One of the regular jobs I have in our home is to clean the windows inside and out. As we live in a bungalow this is a fairly easy task. It doesn’t require the use of steps or a ladder. I always try to make as good a job of them as possible and not leave any smears, streaks, or blemishes on the glass. When I finished this job a few days ago and inspected what I had done, I was satisfied with my achievements as all the windows appeared clean and free of dust and dirt and seemed to sparkle. A job well done, I thought.
On the following day when I had an opportunity to sit down and enjoy the sunlight coming through the window, I was disappointed to discover that what I had thought to be a clean, clear pane of glass the day before did, in fact, still have marks and smears. The sunlight highlighted the imperfections of my efforts.
This has caused me to think how we can be like that. We can so easily deceive ourselves and others into believing that we are doing well, and living and behaving as we should, doing and saying all the right things. Proverbs 21:2 reminds us of this when it says, ‘People may be right in their own eyes but the Lord examines their heart.’
When the light of God’s word of truth and love is allowed to shine into our heart, it reveals things which otherwise would remain unnoticed and may have done so for a long time. Things such as wrong thoughts and desires, pride, jealousy and bitterness can be revealed when we allow God, by His Spirit, to highlight them, and when we begin to look at them from His perspective, in line with His word.
Inconsistencies and lack of integrity, not noticed, or perhaps overlooked, by others, are made visible when the Holy Spirit is allowed to scrutinise our hearts and point out the blemishes and smears which need to be dealt with. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross provided the means by which forgiveness and removal of these ‘blemishes’ is available. We are then to appropriate that for ourselves personally. This is the sanctifying process which the Lord is wanting to do in each one of us, changing us into His likeness.
The words from Psalm 139:23-24 would be a good way to pray each day, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life,’ or these words from Graham Kendrick’s song, ‘Shine Jesus Shine’. ‘Lord I come to Your awesome presence, from the shadows into Your radiance; by Your blood I may enter Your brightness: search me, try me, consume all my darkness – shine on me.’
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to allow the light of Your love to highlight the irregularities in my heart, so that I can offer them to You for forgiveness and cleansing. Amen.
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