Ladies, I believe God uses our everyday lives to speak to our hearts in extraordinary ways. I try everything possible not to use a public bathroom. Yes, I’m germaphobic. Not long ago, I had no choice but to use a public ladies room. Sigh heavily. As I entered, I became immediately uncomfortable with its conditions. I greeted the other ladies at the sink and attempted to find a clean enough stall to use. I thought about how much I hated cleaning the bathroom growing up and how much I still do, but I do it because I just can’t stand a dirty bathroom! As those thoughts rushed through my mind, I just wanted to hurry up and get out of there! Just then God spoke to my heart, Daughter, do you clean your bathroom with surrender? Abba Father, I love you but this is not the time to speak to me when I can’t hear you clearly for the dirt, smell and everything else in this bathroom! I just want to get out of here! Daughter, do you clean your bathroom with surrender?
As I washed my hands, and attempted to check my face in a mirror that had water, liquid soap and some dark substance I could not identify sprayed across it, I then exited the bathroom at 100 miles per hour, I paused outside the door and had to listen to God.
Stay with me ladies…
What God showed me is that there are negative thoughts that we allow to stick to us like soap scum sticks to the faucets, or to a shower wall. There are some emotions and attitudes that fester within our hearts that need to be scrubbed out with a strong cleanser and a durable brush just like the dirt that attempts to settle in the grooves of the shower and bath tiles. There are some stinky behaviors we have that we allow to hold on to us like those that wrap around the inside of a toilet bowl. And at times, we can’t even see the beauty of God in us because of the splatter of toothpaste, water or soap that is sprayed across the mirror. Perhaps that public ladies room was so dirty because several people didn’t care about the spills, splats and messes they left behind. If each person takes the time and cares enough to clean behind them—surrender to the process; then we’ll each enjoy a clean, fresh smelling public bathroom.
I told you that God will use our everyday lives to show us extraordinary things. That day when I exited that ever so nasty public ladies room, I received a lesson from God that I’m passing on to you and that is, let us clean our bathrooms with surrender and care. The bathroom in this message is a metaphor for the conditions of our own lives. Our thoughts, attitudes, words and behaviors can be stinky at times and need a deep cleansing. If we fight the process then we won’t enjoy the clean, fresh smelling life God has for us to live and we won’t be able to help other women to do the same. Does it mean we’ll never need to be cleaned-up again? No, but the more we surrender to the cleaning, the less work has to be done each time.
Here are just a few ways to surrender to the deep cleaning needed in our lives?
- Get to know who the Holy Spirit is to your life. Surrendering to His leadership is both humbling and powerful. He is the 3rd Person of the God-head and living this Christian life without Him is futile. He brings back to our remembrance the teachings of the Lord. John 14:26 (AMP) But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
- Keep the mirror (eyes) of your life clean from the spats and sprays of this world so that you can truly see yourself through the eyes of God’s Word and not the world. If we spend our time ingesting what the world says is beautiful, acceptable, clean and entertaining, we will indeed miss all that God has for us and there’s no comparison!
- Study out the fruit of the Spirit often. I have found over the years that the more I study the fruit of the Spirit, the more I see the areas of deeper cleaning needed in my own life. Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- Living with humility is essential. I don’t think any of us enjoys cleaning anything that is really dirty and a public bathroom would be high on my list however; some precious woman or man does that job every evening to ensure it is clean for the first time users the next day. It takes humility to do that and it also takes humility to surrender to being cleaned. And humility is a day by day deliberate decision. James 4:6 (ESV) But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
- Know and believe that God loves you with an everlasting love, and although the deep cleaning is often uncomfortable, it’s worthwhile because you’ll shine and live the abundant life that He has for you. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Ladies, that deep cleansing is not a one-time thing just as cleaning the bathroom is a daily or weekly event in all of our homes, so don’t fret or become discouraged when you feel the tug on your heart from the Holy Spirit saying, it’s time for some deeper cleansing in your heart, mind and life. He loves us that much!
I want to encourage you to fall in love with the God of the Bible and with His Word and that’s where the deeper cleaning comes from. Make the decision to ingest His Word the way a puppy devours a bowl of food the moment it’s put in front of him. He won’t come up for air until the bowl is licked clean. It took years for me to have that type of hunger for God’s Word. Thank you for the privilege to share with you today.
Praying with you and walking this amazing and challenging journey in Christ with you!