Recently when I was out of town speaking at a conference, I called my husband to chat and see how things were. I asked him what he was doing.
“Cleaning out my phone, ” he responded
“Cleaning out my phone… you know getting rid of all those unnecessary numbers.”
“I need to do that!” I exclaimed while everyone around me looked with curiosity as I continued to speak on my cell.
“That is what I need to do.” I repeated, a little quieter, “clean out my phone contact list.” You see, often times, when I am impatiently searching for a frequently used phone number on my cell, I seem to be bombarded with all these other numbers and names I no longer use but are still in my contact list… getting in the way of me making my current phone call.
Usually when this happens, in frustration I exclaim, out loud, “Who are these people!” To which my loving husband removes his eyes from his intense Bible reading, looks at me and responds...”What people? We are the only ones in our living room.”
Laughing and coming out of my cell phone cloud, I explain who “these” people are – the ones that I don’t remember why I have their numbers in my phone.
When I travel to speak and minister God’s word I find it helpful to always put the number of the contact for that particular event or speaking engagement in my cell. Whether it is the go-to person, my assistant, the person that picks me up, those I have yet to meet. At that particular point they need to be in my cell phone. My bad habit is that I seem to keep every number I have ever dialed in my cell, thus clogging it up and distracting me from the frequent numbers I always use. Do you every do that? Anybody else out there? I can’t be the only one…
This “cleaning out” does not only apply to just our cell phones, but to various other types of cleaning as well: our homes, garages, yards, storage rooms, closets, cars, my office… (Yikes! We won’t go there).
But how do we get clean spiritually? When it comes to spiritual cleansing, we need look no further than Jesus Himself. When Jesus speaks of cleaning out, He does not focus on earthly possessions or temporal things that will fade at the end of our lives, but instead, He focuses on relationships, namely our relationship with Him.
Jesus shares with His disciples “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.”
That makes me ask a question... what words did He just speak to them that made them clean? Immediately before that phrase, He says, “I AM the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Clearly He identifies with them that the way to be clean is by connecting to Him as the true vine.
14:1 - Jesus comforts the heart of the disciples saying, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” Believing in Jesus = clean
14:6 - Jesus answers Thomas saying... “I am the Way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Coming to Jesus = clean
14:10 - Jesus answers Philip saying... “I am in the Father and the Father in me.” Truly acknowledging the Father = clean
14: 23 - Jesus answers Judas (NOT the one that that deceived Him)… “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come and make our home with him.” Loving Jesus and keeping His word = clean
v. 26 - Jesus says “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things that I said to you.” Being taught by the Helper/Holy Spirit = clean
I love the way Jesus speaks of “cleaning out” because He does not ask us to do the impossible nor does He lecture us, with one hand on the hip and the other hand with an index finger shaking in our face. He doesn’t shake his head in disgust turning away at how dirty, disorganized or messy we have become and He certainly doesn’t hold His nose at the stench. Instead, He just says, “Come to Me and I will make you clean.” - “I will clean you out!”
What an incredible offer! What an extraordinary incredible offer! Jesus the best expert and master of cleaning out and cleaning up ever! And what God makes clean in Him is clean indeed.
So I want to ask you, in what ways do you need spiritual cleaning out?
Could it be:
1) Clearing out areas of your life so you can devout more time to prayer and spiritual disciplines?
2) Could it be building on your relationship with Jesus by drawing close to Him.
3) Maybe going to your enemy, loving them and demonstrating the love of God to them?
4) Or perhaps it is accepting the fact that Christ has made you personally clean and taking Him at His Word.
Invite the Master of “cleaning out” into your life and watch Him be faithful to His promises. Come and see His Word that He speaks to you make you clean indeed.
Scripture: John 15
About the Author – Simone Lake is a full-time minister and serves in the areas of international Bible teacher, speaker, missionary, mentor, chaplain and author. She holds a master’s degree in theology and attends Church on Randall Place where she serves alongside her husband Pastor John Lake.