Spring Cleaning and Spiritual Cleaning


I’m on an extended vacation visiting family and have been helping with some ‘Spring’ cleaning now that my youngest brother is off to college and my parents will have a large home to themselves.  It has certainly been interesting to sort through old linens and old memories.

So much of what I’d personally collected and designed over the years is so out of character with who God has re-created me to be.  I was throwing things out left and right, and even chose to destroy a couple pieces of art I’d made while being influenced by the wrong spirits.

I’ve learned that physical cleaning and spiritual cleaning often go hand in hand.  It is not within God’s nature to be cluttered, dirty, and deteriorating, but rather to demonstrate His glory: we are to be good stewards of what He’s given us (whether small or large).  There’s a reason why physically cleaning can be more relaxing and make things look newer and more valuable.  Simply: cleanliness is part of God’s nature, and the other is not.

Of course, both the physical and spiritual realms are important.  If you’ve never spiritually cleaned your home, it’s just as essential.  You keep your home spiritually clean by regularly inviting the presence of the Lord (spending time worshiping God through prayer, song, reading the Bible, talking admiringly about Him, et cetera), and by keeping out that which is detestable to Him.

That second part is especially important: getting rid of the detestable stuff.  If you own anything that isn’t pleasing to Jesus, especially if it’s been involved in a religious ceremony for other ‘gods’, it can be like a beacon to attract spirits who think they can make a home in those who are using the ‘demonically sacred’ item.  This can plateau your spiritual growth (and, in my experience, even invite tormenting demons–in my case, I wasn’t aware of the affect until I was advised to get rid of some things and the torment decreased).

You do this kind of spiritual cleansing by walking through your home and praying that if there is anything you need to get rid of that Jesus would make it clear.  Then be obedient to what you think you’re hearing–even if it’s your favorite book, or a great CD, or the token you bought abroad, or the necklace that’s been in your family for generations.   Nothing in this life can compare to knowing Jesus on a personal level.

There is a promise that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8), and one of the ways we do this is to chose to honor Him over every other thing by (as the verse says) “cleansing our hands”.  We physically and spiritually clean the best we can, and thus, invite His Spirit to come in to renew and strengthen the rest of us.


Happy anniversary to us!


Yesterday was Ben and my second year anniversary!

On July 7th, 2007, we had a beautiful and joy-filled wedding and an exciting, adventurous honeymoon in the Bahamas and Florida.  Then enter our first year of marriage…. What we didn’t share with people at the time was that our first year of marriage was very very rough.

Everything each of us brought to the marriage, spiritually speaking, seemed to multiply as soon as we became “one body” in marriage.  I, especially, was very emotionally and mentally awry, and I became violent and difficult to live with–living with myself was particularly hard.  It was at this time that I started seeing a secular psychologist and psychiatrist (again), and attempted to stabilize myself through medications, knowledge, positive thinking,… (again).

The change in our marriage occurred right about the one year mark.  We had each been seeking the Lord with great fervor–not together, though we’ve always prayed together in the evenings, but independently.  And I’d been going through a deliverance ministry with a pastor who was physically pulling the spiritual forces of darkness out of my life a little at a time.

It wasn’t until we each became spiritually stable independently that our marriage fully reached a place of not just comfortableness but intimacy.  And that intimacy keeps growing on a regular basis, and is especially wonderful when our connectivity with God is high.

We can now testify that a marriage anchored in God is very rewarding!  We hold each other accountable to walk worthy of our callings by staying in the Spirit.  And when there’s a problem, we are able to quickly identify that it’s us and the Lord against the enemy–never Ben against me or me against him.  When we approach marriage from the standpoint that we’re always on the same team, with the Lord as our coach, there is no problem that can’t be defeated.  The Lord Himself can always bring perfect peace, joy, and love to a marriage.


Wake Up Sleeping Giant!


Tonight I’m asking the Lord:  How long will your people value the world over You?  What will it take, O Lord, to wake up the Western church?

We who call ourselves Christians have forgotten to love the Lord with all of our hearts.  We have a large bubble of “permissible but not beneficial” activities that we choose over our God.  We pray for His blessing, and forget that He’s all we need–literally!

The problem is not that we aren’t thinking about others, it’s that we aren’t thinking about God.  Connecting with God’s heart overflows into a love of others, but if it doesn’t start with a fear and knowledge of God Himself, it’s worthless.


You will know them by their fruit


Jesus warns us about false prophets, saying: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15-16).

But what is that fruit?

Fruit is the outward evidence of the inward seed. So, for instance, if you have the seed for a plum tree, and it grows, it will produce plums.  A banana tree will produce bananas.  You know that it’s a plum tree and not a banana tree by looking at the fruit.

Sometimes this takes a little discernment.  The difference between a plum and a pluot, for instance, isn’t so significant that you could immediately see it unless you were adequately familiar with both.  So, to discern God’s fruit, we need to spend time getting to know Him lest we get caught in something that seems true but isn’t.

And if we want to produce God’s fruit, we must first have His seed (a foundation of intimacy with Him).

It’s not the outward things we do that evidence the seed (you can give to charity, feed the poor, love animals, etc whether or not you know God), but it’s the outward manifestations of the inward things (the deep Joy that can’t help but bubble over, the true Peace regardless of circumstance…) that point out whether our fruit is good or bad.

My husband and I were watching the church sermon of a leader we’d never seen before.  We’d heard really good things about this speaker, but when we heard him speak it was clear that he wasn’t preaching through the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:9).  Instead of the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit, we distinguished anger, hostility and offense–even though he was quoting the Bible.

You see, it’s not just about what people say–in this case, much of the sermon was from an adequate Biblical perspective.  What matters more is the spirit in which the message is given.  We don’t want to graft ourselves into the wrong tree by allowing ourselves to be mislead by someone who isn’t connected with the Lord’s heart.