Have you looked around your house lately? Are things piling up? Are you are seemingly unaware of them? Do the tasks of cleaning, sorting, throwing out, storing and organizing overwhelm you? Where did all this stuff come from? Do you have a monster on your hands and don’t know what to do with it?
The sin in our lives can be just like that and it can sneak up on us. Our “piles and stacks” of sins threaten to hurt us and potentially destroy us. Somewhere along the line we have become unaware and veered off track. Perhaps God’s voice has become seemingly distant and His hand withdrawn. It might be time for some spiritual cleansing
Spiritual cleansing is a type of healing in which we take time to identify the spiritual cause for situations that may be manifesting in our lives. It is determining what is keeping us from being right with God and separated from Him, His Word, His love, as well as from ourselves and others. Then it involves the task of purging, eliminating and making positive changes.
There are many causes of spiritual disease that we may not be consciously aware of. They can include fear, doubt, anger, bitterness, over-indulging, panic, controlling attitude, arrogance, perfectionism, and judgementalism. Other spiritual diseases include apathy, indifference, addictions, worry, hypocrisy, pride, need for approval and affirmations, a need to be noticed, idolizing, hopelessness, lust, gluttony, critical spirit, jealousy, or a cold heart. So what happens when we allow these spiritual diseases, especially those that are unexpressed and buried, to rule our lives? Those negative thoughts, feelings, emotions and lies can result in spiritual sin, physical illness, and disease.
So if our spiritual sin not only keeps us separated from God and causes us to be physically unhealthy, what else, besides changing the way we think, can we do? Let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman for some answers.
The Proverbs 31 woman was many things, but she first was a woman of noble character and thought. According to some commentaries, being of noble character may have been a type of military term. As such, the Proverbs 31 woman was fully engaged in the battle of life. She was keenly aware of what was going on around her. As a “warrior” her antennae was up and she was always on the alert for Satan. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The Proverbs 31 woman knew all about Satan and how he delights in snaring us in our helplessness. Are you vigilant and on guard against his attacks? Are you putting on your spiritual armor every day so that you can avoid Satan’s flaming arrows?
Second, she was a virtuous and repentant woman who served God with all her heart, mind and soul. She sought God’s will for her life and followed His ways. Consequently, she not only kept her physical house clean, but was spiritually clean and right with God. She watched over the affairs of her household, as well as the affairs of her heart and mind. She was a woman who feared and trusted the LORD and did not harbor things such as anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and worry that could have separated her from Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) By trusting in God and acknowledging, confessing, and repenting from our spiritual sins, we too will be spiritually clean and right with Him.
Third, the Proverbs 31 woman knew God and she was a woman of wisdom. She had hidden His Word in her heart which lighted her path and was the lamp unto her feet. When we listen to God, read His Word, talk to God and get to know Him intimately, we will be able to let go of the emotional sins we carry. “Share your burden with Christ and yoke yourself to Him so that you can walk with Him against the devil.” Matthew 11:29-30. Are you comfortable spending time with Him, pouring out your heart, sharing your needs, and listening for His answers? As you do, you will get to know Him more intimately and He will help you heal.
Do you feel spiritually unclean? Is your heart padlocked and preventing you from acknowledging reality? I know it’s scary, but here’s a great place to start. First, ask the Lord for help, then insert the key into the lock, remove it from your heart and take a peak.
Next, take out a sheet of paper and write, “If it was OK to feel what I am feeling and it wouldn’t be judged as bad or wrong, what would I be feeling?” Then write down your answers. Don’t rush the process. Take time to watch, look, and listen as a third party observer. What is the tone of voice in your writing? What is your body telling you? Where do you sense the emotions and feelings in your body? Are you rigid with anger or bitterness? Are you heavy with grief, guilt or sadness?
When you are ready, pray. It’s OK to pour out your heart to God. He can handle it. Then just listen. You may or may not get an answer right away, but be patient. God has important lessons for you to learn. Open your heart and mind to loving and seeing yourself as God sees you today. It is one of the most important components to healing. Remember that God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver.
Dear Lord, show me where I need to make changes in my life to be spiritually clean. The things I need to acknowledge, repent of, adjust, discard, and let go of. Dress me every day with your spiritual armor so that I am on guard against Satan’s attacks. Give me the strength and courage to live my life according to Your will. Help me to see myself as You see me so that I can love and accept myself for who I am and who I am becoming in You. Amen
Shari and her husband, Roger have been attending Valley since the early 2000's. Shari has served in many capacities at Valley Church just a few include Women's Bible Study, the Heart to Heart Tea, Valley Choir and the Traditions Praise team. She has a passion to see women grow strong in their walk with the Lord and in their physical bodies! We are pleased to welcome Shari to the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team. The Women of Valley are blessed to have her serving in this capacity!