Clive and I were confronted with this question by the Lord a couple of months ago regarding a situation we were facing with our house.
We had put up with some things in our home that now needed replacing not just repairing. We felt it was time to put our faith into gear, set some time aside and tackled some areas that needed clearing out and cleaning up. We’ve spent many weeks stripping back layers of old wallpaper and painting walls white, preparing a new fresh blank canvas.
For us we sensed that God was getting us ready for a physical move of house but I believe that there is also a spiritual reality at work here not only in our lives and homes but in the Church as a whole.
We, the Church, are moving into a new season with God...a new dispensation. He is pouring out more of Himself into our lives and for there to be more of Him and less of us some things have to go. God is wanting a pure, clean bride to display who He is to the world. He will not share His purity with us unclean, He is a holy God. A spotless bride cannot have hidden sin, shame, guilt and fear.
So it's time for a clean up, time for a shift from our level of what’s comfortable. What has worked or been allowed up to this point will no longer suffice. New wine needs a new wine skin!
Often there can be many things in our hearts and lives that we get used to, just like the old Laura Ashley wallpaper in my hallway! There are things that are not of Him but they’ve been our normal for so long that we maybe don’t notice them any longer. Or perhaps it’s that tackling these areas can seem far too overwhelming, again like my Laura Ashley wallpaper!
But the amazing news is that God loves us too much to leave us where we think it’s acceptable. It’s now time for Him to clear out the old, strip off the faded wallpaper of our lives, clean us up and give us a fresh coat of paint!
He wants to expose anything hidden or buried in our lives, but He won’t do this without our permission.
I guess the question is - do we want this in our lives? Do we want change or have we got far too comfortable settling for a little mess here and some old paintwork there?
Am I comfortable with MY level of living surrendered?!
As a Church, God has been doing so much amongst us in the sense of belonging to one another. For a number or years our key word for the women in Kingdom Faith was belong. God graciously took us on a journey of learning to love one another as He loves us. To accept, be vulnerable and journey with those He has placed around us. Small Groups and the Freedom course have been tremendous tools to open up our lives and hearts to Him and to one another at a deeper level...but there is always more!
We are being challenged and changed from one degree of glory to another for more of God to be released through us to a world that needs His love and power. "Creation is longing for the sons of God to be revealed" (Romans 8:19)...people living as sons, deeply loved, accepted, forgiven and free from guilt and shame. When we are living in freedom and truth we can be the answer to what the world needs, we can allow God to shine through every area of our lives and He is glorified.
If we are believing for God to affect and change thousands of households in our community then He has to start with us. He will begin that in our households and in our hearts, and He will change us, soften us, clean us up and give us a new wine skin for the new wine He has for us.
Allow Him to do all that He needs to do in you and your home and family life. Allow His Kingdom power to come in very real ways, so that others see the goodness of God.
So, my beloved friends, with all that you have to look forward to, may you be eager to be found living pure lives when you come into his presence, without blemish and filled with peace.
2 Peter 3:14
The world needs His peace. His Shalom - completeness, wholeness, nothing lacking, nothing missing, as it should be!