It had been a great day! Lots of laughter! Fun with friends. I was practically floating as I pull into my driveway. I unlocked the door, tossed my keys on the cabinet, and hugged Jorjanne. After I stopped to speak to my friend who stayed with Jorjanne and one of her friends while I was gone, I walked into the kitchen to set my purse down on the table.
I gasped! What happened to my clean kitchen? Chocolate was everywhere and dishes were piled on every inch of counter space. The sink was also overflowing with dishes. My friend who had been with the girls said, "I told them to clean it up, but Jorjanne said that you would rather do it yourself."
What? Seriously? There is no earthly way Jorjanne could have honestly believed that I'd want to clean up her mess from making brownies -- much less clean it up by myself! It only took me seconds to get the girls in there cleaning.
Again, I was astonished to see them rinsing the dishes and setting them aside to drain. They weren't even using soap! I realized that both of the girls had always used a dishwasher and didn't even know how to wash dishes by hand. Now I had to intervene; a lesson in dishwashing ensued.
This is how we must look before God. We work hard to do good things (make our own brownies), but all our good works are like a dirty kitchen (ok, I'm taking some liberty here...the Bible says filthy rags). All the while, God wants to actively work in our lives to clean us up, but it takes effort on our part. We have to be willing to acknowledge the sin in our lives, and then we have to actively take steps to change. Sanctification happens through a partnership of the Holy Spirit with us, gradually cleaning us and making us more holy. On my own, I'm like the girls rinsing the dishes, cleaning the surface but not really killing any germs. The Holy Spirit not only makes me look clean on the outside, but he wants to transform me and make all of me spotless and pure.
The next time we are under conviction, we have a choice. We can ignore the mess and hope it will go away on its own. We can "rinse" it off, hoping no one will notice or we can allow God to purify us and strengthen us to repent and turn away from our sin.
(I wish I had taken a picture of my kitchen that day -- you would not believe the mess!)