Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10, NIV)
Dried-on oatmeal may be the toughest substance to clean – at least in the kitchen. Cleaning it demands a thorough soaking.
There it sat – in a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. One dirty cereal bowl stood out from the rest with its leftover, dried-on oatmeal in full display. All the other dishes held water that soaked them and made their clean-up much easier, but not this one. Apparently, after eating its healthy breakfast contents, “someone” hurriedly placed it in the sink without running water into it. Now the dry, dirty bowl required a major cleaning effort.
Throughout Scripture, God’s Word is compared to water. Jesus said He is the Water of Life (John 4:10) and the source of living water (John 7:37-38). Paul refers to Christ sanctifying and cleansing His Church by the “washing of water through the word” (Ephesians 5:26). David cried out to God, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). God and His Word are the source of cleansing we need to remain pure before Him.
As I reflect on my life, I notice when my daily Scripture reading is limited or forgotten altogether, or when I become distracted by other things, my heart starts to dry and spiritually harden. I become resistant to the Holy Spirit’s convicting attempts to purify my life. But when I regularly soak up God’s Word, it is much easier to live a life of purity. And when I sin, I more readily confess my sins to God and am much easier to “clean.”
This world and its decaying moral standards is a sin-stained wasteland. A daily and thorough soaking in God’s Word helps us avoid becoming spiritually dry and dirty. How much better to fill ourselves daily with the pure washing and refreshing of God’s Word! When we do, we will more willingly submit to His purifying and will undoubtedly find the strength to live a morally pure lifestyle before Him.
Set aside time each day to “soak” in God’s Word by reading it and applying it to your life. Don’t become a spiritual dried-out bowl of oatmeal. It can be pretty challenging to clean – just ask the bowl I’m scrubbing.