those that are written in chapter six verses 16-18: that God will dwell in those who separate themselves unto Him; that He will walk among them and they shall be His people; He will welcome them if they separate themselves from the world and the things of the world (for the prince of this world is Satan - John 12:13; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). God says that He will then be their Father and they shall be His sons and daughters.

What precious promises! But to receive them, the Scriptures clearly teach us that we must cast off this world. Therefore because of these promises, Paul exhorts us to cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit. ‘Flesh’ denotes the physical aspect of our lives and ‘spirit’ the spiritual. Thus every single part of us, our thoughts, our words, our beliefs, etc. all need to be examined and cleansed of defilements. The defilements are anything that is contrary to the Word of our Lord. No matter how small, no matter how great, if it is contrary to His truth it is sin and it is defiling to us. Defilement is to be dirty or foul, unclean, impure, polluted. The picture that those words paint is repulsive! Yet, that is exactly how our sins appear to God. Yes, He still graciously loves us, but every time that we choose to follow the path of this world and our flesh, our sin is repulsive to God.

But there is forgiveness and grace in our Father! If we but turn to Him, His Spirit will work in our hearts to help us cleanse and purify. If we but desire it and submit to Him, this amazing work will be accomplished in our lives. We need to examine our lives to see what defilements lie therein. What words do I speak that are contrary to His Word? What actions do I do that are repulsive to our Holy God? What thoughts do I think that are not fitting for a child of God? (Philippians 4:8). What things do I do simply for my own pleasure and not to the glory of God? (1 Corinthians 10:31). Are the activities that I do, the music that I listen to, the books that I read, the beliefs I hold to, are they glorifying to God? In their entirety do they please Him? If not, they are a defilement and should be purged from my life.

To be continued . . .

-Posted by Sarah

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