The other day I was doing one of my least favorite jobs: painting door trim. I was very careful not to get any paint on the walls or mess up the project. Still, I'm a messy painter, and by the time the job was finished, my hands and arms were covered in splatters of paint. (I even got some in my hair, but that's a whole other story.) Scrubbing as hard as I could with soap and water, I thought I got all of the paint off. Only when I went outside to take a rest and enjoy some sunshine, I saw that I’d missed some spots. I guess I couldn’t see them in the kitchen, but under the bright light of the sun, it was clear I had some more cleaning up to do. I started thinking about how this resembles our spiritual lives. We often look at ourselves and think, “I’m doing pretty well—no sin to overcome or changes that need to be made.” If we compare ourselves to the culture around us, it’s easy to think we’re good. However, it can be a different story when we pray
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." -(Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)
Under the bright light of God's holiness, the Holy Spirit may point out areas of sin that we’ve missed, parts that our hearts still in need of healing, or areas we need to overcome or develop further. So why pray this prayer? Why not just be happy in blissful ignorance? Because we are called to more.
Just as God has bigger plans for you than you could ever imagine, so He will require greater work in our hearts to make us the people who can fulfill His purposes. If we want to do the things God has called us to do and live the lives He’s ordained for us; then we need to allow Him to make us into the new creations He wants us to be. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This means allowing His truth to point out areas in our lives where we are blind. It means praying as the psalmist did and responding in obedience when He answers. Taking a little extra time to allow the Holy Spirit to show us what needs 'cleaned' in our hearts so that we can fulfill God's purpose for our lives.
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Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.