Showers are great. No matter how dirty we are, no matter what filth we've gotten ourselves into, no matter how long it's been since the last bath, we can get completely clean. A little shampoo for the hair, some cleansing cream for the face, a good bar of soap for the rest, and ta da! We're clean again—as clean as we ever were.
We aren't obsessed by how dirty we once were. We don't rush from mirror to mirror, making sure the cleansing succeeded. We know we are clean.
We can be clean spiritually, too.
God promises to make us completely clean on the inside. Psalm 51:7 (KJV) says, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." We can ask God to make us clean and He does. It doesn't matter what we've done, it doesn't matter how despicable we've been, it doesn't matter how many we've hurt, God's cleansing is thorough.
We don't always feel clean, though, do we? We remember what we've done and we're ashamed. That shame and the guilt that goes with it keep us from believing the sins are gone. We can't accept God's forgiveness. We become obsessed by how dirty we once were on the inside.
Everything in the natural can be cleaned, but it sometimes takes a special process to get there. An oil stain in the driveway takes a combination of chemicals to get clean. Clothing might need bleach. A wall might need repainting. And some stains can never be cleaned no matter how hard you scrub.
That's the kind of cleaning we're used to, and we can't help but wonder what else we could do to get right again after sin. Surely bigger sins require some sort of penance. Somewhere there must be a list of things we need to do to pre-treat our stains before we dare come before the sinless Almighty for forgiveness.
But God's cleansing is thorough. 1 John 1:9 (KJV) says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "All" is what it says. It doesn't say "some," it doesn't say "certain sins," it doesn't say "except for the below mentioned actions."
Even if others haven't forgiven us, even if we haven't forgiven ourselves, even if we are still living with the consequences of what we've done, God's forgiveness is thorough. Jesus Christ and His death on the cross paid the whole price for our sin. Because of Him, we can be as completely clean on the inside as we are on the outside.
All we need to do is tell God we're sorry for what we've done and ask Him to forgive us. He is waiting to make us clean again.
It's as easy as this: "Heavenly Father, I'm sorry for my sins. I'm buried under this guilt that I deserve. But please forgive me and make me right again with You. I want to be clean again on the inside. Thank You. I know You've forgiven me because Your word says so. In Jesus' name. Amen."
Copyright © 2013 Ginny Dix, used by permission.
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