I have a confession …
No, I haven’t taken a trip down the Home Shopping Network lane, but I DO subscribe to a quirky and fun cleaning channel on YouTube called Clean Freak & Germaphobe.
So, here’s my confession …
While watching one of their episodes they were testing a little steam cleaner and showing how effective it was at cleaning hard-to-clean messes.. By the end of that video clip I had already added that little steam cleaner to my cart and hit the purchase button.
I’m not usually an impulse shopper, but watching that little machine steam away some pretty yucky dirt and grime was pretty convincing.
Several days after my YouTube binging purchase had arrived, I steamed anything and everything in the house I could get to.
Mind you, I had just cleaned the house from top to bottom prior to the steamer arriving, so I really thought it wouldn’t have a lot to do.
Boy, was I wrong.
I was completely in awe of how my baseboards, windows, and floors took on a new and shiny appearance as this little powerful machine steamed years of unknown build up away.
I was also a little disturbed that the build up blended in so well it just looked as though it was the natural color.
Just as build up has a way of clinging to our floors, baseboards, windows, and other crevices around the house … there is a lot of gunk that gathers on the surfaces and in the crevices of our hearts.
… and unfortunately … it begins to blend in and seem like a natural part of who we are.
God did not design us to collect years of spiritual dirt and grime and carry it around within us. All of that spiritual build up gets in the way of what God wants to pour into us and causes the good and Godly things to get stuck and blocked from flowing efficiently.
You can’t take that handy little team cleaner and steam off the spiritual grime, but there are some ways you can do some effective spiritual cleaning that is even more powerful.
The first step I take when I begin a cleaning frenzy in my home is to go around my home, open all the blinds and turn on all the lights.
If I can’t see it, I can’t clean it.
The same concept applies to spiritual cleaning day.
For you to be able to dig in to where the dirt and grime is, you need to be able to see it.
You also must be able to acknowledge it’s something, like dirt and grime, that doesn’t belong.
Of course, just like I couldn’t see the actual build up that had taken a toll in my home UNTIL the arrival of my steamer gadget, there are times we can’t actually see what we need to see in ourselves in order to get it clean.
That’s when we need to invite God to turn the light on for us.
“Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” Psalm 26:2 (NIV)
In asking God to turn the lights on and examine what we cannot see, we take the first step in the spiritual cleaning process.
Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the cleaning process is going through my house with a great big garbage bag and tossing anything and everything inside that is just taking up space.
Don’t judge me too harshly, of course I donate anything still in good enough condition to be used by another.
The decluttering of our mind (what God references as the heart) is instrumental in spiritual cleaning.
There are items I find in my home that I often question as to how they got there and why I still have them laying around.
These items don’t have a use.
Sometimes they are broken.
Many times they had no value to begin with.
Yet, somehow, there they are … taking up space and making my home cluttered and messy without need.
If this happens in our physical homes, you bet it happens in our minds.
We have a tendency to collect a great deal of spiritual clutter, often without knowing it.
… and so much more.
These are all things that don’t have a Godly use.
They have no spiritual value.
Yet, there they are. Taking up space and making a mess of our minds.
Scripture tells us how to take a great big spiritual garbage bag and get rid of those things.
“... let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us …” Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)
After I have opened all the blinds, turned all the lights on, and gotten rid of everything that doesn’t belong … I dig in with the deep cleaning.
This is the part of the process that usually takes the most elbow grease. It is also the part that leaves me the most satisfied.
As the floors, baseboards, counters, and all the other areas of the house begin to shine and the aroma of my Mr. Clean Lemon scent cleaner fills the house, the sweat and effort all feels worth it.
Of course, there’s also something special about lighting my favorite candle and relaxing with a cup of coffee in my favorite mug and looking around at my clean house that brings a feeling of accomplishment to me.
What does deep cleaning for the soul look like?
At this point, the lights have been turned on and we’ve asked God to search our hearts for anything that doesn’t belong.
We’ve collected all the things taking up space and tossed them to the curb with a spiritual declutter.
Now, it’s the pure cleaning process.
It doesn’t take as much elbow grease as the physical cleaning may take because we are able to rely heavily on God to help us with this part.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (KJV)
Where we can’t get to the dirt and grime that have built up in our hearts, God is the Master Cleaner … way better than my new favorite cleaning gadget.
He has a way of getting into all the crevices and removing every layer of the things that don’t need to be there … when we ask him to.
As you take on the Spring Cleaning of your home this season, be sure to do the same for your soul.
Just as a decluttered and deeply cleaned home brings a sense of accomplishment and helps your home life function optimally … a decluttered and deeply cleaned mind will leave you refreshed, renewed, and ready to function at optimal levels.