woman carrying folded quilts and blankets

Renew Your Mind by the Washing of the Word

I love the feeling I get when my house is completely clean.

When our children were young and at home, I always cleaned our house before we left to go on vacation. There’s just something comforting about coming home to a house that isn’t cluttered or dirty.

But rooms don’t stay free of clutter and dust. Dishes pile up again. And we all know how laundry multiplies.

The same is true for our yards. Without regular upkeep, it doesn’t take long for trees to drop leaves or sticks. And pesky weeds tend to pop up when we aren’t looking.

Anyone who has a house understands the need for routine maintenance. 

I believe the same is true for our spiritual lives. 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 NIV

When we first bought our home, the realtor made sure it was clean and that the yard looked its best.

Then we moved in.

We had a baby and quickly our home became a place where dirty diapers, bottles that needed to be washed, and toys on every surface took over where it had once been pristine.

We understood life, and babies, would be messy. We simply cleaned up the messes as they happened. 

But sometimes we didn’t.

Sometimes we let those diapers stay in the trash a little too long.

Sometimes the balance of dirty bottles and clean bottles sent us racing to the kitchen sink, rushing to fix the bottle that would satisfy our baby’s hunger.

Sometimes those toys tripped us, causing us to figure out a system to keep them more organized.

With every stage of our life, we’ve learned.

We have a routine in place now that keeps our home and yard clean. It’s a routine that demands work from us, one that requires us to put in time and effort.

And it’s 100% worth it.

When I first became a Christian, there was a lot I didn’t understand. It didn’t take long for me to clutter up my new self with ideas that had nothing to do with God.

I learned that I had to be careful about who I let influence my walk with the Lord. 

I learned that, even though there are a lot of great books out there, the first one I needed to read was the Bible.

I also learned that my mind needs to be renewed on a regular basis.

Sandy Brannan quote

Weeds of bitterness or doubt tend to pop up when I’m not in the Word. The longer I go without Him, the bigger the mess is that needs to be cleaned up. 

I don’t think the Bible is a book you read one time and then put on a shelf.

Much like I enjoyed coming home to a clean house after a road trip, I know I need to do something to maintain my spiritual life. 

After all, as soon as we walked through the door back in those days, we emptied our suitcases full of dirty clothes onto our laundry room floor before resuming our daily lives.

And day-to-day living is messy.

The same is true with my spiritual life.

I can pray and read the Word and have amazing peace. Then life happens.

All of a sudden, because of following my own path instead of His, I’m reduced to dirty rags that need help to become clean again. 

But that’s all part of His plan. I will never be perfect. Jesus alone is perfect. As a Christian, I am given access to Him, allowing me to grow as close to Him as I choose.

The same is true for these walls I dwell in day after day.

My home will never be perpetually clean. It’s simply not possible.

But I have the tools to help it move from an unclean state to a clean one whenever I’m willing to do the required work.

I’m glad I don’t have to live in a constant state of filth. Not only is it unhealthy, but it would make me so unhappy.

I’m even more glad that, by renewing my mind through the filter of God’s Word, I can have that refreshingly clean joy that only He can provide.

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