Mold, it is the last thing you want to find on the floor of your home. Yet is precisely what I found one morning as I walked down to do another load of laundry. We have had a wet spring, and our basement has been known to have water issues, but this year the wet season has gone on longer than average. Also, I have found it challenging to stay on top of the discipline it takes to keep the area clean. So, as I tore up the vinyl floor tile we had installed, I saw that under what appeared to be very waterproof flooring was very wet cement. This moist environment was a breeding ground for mold.
Dust, it was just the atmosphere that the mold needed to thrive. When I noticed it building up but chose no active response, mold happened. This could have been avoided with a simple machine called a vacuum. Clearly, I had not utilized the practice of using this tool for quite a while. Because it was in the basement it was out of sight, therefore, out of mind. Now, my living conditions have become toxic, and fixing the problem is going to be quite the task.
Bleach, it is known as a killer of mold. It is also the only tool I had available to start the cleaning process. The foam spray was spread on every area that I could see where the green residue of mold was showing itself. Thankfully, this process was successful in removing the odor and the visible signs of decay. I quickly discovered, however, that it only the first step.
Manual labor, it is what needed to happen to get the wet areas dry. Piece by piece, I tore up the old flooring to expose the cement to air. In the process, more mold was being revealed. My hands had to touch the slimy substance physically. My eyes started to water as the spores invaded the air around me. It was ugly yet so necessary. Each board had to be broken for it to be disposed of. As the task came to an end, a combination of sadness and hope fills my emotions.
Deep cleaning, it is a necessary part of making a house feel like home. As long as the dust and mold are rampant, my house will not be a place that is safe, healthy, and inviting. When my house has these elements, it loses its atmosphere of home. Truthfully, I don’t even want to live here anymore. So, as overwhelming as deep cleaning can be for this tired body of mine, it must be done if this place will become home again.
The same is true spiritually.
Sin, it is the last thing you want to find on the floor of your heart. Yet sin is exactly what I find ongoing in my life. It seems that there are seasons of my life where my days are moist with temptations. On top of that, I find it difficult to stay on top of the disciplines that would help keep these temptations at bay. So, as the Holy Spirit starts to tear up the surface of my heart to cleanse and heal, He reveals to me the exact environment that I have allowed to be the breeding ground for sin.
Passivity, it is precisely the atmosphere that sin needs to thrive. When we notice what is tempting us without any active response, sin happens. This could be avoided with the simple tool of cultivating the presence of Jesus in our lives. When we choose not to utilize the practice of His presence as a daily practice, through reading and meditating on the Bible, listening prayer and worship, the living conditions of our soul will become toxic to ourselves and others. When Jesus is out of mind, His ways are out of sight.
Confession, it is known killer of sin. It is the only tool God has provided to start the cleansing of my soul. As I spread confession and repentance across the sinful areas of my life it, thankfully, is successful to eliminate the stench of my wrong choices. The visible signs of poor decisions start to melt away to show more of who God made me to be. I quickly discovered, however, that it is just the first step.
Spiritual labor, it is what needs to happen to get to our sinful patterns dealt with. Stronghold by stronghold, I must tear up my old ways of living to expose the foundation of lies the enemy has laid in my soul. My mind has to touch the slimy lies I have chosen to believe. My heart must shed tears as the toxic attitudes invade my awareness. Each lie has to be renounced, broken, and disposed of. When this task is complete, it will leave me sad yet hopeful of the changes ahead.
Deep cleansing, it is the necessary work of the Holy Spirit to allow me to carry the atmosphere of home, an environment that has love, acceptance, safety, healing and nourishment for souls, to everyone I meet. As long as sin and passivity are rampant in my life, I will not be a place that is safe, healthy, and inviting. I don’t even want to be around me, much less let others into my space. So, as overwhelming as deep cleansing can be on this tired soul of mine, it must be done if I am going to become home again.
The same is true for you.