Cleanse Me, Lord!
Children love playing in mud! They have no understanding of hygiene. They eat with their hands and then decide to comb their hair with sticky fingers. Infants and children must be taught the importance of cleanliness. Germs cause infections and poor health. Cuts and injuries must be disinfected and cleansed before clean bandages are applied.
God had to teach the children of Israel about the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. Foodborne illness due to a lack of sanitation, safe animals to consume (Leviticus 11) and biological contaminates are addressed in the Word.
“Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement.” Deuteronomy 23:12-13 (NIV)
“You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.” Leviticus 11:24 (NIV)
“This is the law for any leprous sore and scale, for the leprosy of a garment and of a house, for a swelling and a scab and a bright spot, to teach when it is unclean and when it is clean. This is the law of leprosy.” Leviticus 14:54-57 (NKJV)
The definition of cleansing is: to make clean, purify. We can examine this concept both in a physical and spiritual sense. Physically speaking, hygiene and proper sanitation will keep germs at bay and help prevent a disease from spreading within our bodies. Keeping our outer shell clean can prolong life and support good health. But this is our outer man! What about our inner man? Our spiritual life also requires clean living and purification.
Sin is the dirt that infects our spiritual being. Sin often starts out as a slow and painless irritant. However, the more we scratch our sin… the more it spreads. Eventually, our sin becomes noticeable to others and pain will replace the once mild irritation. Sin not only infects our spirit but it touches and wounds those around us. Our actions have a ripple effect and many innocent loved ones will be hurt by our rebellious decisions.
Sin separates us from God and since He is passionate for our attention, the Bible is filled with warnings to set aside sin. Iniquity requires confession and a turning away from behavior that is not pleasing to God. Since we have been born again, we are called to follow the perfect will of God and pursue the righteousness of God.
“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Psalm 51:2 (NKJV)
“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight; stop doing wrong.” Isaiah 1:16 (NIV)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
“ I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.” Jeremiah 33:8 (NKJV)
Sin is pleasant and enjoyable. It wouldn’t be a temptation if it did not feel good or provide amusement and pleasure. But not all things are good for us. Children may not know the detriment of an unhealthy diet but adults do. Are you a spiritual child or an adult? As children grow and develop both mentally and physically, believers should drive to mature spiritually.
“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” Hebrews 5:12 (NIV)
“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” 1 Corinthians 3:2 (NIV)
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)