I spent last week at church camp with my three kids. It was a great week, but it was also a very dirty week. Have you ever seen what happens when a sweaty little boy rubs his hands in the dirt and then wipes his face? Yes, that’s pretty much what my son’s face looked like all week long. One morning his counselor said to me “I hope you don’t mind, but Logan has his shirt on backwards today.” I didn’t care about the shirt being backwards, but the fact that it was the same shirt he had worn the day before did bother me a little! He was a sweaty, stinky little guy all week. My girls were a little better, although I did have to remind my oldest during the week that I had, in fact, packed a hairbrush somewhere in her belongings. It’s just the way things are at camp.
One of the first things I did once we got home was to get each kid a good, long bath. As Logan emerged from his room in clean pajamas and smelling good, I hugged him close and just enjoyed seeing him in a way that I hadn’t in a week: CLEAN.
Of course I love him the same, whether dirty or clean, but which one do I enjoy more? I enjoy seeing him (and smelling him) without him being covered in dirt. I like talking to him without having to turn my head to breathe the other way or thinking “Oh, if I could just wash that face!”
I can’t help but wonder if God feels the same way about us as His children?
Jesus tells the Pharisees in Matthew 23:26 “first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”
God is not concerned about physical dirt, but about those things that defile our spirits. He’s looking on the inside.
He loves us no matter our condition, but what would it please Him to see?
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:4-5)
What is clean in our Father’s eyes is a pure heart, one that is not double-minded or lifting itself up to falsehood. In other words, He wants our hearts to be purely His.
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)
But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
God has facilitated my cleansing through the sacrifice of His son. It is up to me to walk with Him daily with a purely devoted heart. By focusing on Him, the filth of the world stays far from my heart. I know that is what God wants to see.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
After returning from camp, it felt so good to be home, holding my son close, and just enjoying everything about him. I want my heavenly Father to look upon me that same way. I can’t wait to be on the other end of that embrace one day, with Him holding me close and saying “Welcome Home.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)