Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” Ps:139:23:
Although my sins have been washed away by what Jesus did for me on the cross, I still gather up the dust of the world and need to take a bath on a daily basis. Spiritual hygiene is vital.
If I fail to bring those new sins of mine to the Lord in confession, am I still saved? Yes! But that sin will grab hold of me and start to drain the life out of me if I don’t bring it all to Him; f I don’t ask Him to purify my heart, search it, and cleanse it.
Fact is, it just gets dirty no matter how hard I try to keep it clean.
Guess what? To take a really good bath, one must be willing to strip down and get into the water. Aaaah….the nakedness of it all!
This is how I see it though: My life has been cleansed by my Savior, and my eternity is locked up tightly because of the blood He shed for me on the cross – it washed me clean, it made me pure in the eyes of God. Yet as I hunger to grow closer and deeper in my personal relationship with Jesus, I am finding how very important it is to remain transparent with Him – to come to His feet daily in repentance for anything that made me look less like HIm that day, to ask Him to remove the grime and build up from the day lest it try to penetrate my heart and stick around, making that its newfound residence.
David knew something about this dirtiness of the heart – he found himself utterly exhausted as a consequence of unconfessed sin in his life. I can learn a lot from his experiences and how the Lord had David share them with us. David shared his heart, and the Bible tells us that he “was a man after God’s heart.” Acts 13:22
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up by the heat of summer.” Psalm 32: 3-4
It’s hard to ask the Lord to search our hearts sometimes – honestly hard. But dried up bones and a darkened heart doesn’t sound better to me! Even if we know that He already knows what is there, and we have the reassurance that He still loves us (He loved us while we were sinners), and we already know that we are forgiven, it can still be hard to humble ourselves before our Savior (aren’t we strange, that way?)
What child goes to their daddy on a regular, daily basis and says “I want to confess that although I know how much you love me and dote on me, and will never leave me or disown me for anything I ever do, I would like to share all the bad stuff with you that I did today, okay?
I took the cookie when you told me not to.
“You are forgiven”
Oh, and I hit my brother when you weren’t watching.”
” You are forgiven”
AND I said a naughty word when mom said I couldn’t have the ice cream.
“Forgiven. Now let’s go take a nice, warm bath and talk about it together.”
Although most children don’t do this, they are missing out when they don’t just embrace bathtime in the first place. They still inevitably end up taking the bath anyway – (We – the children, are funny this way too!)
It not only strengthens our relationship, but it just plain makes us feel better to have nothing between us and our loving Savior – nothing to stand in the way of an honest, transparent relationship – and I believe it brings Him great joy as well.
It is important to remain pure and confess our sin daily because otherwise, we start to hide just as Adam and Eve did. Our Father doesn’t want us to ever hide from Him. He loves us! We start to live in shame, cover ourselves, and eventually, we can’t hear His voice. We need to hear His voice to have a two-way relationship with Him. And again, He loves us! He wants us to experience the fullness of joy that a true intimate relationship, nothing hidden, nothing to be ashamed of, entails. That is His plan! How awesome is that?
Even if He already knows it all, it makes us humble, it glorifies Him, it provides restoration and refreshment, and it brings about healing for any scrapes or cuts we picked up along the way when we confess our dirty secrets to Jesus. It keeps us in fellowship with our Savior and our very best friend. It allows Him to wash us clean every single day – to give His children a bath – to wash their backs, let them soak up the smells and the feeling of the soap and the warm water, to stroke and brush their hair until it’s clean and shiny.
What a wonderful way we get to experience afresh (daily!) God’s grace in action.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” “1 Peter 5:6
Those hands are indeed mighty, but they are so very gentle as well. He doesn’t use a brillo pad, or harsh soaps that sting our skin to cleanse us. He washes us in grace instead!
He says He will never leave us or forsake us and that is true. But we can drown out His voice if we keep barriers between us due to unconfessed sin. And you know, He also says that if we seek Him, we will find Him. Isn’t this another way that we are actively seeking Him? We aren’t just coming to Him for forgiveness, or for our much-needed daily bath, but also for intimacy when we confess our heart to the Lord. Even when we already know we are forgiven – it is so cleansing to our relationship to admit the truth – the ugly truth.Then He can help us to turn it into His truth – the beautiful kind.
Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? Proverbs 20:9
Certainly not me. Even on those days (few and far between) that I search my heart and don’t really find any blatant sin that crept in there, when I ask HIM to search it, He usually can reveal something to me. This is part of our discipleship – our learning. Where is the growth without learning?
And again, I don’t see this as God nitpicking me at all! I see it just like a daddy who still gives his baby a bath at night – even when he didn’t go roll around in the mud and muck that day – even when he doesn’t look too dirty from the outside. Because you never know what invisible germs may be lurking on the surface just waiting to seep in. Daddy’s like to take care of their children, and as I said, hygiene is important. So is comfort and warmth.
And baths just feel good, don’t they? Maybe it is just bonding time on a given day; time to listen and let Him probe our hearts, share His truths, keep us clean and refreshed for the next day we are about to face. We don’t need a rubber duckie to keep us busy in the bathtub for times like these – we have the master storyteller of all keeping us company – I like to listen then – intently. We learn such great things from Him when we listen.
I am thankful for the opportunity to come before my Father and turn myself in and over to His purifying hands daily. It’s not a works/condemnation thing for me, friends – It’s something that I know is just good for me. It’s something I want to do, even if it’s hard sometimes. What I get in return is just so worth it. Isn’t it just like God to help us come out the other side of something all the cleaner and far more comfortable than we were before? Even when it’s often the result of something we did that was not very nice?
My favorite part of bathtime with Jesus? Watching all that dirt go right down the drain. Then, being dried off with the fluffiest towel ever by my ultimate comforter and protector – it comes from His wing under which He offers me shelter – it comes from being held afterwards in the arms of my Savior. It comes from my Daddy – the one who forgives me for everything -the one who tells me stories in the bathtub. The one who knows just the right temperature to make the water. Every. Single. Time.
Again I have one word for you: Grace.
I could take a bath in that all day long.