AE vol. 22, no. 7, July 1965
THROUGH A WOMAN'S WINDOW
Janie was given the task of washing some dirty dishes. Amongst these were certain utensils which had been used in the kitchen several days previously but not cleaned at fne time; also some pieces of dusty crockery from the top shelf of the cupboard. How she had to scour some of these things before they were really clean again! And what a business it was, making sure that the dust was coaxed out of all the crevices! One sinkful of soap and water was not enough to complete the task, and the little arms felt very tired before all was finished. "Mummy," said Janie, "I wish they'd just keep themselves clean."
Now, we know that crockery will not, unfortunately, clean itself, but it is a much easier proposition if it is cleaned immediately. We also know that articles in constant use get continual cleansing. (That is one reason why it is less trouble to use the "everyday" rather than the "best" cups and saucers!)
Is not this equally true in spiritual matters? We cannot keep ourselves clean, but a provision is made whereby we may be continually cleansed. From day to day—nay rather, moment by moment—''the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1.7.) Rather than allow sins and the sense of guilt to accumulate, beclouding our fellowship and weighing down our spirit, let us "walk in the light as He is in the light." Any sin is then quickly apparent to us, we can confess it and so are able to appropriate the forgiveness and cleansing promised us. Some Christians fail to live up to their privileges in this respect and consequently do not experience that victorious life which is their heritage from conversion onwards. As in the case of the dishes, contamination has (as it were) hardened upon them, and their purification seems to call for some experience of cataclysmic intensity before they are again consciously clean. They often speak of the great need of "putting things right" with their fellow Christians, but why let things "get wrong?" It is surely a condemning sidelight on the reality of our spiritual life and walk, when such situations are allowed to develop. There is no need for it—the cleansing is always there. The prayer which Jesus taught us uses the words, "Forgive us as we forgive them that trespass against us," and obviously His forgiveness and our forgiving are inter-related.
In cleaning out a wardrobe the other day, I noticed a coat with some stains on the front. It was clear that they had not been properly dealt with at the time the garment was put away. Perhaps a little e»Ltra sponging then would have saved quite a problem now. Incidentally, it would have removed an invitation to cockroaches and moths. Similarly, an unclean spiritual condition is a fair target for enemies of the soul.
Hudson Taylor's parents used to maintain that the secret of an orderly home was not so much a periodic "setting-to-rights" as a daily keeping of everything in its place. We could not agree more. "Spring cleaning" is doubtless necessary on occasion, and spiritual stirring-up from time to time can give us wider vision and deeper insight, but let us keep our personal cleansing on a day-to-day basis.
What would we think of a gardener who depended on a seasonal clean-up for dealing with the weed problem? Many gardeners will tell you that it is their daily application, often on their knees, which brings results. It may not be spectacular or dramatic, but it is effec-tivet
The same constant vigilance will maintain for us that spiritual victory, which those enjoy "who walk, not after the flesh, but after the spirit." To such there is "no condemnation" (Rom. 8.1).