After a long, sometimes dreary winter, where doors and windows have been closed tightly to prevent precious warmth and heat from escaping, many of us get the yearning to clean and air out our homes. We call this ritual “spring cleaning.” It usually involves deep cleaning of areas we normally pretend not to notice, and sometimes we even uncover problems we didn’t know existed.
Scripture says that we are temples of the Lord, and even temples need a spring cleaning. There may be cobwebs of complacency that must be removed from the corners of our minds or even dust bunnies of self-righteousness swept out from under our thoughts. These and other fleshly attributes may have crept into our souls or temples and can lead to very unfitting behaviors that may hinder our Christian walk and witness if left unchecked.
In spring cleaning, it isn’t enough to tidy up surfaces. We must use elbow grease to make everything spic-and-span. If we delve deeper into the dark crevices of our ungodly characteristics, we will see they start with a lure of enticement or temptation. This isn’t a surprise since even in the Garden of Eden temptation reared its ugly head in the persuasive speech of the serpent during his dialogue with Eve.
Once, I came upon a dish that someone had eaten from that had not been cleaned. It had probably been a month since this oversight happened and the dish was growing mold like a petri dish in a lab experiment. It was disgusting to say the least. Our minds can be the same way. I had to take that dish, scrape out the muck, then let it soak in soapy water for a while before I could scrub it out. Our souls need a washing by the Word as well (Ephesians 5:26). The Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Without the Word we will, most certainly, stumble into temptation and sin against others, our Lord, and even ourselves.
Being tempted is not a sin, but yielding to such inducement is where it becomes wrong and sinful. So, let’s do some spring cleaning in the temple and deal with temptation. We know that even our LORD was tempted. Scripture tells us He was tempted as every man (Hebrews 4:15). There is even a story recorded where the devil tried to persuade Jesus to sin, yet He did not succumb to those appeals (Matthew 4:1-11).
Temptation always begins with a lie. Usually a web of them. To discover the truth, we must first untangle the web. This truth will set us free! This is exactly what Jesus did when he was tempted. We must cooperate with the Spirit and let Him reveal truth to our hearts. He is our helper and wants to lead us out of temptation. Scripture reminds us that if we walk in the Spirit then we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV). Liberty to overcome all the lies of the enemy with truth. Liberty to enjoy lives unhindered with temptations that desire to rob us of our role in advancing the Kingdom of God. Advancement is not backing down. It is going forward.
We are supposed to be fighting back in this battle for our souls and spiritual growth. In fact, James 4:7 tells us: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (KJV). Submitting means we obey the Lord. Resisting the enemy is an offense position not a defense position. The devil is supposed to flee from us not vice versa.
I heard a quote on a TV show I like to watch which summarizes the struggle within our soul: “People like to say the conflict is between good and evil. The real conflict is between truth and lies” (Don Miguel Ruiz). Then I heard a host on the 700 Club say, “The truth that sets us free is knowing who God is and who we are not.” Temptation loves to tap shoulders and “cut in” at the dance of conflict within our soul, but we can break up the dance party.
If we revere God by applying His Word through obedience to our circumstances, truth will replace lies and the runway crumbles, preventing temptation from taking off and gaining altitude in our minds. Once the lies are exposed, the enemy of our soul has no option but to skedaddle for a season. As long as we are on this earth, however, this scenario will happen over and over again, giving us the opportunity to choose the narrow way. None of us will be perfect, but the more we spruce up our soul with some spring cleaning, the better we will reflect God’s glory and make the world a better place to live and serve.
Copyright © 2020 by Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams is a southern girl who enjoys writing about the trials of life and spiritual growth from them. She grew up in the 70’s and wrote her first book when she was 10 years old about “talking cars” long before Disney made a movie and became even richer on the idea. She married young then became a registered nurse. After her children came along she traded in her nurses cap and homeschooled them for seventeen years. Life threw her a lot of loops and she is a survivor of breast cancer and infidelity. Her relationship with God was what got her through it all and in her empty nest she finally has the heart and time to write about His light in very dark places. If you’d like to join her on this journey you may follow her blog at https://partthewater.wordpress.com/.