Summary: Clearing the room spiritually is all about accepting God’s forgivess through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Not too long ago, Lisa had a great idea about how to decorate our bedroom. Our bedroom walls are tan, but she wanted to create something called an “accent wall”. She wanted me to put navy blue vertical stripes that got larger in size in the middle on the accent wall. Now, this wall is the one seen by everyone who walks into our living room, so it needed to be well done. Well, this project involved a few things that alone, make me uneasy:
2. A tall ladder
3. A level
4. Painter’s tape
5. Dark paint on light carpet
We had our two kids at home with us, so we didn’t want to move our bedroom furniture out into the living room, so we moved the bed out of the way (it was the wall behind the bed, of course!) and scooted everything else out of the way inside the room. Once we got started, it seemed like our bedroom had shrunk in size (except for the wall I was painting!) We kept bumping into things – we knew that we were going to wind up with “deep navy” all over the floor.
Of course we didn’t stop with the wall. Once the painting project was completed (due to a miracle from Almighty God!), we (meaning Lisa) decided that the bedroom furniture needed to be rearranged. Now, my wife is one of the most intelligent people I know, but I discovered 2 things that night:
1. She is a VISUAL person
2. Our furniture is made of lead that is encased in wood
We had to lift furniture OVER furniture to move it into place, then move it back over other furniture to put it in the PERFECT SPOT – we didn’t clear the room. We just rearranged our pile of furniture from one corner to another.
It took us much longer because we didn’t approach the project properly. If you notice on all of the “Trading Spaces” shows, the first thing EVERY TEAM DOES is clear the room. Why? Because it exposes the space for what it really is and allows the redesign to happen more smoothly and quickly. In other words, you get the junk out so you can put the good stuff in. The same concept is true for us spiritually.
Spiritually, clearing the room is all about forgiveness.
So, let’s take a look at 5 aspects of forgiveness tonight…
First, forgiveness is needed.
You and I were created to love God and take on His character. But, since we have messed up along the way, we need to allow Him to “clear the room” in our lives. This isn’t to say that we’re all bad, but before change can happen, there has to be room to do the work.
The Bible is very clear about our inability to “clear the room” on our own.
Paper illustration: See this piece of paper (HOLD UP A BLANK SHEET) – this is our goal, God’s standard – perfection. I’ll tape it to the podium so you can see it.
Let’s take another piece of paper to represent our life. The original intention was for it to be clean.
But, what happens when we mess up? We’ll use the ten commandments as our moral base.
Let’s say you lie to your parents about making a mess of your room. Let’s write LIE on the paper.
What about taking a pen from work because it fits your hand perfectly. Let’s write STEAL on the paper.
OK, what about the time your neighbor got a Lexus – you wanted one so bad that it drove you crazy. Let’s write COVET on the paper.
So, what does your life look like now? How does it compare to the standard?
You know, sometimes we try to hide our sin, so let’s fold up the sin parts (now remember, we have only 3 sins). How does it compare to the standard?
What about erasing the sin? What about pushing it aside – does that fix it?
No, we’re stilled marred by sin.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross gives us a clean slate from our sin, a blank page, and we cannot expect real life change to happen when we are still trying to control our lives. We have to come clean before God and acknowledge that His sacrifices were made to save us. It is up to us to accept that – we have to allow ourselves to be made right with God – to allow our “spiritual rooms” to be cleaned.
See, this isn’t just about bad taste, but eternal survival. There are so many of us that try to earn salvation on our own, but we’re never going to cut it. So, we sacrifice salvation for “good enough” and hope for the best. It doesn’t work that way! Why? How good is good enough?