Today was a day to clean. I woke ready to work and get it done, whatever "it" might be. I opened the cabinet that contains cleaning supplies. Cleaning supplies have gotten expensive lately. I am sure if I had to choose between food and chemical I would choose the food and apparently that is what I have been doing lately. At the grocery store where I work, we sell a little of it all I guess. When I worked the other night a lady bought a bottle of Tide Concentrate for $22.79 I was surprised at the price, but she told me it was the best and the best is worth more. I just thought apparently so and kept my mouth shut which is my job if I notice high prices while checking.
But back to my story of cleaning, As I looked inside my cleaning supply cabinet I thought of the Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme. My cupboard was bare. As I looked at the bare cupboard my mind wandered again, seems my mind is good at that. I thought way back to 1984 when I was working as a manager at a local apartment complex. Once a month each apartment had to be inspected and sprayed for bugs. It was my job to go apartment to apartment with the pest control guy and while he sprayed I had to inspect the apartment for damages and general cleanliness. There was a checklist with things such as electrical sockets covered, faucets working not leaking, door handles still attached to the doors, stove elements hot and refrigerators cold. When it came to cleanliness I remember one of the questions was about household cleaning products. One possible selection to the question was "none visible". I recall checking that box many times as I checked in other people's cabinets for Pine-Sol or Purex or anything that could possibly be classified as a cleaning product. I tried to remain honest and still help people as much as possible. It was government-assisted housing so the people didn't have a lot of money to shop for cleaning products with. If I just saw a little dish detergent in a bottle or a rusty brillo pad by the sink I would check "yes" there are cleaning products visible.
I wonder if my house had to be inspected by someone today what would be checked. I guess I would just have to hope for a little leniency from the one doing the checking because there are no cleaning products visible.
Now I am reminded of a Bible passage in Luke 11.....
24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
I tried to tell myself ok there you go the Bible says having a clean house isn't always good. If it is swept clean unclean spirits come in and dirty it all up anyway. I believe that is what you call taking the Word literally instead of figuratively as this passage is intended. The house this passage speaks of is us, these temples, these temporary houses for our souls that do go on forever and live somewhere either in a clean or very unclean place. These temples are indeed supposed to be kept clean and holy, but not empty.
An empty house is not a good thing. When the devil comes along and finds an empty cupboard he smiles. He has his checklist in hand always. First of all he checks for simple obvious things such as uncovered openings that allow sin to enter easily. He sees leaks in our spiritual walk and knows it is only a matter of time until he can flood our entire temple. He sees doors shut which allow God to enter in. He sees we are neither cold nor hot and knows our God will spit us out and then he (satan) can easily pick us up. Finally, with a checklist in hand, the devil opens up the cabinet deep inside our heart that should contain all the cleaning supplies we need to keep these temples in proper working order. He checks for things such as Armour-All or Shield. When he sees none, he happily checks none visible. There is no leniency in him. He wants to condemn us to live in an empty ugly place where all hope is lost, but if we apply God's Word to our heart and to our lives there is hope.
- Ephesians 6 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
So what about it? How is your cupboard looking today? Do you feel you have been forced to choose between a spiritual or physical filling and you have been leaning toward the physical? The best is not expensive. The best is a free gift to us. All we have to do is reach out and accept everything we need to fill these temples from Jesus Christ. He will enter in the doors of these temples and cleanse us, but we have to keep them open for Him to enter in. He is kind and loving and gives us chance after chance. Make sure if the devil comes your way to inspect your cupboard that he doesn't find it empty. Keep it filled with God's Word which is your armor over all of the devil's wiles. Make sure satan can never check "none visible' and feel he and all his friends are free to move in on you.