I want each of you to imagine a house in your mind's eye.
It can be any house. Your house, your dream house, a palace, a mud hut, whatever. Decorate it however you like, whether you want to have soft leather couches in the living rooms or ornate carved pillars in the formal hallway. You choose.
This house represents your heart.
After you've had your house for a while, it gets a bit dirty. Some cobwebs start appearing up by the corners of the ceilings. Dust gathers on the windowsills. The sheets on the beds get a bit dirty. Maybe sticky liquid gets spilled on those soft leather couches.
And we start to notice the dirt. We don't like dirt in the houses of our hearts. So we try to fix it ourselves. Maybe we try to sweep up the cobwebs. We might wash the sheets. But the dirt keeps coming back, and no matter what we do we just can't get the stain off those soft leather couches!
And all the time while we're trying to frantically clean up our house, a professionally trained cleaner is standing, knocking, at the door. Eventually we get sick of all the dirt everywhere and invite the cleaner in to our hearts. The cleaner's name is Jesus.
But lots of us stop there. We invite him in and show him into the kitchen. We politely give him a seat and show him the dirty stove top and fridge, which he lovingly helps us clean. Then he sits down at the kitchen table for a while and waits for us to talk to him and tell him where you would like cleaning. We awkwardly stand there, hoping he doesn't ask to see the living room, with those stained couches and dusty mantelpieces.
Jesus helps us clean where we ask him to, he mops the muddy kitchen floor and even ventures out into the foyer (at our request) to mop out there, too.
Our kitchen's nice and clean. But the whole house of our conscience is still rather dirty, because we haven't granted him access to our entire house!
You see, we shouldn't grant Jesus just access to the domain of our hearts. We must grant him ultimate kingship.
We must give him the key to the cleaning cupboard, then step back and say, "Lord, you have complete reign over my entire heart. Clean my house. I don't want to live with the dust and dirt of my sin anymore. Cleanse me completely - I want to be clean. Do whatever it takes, no matter how painful the process is."
We must surrender our cherished cleaning cupboard key. Because he is a gentleman and will politely wait for us to tell him what we want him to clean. But He is so much more effective in our lives if we allow him to cleanse us completely and purify us utterly... from all sin.... not just the sin we're not uncomfortable about!
Give Him ultimate kingship and reign and access over ALL your heart. Don't just give him little bits here and there. That implies you're still in charge. Make him in charge. Give him the responsibility. He is a cleaner like no other.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
No matter how embarrassed you are to give him the key of your cleaning cupboard, knowing full well how stained your soft leather couches are, give him the key. Throw wide your doors and let the light in to your house.
Give him kingship. Not just access.
PS. I'm back!! I know you missed me terribly :P