How Important Is It For You To Be Clean?
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Tim 2:21-22)
IT’S HARD IN THIS WORLD
How simple is it to sin? To walk on the broad road that Jesus described? For a man to keep himself clean and right before God and man requires continual vigilance and is a key to revival.
Everywhere around us are friends, relatives, and co-workers who urge us to join them right where they are. Incessant calls to compromise, particularly on what we deem “smaller” sins, come from every side. The undiscerning will be unaware of the attack before they succumb.
Along with this, are the finely tuned darts of the Evil One. These are relentless whispers to our mind to tempt us to follow His path. We’re so accustomed to accepting these thoughts that we mistake them for our very own voice.
As we become regular customers at sin’s counter, we reason that we can survive with a little bit of sin. It becomes familiar. It’s “not all that bad” we think. We can even be sort of spiritual. But we are tragically mistaken.
So why should I, beginning today, be ruthless about sin in my life? Why should I give 24/7 attention to cleansing myself and being right before God and man, particularly as it relates to seeing God’s reviving hand in my life, my church, my city and my nation?
IT MAKES US A VESSEL OF HONOR
You remember that kitchen utensil that became so filthy you couldn’t clean it anymore? It found it’s way to the garage sale or the trash. If you want to be an honorable vessel, you must run from sin and run to rightness.
IT SETS US APART
God says it His will that we be sanctified. This means to be holy as He is holy. To be different than a compromised world. If we are no different, we have little attraction to those without Him and no authority to say that the gospel sets us free from this present darkness. What have we to offer?
IT MAKES US USEFUL TO THE MASTER
God can use anything. (He spoke through a donkey once.) But there is no question that personal holiness enhances spiritual usefulness. Sin fogs our minds and keeps us from hearing instruction from God. We can go days with little connection to Him or Spirit-empowered ministry to others.
There is a reason He warns us to not quench or grieve the Spirit and calls us to be filled with the Spirit. Everyone struggles with sin, but casualness about the world’s contamination aborts the presence of Christ and His presence is the singular key to our usefulness.
IT PREPARES US FOR EVERY GOOD WORK
The doctor we want doing surgery on us is the one whose hands are clean and mind is clear. The soldier we want defending us has his gun clean so the action is not jammed. To be unclean is to be unprepared in the needed moment for almost any profession.
If we want to be ready, we must see holiness as the most vital part of our preparation. To fail here is to fail everywhere. Continuous revival comes, as Norman Grubbs said, when the roof is off and the walls are down—nothing between me and God nor others and always ready to be used by Him.
©2013 Bill Elliff. Originally posted May 28, 2013 at The Summitt Blog.