Keep the Temple Clean

by Bill Brinkworth

I had waited a long time to spend the weekend with my friend. Finally, the time had arrived. After being dropped off, with suitcase and sleeping bag in hand, I was ready for the games to begin!

Up the steps I was guided to where I was to sleep. As the door creaked open, I was aghast at the sleeping quarters where I was to spend the next couple of nights. Clutter, mess, and filth would be my bedfellows, if I were to spend the night in that bedroom.

Dirty, tattered curtains blocked most of the light filtering through the windows. I wondered if they had ever been washed, since they were installed. Strips of wallpaper curled off the wall, exposing the paste that clusters of roaches were feasting on. Spider webs laced across most of the corners and crevices. Clothes lay where they fell, after they were removed. I can't swear to it, but I am positive I saw a dirty sock move slightly across the dusty, stained rug under its own power. A smell of armpits, sweat, and filth permeated from unwashed clothes and bedding. It was not a place that I would relish spending the night.

As politely as I could manage, I complained, "I really want to spend the weekend here with you. We could have such a good time together; but to be honest with you, um, this room is too filthy for me to even sleep in. I would not be comfortable here."

My host surveyed his room, and agreed with a nod that it was a mess.

"If I am to stay here, we've got to clean it up," I suggested.

He was agreeable, and soon we were both working together to clean his room. Curtains, clothing, and bedding were washed more than once. Pests were sprayed and removed. Windows were scrubbed. Walls were wiped. Floors were vacuumed and scrubbed.

After much hard work, the room was cleaned. It even smelled clean and fresh. It was now a room I could comfortably sleep in.

When a person gets saved, that person becomes the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. He becomes the living temple, that the Spirit of God indwells. As I, and others, would not be comfortable in such a filthy environment in the above story; so the Holy Spirit is not comfortable with His dwelling place in many lives. The uncleanliness in one's "living temple" that displeases the Spirit and stifles His working in our lives is our sin.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" I Corinthians 3:16
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" I Corinthians 6:19 Also: II Cor. 6:16.

When a person is first saved, it is the voice of the Holy Spirit that whispers in his heart to work on eliminating sin. For each person, the Holy Spirit's directions to clean up his temple are different. It may be lying, or a drinking problem that the Holy Spirit urges the child of God to eliminate in order for the Spirit to be comfortable enough to work in his life. For others it may be the sin of adultery, deceitfulness, cheating, or gossiping that He demands be stricken from the temple of the Living Spirit.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

Too many disregard, disobey or ignore the whispering voice of the Holy Spirit to remove sin from their lives. In doing so, they grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Not doing as He commands is the same as telling him, "No!". He does not leave, but He becomes silent. That is why so many people after being gloriously saved, never do much or are used by God. The Holy Spirit insisted they clean up their temple, and they refused to do so. A dirty temple is one that will never bring honor to God, nor will it be used by God.
"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Romans 6:13

All of us that are saved have many sins in our lives that need to be cleaned up. The Holy Spirit is so gracious in that He does not demand they all be cleaned up at once. One by one, He will point them out and help us clean up where only He knows the "filth" is hiding. Is there an area in your life that God's Spirit is urging you to clean up? You will never be perfect and sin-free, but you can be a cleaner "temple" that can bring honor and glory to God.

"I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness that remains in him." - Spurgeon

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