Springtime has arrived and outside of pastels and April showers bringing May flowers, the one thing that I was NOT ready for this year was Spring Cleaning.
As a child, I actually loved Spring Cleaning bc it was symbolic for "out with the old, in with the new: greater was coming." On the first Saturday of the new spring season, I'd wake up to the smell of Pine-sol pervading the house while MomBoo blasted Fred Hammond.
Fast forward years later, Spring Cleaning 2017 truly snuck up on a playa and this time meant more to me than dusting, scrubbing baseboards and sorting out clothes I no longer wore. Don't get me wrong, I certainly did do some cleaning just not in a way I'd imagined.
Here are 3 ways to Jumpstart Spring Cleaning.
As many of you know, I became a licensed minister on Sunday evening. [insert mini celebration] Prior to the ordination service I heard a word from Bishop George Davis that spoke directly to me! The word was soo powerful and inspiring, declaring that 2017 is the year for God to finish what He started! Psalm 138:1-8 AMP says,
“The LORD will accomplish that which concerns me; Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O LORD, endures forever-- Do not abandon the works of Your own hands."
That means it's time to dust off those visions and dreams that once gave you life and hope but have been pushed aside because life has been coming at you fast!
2. Scrubbing Floors
According to dicitionary.com, the definition of a floor is a level, supporting surface of any structure; the foundation. What's funny is that imagine looking at tile flooring in let's say a kitchen. You sweep and mop, but the mop usually just keeps it maintained. Every once In a while the only way to get rid of build up thats been collecting is to get on your hands and knees and go to work!
So I'd like to pose the question, When was the last time you scrubbed the floor? The very thing that is deemed to be your foundation, your prayer life, have you only been sweeping the surface? Perhaps you do a little mopping by entering in a little more than usual but its only a once in a few weeks sort of thing, you know for maintainence purposes. Or has it been a while since you got on your hands and knees and began to dig deep, and cry out to Him until you got the results you were looking for?
Throughout the Bible, God often led His people to cry out. Time and time again He led them in battle this way. Think back on when Joshua directed his people, by the power of God, to collapse the walls of Jericho. How did they do this? Joshua 6 tells us that God brought down the walls with a shout.
Have you ever wondered why He had the people shout? Of all things to have them do, why that? Because lifting our voices takes faith. Sometimes just stating facts out loud validates the reality of whatever the situation is, somehow making it real. Have you ever deliberately not spoken something out loud in the hope that silence would keep it from being true? Lord knows I have.
The Old Testament is not the only place that speaks of crying out to God. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7). If Jesus cried out to God, we certainly should as well.
3. Sorting out your Closet
One of my abosolute FAVORITE passages in the Bible is the Message Bible translation of Colossians 3: 3-14.
“Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
Now, as much as I love clothes, there's something about reading verses 12-14 that hit me this morning that made me ask myself when was the last time I wore compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength and Lord Jesus help me because in this season I can't even fit discipline anymore! And is love my basic, all-purpose garment? What have I been wearing? What have you been wearing?
I said all of this to say, spring cleaning this year was a lot more than what I bargained for but because I did it, I'm in such a better place. In the midst of chaos and confusion, living clutter-free has inspired me to dust some things off and say out with the old and in with the new!
Be blessed, stay encouraged and happy Spring Cleaning!!