Ezekiel 36: 24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!
As I struggled to remove my soiled pants I began to cry. I could not take them off without making more of a mess. My mother came in and helped me with my clothes and put me in the tub.
- Many times I have been helpless.
- Many times I have been dirty beyond measure.
- Many times I have tried to clean myself up and the more I tried the dirtier I became.
Like soiled pants, so are my sins. Sticky and nasty my sins tend to cling to me and make matters worse. Then my sinful thinking says “Take some of the soiled pants to clean the rest of your body.” Ludicrous is the only word I can think of when I believe I can clean myself up at any time. Who can clean me?
- GOD says to me “I WILL bring you back into your own land.”
- GOD says to me “I WILL sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean.”
- GOD says to me “I WILL give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.”
Like a gentle parent, GOD picks me up out of my sinful dirt and cleanses me of “all” unrighteousness. HE looks at my mess and rescues me anyway. HE seems me trying to clean myself up with soiled pants and sprinkles me with HIS holiness. HE removes my idolatrous heart and gives me a new one of flesh, not of stone. Why does HE do all of this? I mean should I clean myself up before HE saves me? NO!
GOD says to me “Your righteousness is like soiled pants. I AM not cleaning you for your sake, rather I am going to do these things, but for the sake of MY holy name.” GOD wants me to follow HIM, point to HIM and love HIM. When I don’t, HE cleans me up because of HIS holiness, not mine. HE gently washes away the sticky sins and tells me to remember my conduct.
- Are you running away from GOD because you are “too” dirty?
- Do you think you should “clean” yourself up before you come back to GOD?
- Can you stop thinking you or anyone else can clean yourself or themselves up at all?
- Will you ask GOD to clean you the way HE wants to?