Hi everyone, welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit!
How has your week been? I hope you have been able to see God's hand at work in your life more than before with both the big things and the little things. Get in touch and let us know if you tried noting down some of the things you are grateful for and if that helped change your perspective.
Today's post is actually what inspired this series. A few weeks ago, the title 'What God Revealed to Me Through Washing Up' sprang into my head and, as crazy as it sounds, I began to get an idea of how this simple task (the ordinary) can relate to our walk with God (the extraordinary).
Have you ever taken a bowl or plate from the cupboard expecting to be able to use it straight away only to find that it isn't quite clean? Yeah me neither...obviously I am an extremely thorough washer-uper ;) but let's imagine that, one day, we somehow fall guilty to this crime. If this were to happen, the chances are we did not intentionally leave it dirty but rather we mistakenly thought it was clean. Sometimes we do not intend to fall away from God, but our relationship does not grow the way it should. Below are some reasons why the our washing up isn’t always as effective as we would hope/why our walk with God can become stagnant:
Routine - “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.“ - Jeremiah 29:13
We rinse and clean the item with soap because this is how it becomes clean but simply doing this is sometimes not enough, we sometimes need a more thorough wash and a quick inspection to make sure an item is actually clean. In term's of our relationship with God, sometimes we can also fall into routine. We assume that our relationship with God is growing because we have a set routine of praying every night and/or reading our bibles every day etc. Whilst I encourage all Christians to do this, we must ensure that having a routine doesn't cause us to lose our focus. For example, are you reciting pretty much the same prayer each day just to tick 'prayer' off your to do list or are you allowing yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit in prayer? Are you reading just the verse of the day without context or are you studying scripture and considering how it can be applied to your life? The Bible says that we must continuously pray and regularly study scripture suggesting that it should be part of our routine but we must not get caught up in the routine aspect. Rather, we should focus on doing these things with our whole heart and giving them the attention required.
Keeping Up Appearances "...For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7
When we wash up, the bubbles look nice, we associate bubbles with cleaning but if the item is not clean, the bubbles are not as helpful as they seem. Are you simply doing what others expect you to do so that you can appear to be doing the right thing? What is your motive for the way you act? It should always be to give God glory and to further your relationship with Him. Your friends at church may think that you are a model Christian because you have never been late to church but do you spend time with God outside of church? You may have memorised 100s of scriptures but are you living them out day to day? God sees your heart which means He knows your motives. If you are always simply trying to please people or to show off then your relationship with God will grow stagnant.
Inappropriate Tools - "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" - Ephesians 6:11
There are certain tools (sponge, cloth, Brillo pad etc.) that we use to wash up and we often replace them regularly as they get worn down. Are you using the right resources to get closer to God, to better understand Him and how to be more like Him? Do you need to change your current tools? The scripture quoted at the beginning of this paragraph goes onto say that we must have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, the Word and prayer. In a practical sense, a great way to develop these could include regularly attending church, journaling what the Holy Spirit says or what you read in the Bible, listening to worship music etc. and of course, reading and listening to the SiTS blog and podcast ;)
The water - "...In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
As i'm sure you are aware, hot water cleans more effectively than cold water. In my revelation, hot water represents our level of un-comfortableness whereas cooler water is more comfortable. God will undoubtedly call you to a position in your life that you do not feel prepared for or comfortable being in but you should trust that He knows what He is doing and that He will help you when you get stuck. We should not shy away from these challenges and opportunities as it is a chance for us to grow closer to God and rely on Him more. As it says in the verse above, Christians will go through trials, that is not optional, but through these trials there is potential for us to grow and become strengthened. For more about why we go through hard times, check out the ‘Cast Your Cares -Part 2’ post here
God truly is present everywhere and in everything, try opening yourself up to receive more of Him today. If you're unsure how, perhaps say this prayer as a starting point:
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always here with me. Thank You for the truth of Your Word and Your promises that will never be broken. I ask Lord that You help me to see You in each part of my life. Open the eyes of my heart Lord and help me to be more sensitive to Your presence and Your voice each day. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Thank you for reading, I hope that you are able to see that God's presence is not limited to a church building or the great feeling you get when listening to your favourite worship song or even miracles, signs and wonders. He truly will not leave us and He wants to be involved in our everyday lives.
As always, feel free to follow us on social media using the links at the bottom of the page. I pray the rest of your week goes well and that you experience a breakthrough in whatever challenge(s) you may face. If you have any comments/questions/prayer requests etc. feel free to leave a comment on this post or anonymously here
Song of the post: Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord - Trey McLaughlin (cover)