The Cleanup Imperative
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If you don't like to wash your hands, don't ever become a doctor or a nurse. You have to wash your hands a lot! Scrubbing up is routine procedure for people in the medical profession. I don't think any of us wants to be opened up by some doc who hasn't washed his hands all day! Right? Actually, a loved one of ours had a major heart surgery a few years ago, which she made it through. What she didn't make it through was the staph infection that she picked up in the hospital. It's avoiding that kind of thing that is at the heart of a hospital's insistence that healers and caregivers get really clean before they touch you. If they carry infection, they can do a lot of damage.
Listen to His uncompromising words, for example, in Isaiah 52:11, our word for today from the Word of God. "Depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord." When you're doing anything for God, you're touching the holy, whether you realize it or not. And you'd better not be handling the holy with dirty hands, with a dirty mind, a dirty motive, or a dirty attitude. God says, "Get rid of that infectious junk! You're carrying the 'vessels' of Almighty God!"
No one serving the holy, holy, holy God should dare to do it without "scrubbing up" on a regular basis, knowing that we get polluted some each day. When you're dealing with holy things day after day, frankly it's easy but deadly to become casual about it; and about sin that you're allowing to creep into your life. But the judgment is greater for those who know what you know. Who bring infection into the spiritual "hospital" where He is trying to heal lives.
In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, Paul makes very clear what God is looking for when He decides who He's going to use for great things. He describes a house with gold and silver vessels, which are used for special things, and with wood and clay vessels, which are used for dirty and gross things. He concludes, "If a man cleanses himself...he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master, and prepared to do any good work."
God is not impressed with your abilities, with your great résumé, with your connections, your education, or your credentials. He doesn't care about your cash. He doesn't care about your charisma. All He cares about is your character! He is looking for clean! Getting rid of the dirt, staying clean, that is how you qualify to be an instrument in the hands of Almighty God.
Maybe you've let your hands, or your mind, or your spirit get dirty. You've gotten careless about the sin that killed your Savior. Don't defile the work of a holy, holy, holy God. Bow before Him. Let Him forgive you, cleanse you, and purify you again. He has great work for you to do, many lives for you to touch with His healing love. But only if you're clean!