March 24, 2014
The end result is nice, but getting the job done can be overwhelming. People call it “spring cleaning,” when the dreary deadness of winter is cleared to make room for the newness of spring. Yet, the job can be so big; it is hard to know where to start. I have a tendency to be a “hummingbird cleaner” – flitting from area to area doing just a little before I’m off to something else. There is great activity, but what I accomplish is often not thorough.
The other day, I realized my spiritual life is like that. God has redeemed me to be a new creature, and now I participate in a new life being formed in me by the Holy Spirit. Paul writes in Colossians 3:9-10, “… you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
But, the job can seem so overwhelming. Frustration comes when I look only to the job as a whole and lose sight of the individual, “bite-size” projects that lead to the end. God has renewed all of me, but my experience of that victory can come in increments, as he files away the ugly edges one by one. Rather than flitting here and there, I need to focus on putting off the old practice, and putting on the righteousness of Christ. I need to ask, “What sin pattern is God revealing to me today? I want to submit humbly to his renewing work to make my thoughts and actions more like him.”
Unlike my earthly home, I know the hope of personal righteousness is certain because the end of salvation is glorification, where those who are in Christ will fully and perfectly reflect him. The Spirit who accomplishes that work will not give up, and he most certainly will not fail. By the sanctifying grace of God, may I put off today that which is not pleasing to him, and put on the character of the son he loves – the son who lived and died to make me clean.