TIME TO CLEAN UP
It is a New Year! Welcome to 2021!
Back in the day, we would prepare long lists of things we wanted to do away with or “do away from”, we called them new year resolutions. And though some people did their best to stick to their resolutions, some barely made it to the end of the first week of the year. I guess that has not changed much. There are most who want to start the new year on a “clean slate” (in a manner of speaking): out with the old and in with the new, kind of thing. Especially those who got really carried away over the holidays and indulged in all manner of things.
Some had affairs, some binged on food and alcohol at the expense of their health, some abused all kinds of substances. Some even cheated on their partners, some lied, some have piled up a mountain of debts from buying a whole lot of stuff they do not even need, some stole from parents or significant others just so they could buy something they had been eyeing on the internet for a while. Whatever it was that you did, this article is definitely not to put you on blast. It is to let you know that regardless of how far down you fell there is grace in abundance for you to get back up on your feet. But you must get up, please! This is not the time to continue in the mess. Because; “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9 NLT Now is the time to repent. God is actually waiting for us to do so. There is grace available now to repent of every wrong.
When Jesus went into the temple and saw people buying, selling and doing all sorts of things there in the temple, He got really mad and chased them out. He actually got a whip to do that. Our bodies and by extension what we do with them are important to God because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. All the activities going on in the temple did not please Jesus and He had to get them out. But it was not an easy task. He literally had to chase them out. Cleaning up is not always easy but is very important and necessary. As we determine to clean up our mess and change our ways this new year, it might not be as easy as we expect but; “So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit.” Zechariah 4:6 Contemporary English Version Yes! The Spirit of the Lord will help us achieve this. Like some of the money changers and those buying and selling in the temple, some of our bad habits have been with us for so long we cannot even remember a time we were without them. And so like Jesus using a whip, we might need to be radical in turning over a new leaf. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us.
Now for there to have been a cleaning that implies that their was dirt, filth, debris, clutter. So I do not know what you indulged in over the past year or over the holidays, I have no idea what baggage or garbage you have been lugging around for a while now, but “enough already!” It is time for cleaning out the temple. Time to clean up those evil thoughts, the outbursts of anger, the envy, the jealousy, the malice, the pride, the lies. They do not please God. When we allow dirt to gather and accumulate, things will get missing, things will get stolen and the sad part is that sometimes we will not even notice that something has gone missing. The truth is that when we do not rid ourselves of all manner of baggage and clutter, it is not possible to hear from God and be led by His Spirit. The mess will keep distracting us and interfering with what is important. As long as the buyers and sellers remained in the temple, it’s use as a house of prayer was not entirely achieved.
So perhaps it’s time for a detox (please see The place of Praise article of May 3rd, 2016 by the Revolutionary Righter, IfeOluwa Jaiyesimi (https://theplaceofpraise.com/a-detox-for-the-soul-2/) and though any time is a good time for a detox, the start of the year is a great time too.
So let us come boldly now to the throne of grace and ask for mercy and know that He eagerly awaits us with loving arms. Let us repent of all that we have done that does not glorify God. Let us commit to renewing our thoughts, our words and our deeds to pleasing Him at all times. Let us remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we really should be more sensitive and sensible regarding what we put into it and what comes out of it too.
Let us take time to clean up and then go ahead and have a great 2021!
With God it is possible!