It’s spring in South Carolina and that means pollen and the possibility of just about any kind of weather that is subject to change within a two-hour time frame. I have looked at my car since mid-March, thinking every day that it looks filthy on the outside. I knew it needed cleaning, but it was going to rain the rest of the week, so why waste my time or money? Last week the rain came for days and days on end, and it is now more filthy. First sunny day comes along a few days ago, and the last thing I want to do is wash my car.
But more than the outside getting dirty, the inside was driving me crazy. Where had all these crumbs come from? Or the straw wrappers and unknown objects that I cannot blame on small children (because my sons have their own cars)? It wasn’t really cluttered, but it just needed a heavy duty wipe down and vacuuming.
Today I took it to one of those places where you can choose an inexpensive quick wash or more expensive options. I’m getting ready to drive to a convention, so I opted for the cheapest wash. I was vacuuming my car and started up a conversation to the Lord. I was confessing my prideful attitude as of late. I had said a few things lately, and although there were true and really not unkind, they were motivated by my trying to elevate myself.
I was vacuuming away at that carpet and began to lift up the mat under the driver’s side where I found more crumbs and unknown objects. As I saw those little pieces disappear into the vacuum hose, I asked God to show me why I choose to say those things, why I want to elevate myself in that way. And He told me: because you love yourself more than you love me, Sharon. If you loved me as you should, you would love others and esteem them more highly than yourself. The sad thing is that I knew it was true.
As a finishing touch to my newly cleaned car, I bought one of those cleaning/protectant wipes packs. I wiped down the steering wheel, the console, doors, dashboard, and every little place that catches crumbs. Well, my car was looking pretty clean and I started driving down the street, feeling good about my shiny, crumb-free surroundings. I began to look around and realized something and resumed my discussion with the Lord. “Lord, why do I wait so long to clean this up? I know it is dirty. I don’t like the way it looks or makes me feel. I like it so much more when it is clean. Why do I delay?” He reminded me of the sin we had just discussed.
Why do I delay in repenting about my sin? Why do I delay in praying for others? Are my prayers for others selfishly motived? I know my heart isn’t right, and I don’t like it, but I still drive about my life in that way. When He forgives those sins and the Holy Spirit indwells, the vehicle (me) is a pleasure instead of a source of aggravation.
So, today my car is clean, inside and out, and by God’s grace, I have repented of this sin of loving myself more than God and others. Just like my car that will get dirty again, I am prone to be tempted to sin in this area again. However, I am praying for the Holy Spirit to transform me as I renew my mind through His Word and trust Him do the work in me. I have a dependent responsibility. I am dependent on Him to do His work and enable me to do the work of bringing my mind under the influence of the Holy Spirit. This is done through hearing, reading, and meditating on His Word, praying, working through the things He brings in my life day to day in His strength, and confessing and turning from sin.
More than likely, your car is due for a wash in the near future. I wonder though, if perhaps you might be in company with me in this area of relying on God for true heart transformation. I am praying for you even now, and look forward to hearing about God’s grace in your life. Let me recommend some good reading material. Feel free to post some also!
Read through Romans 12 and ask God for His direction. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2012&version=ESV
I also highly recommend the book the Transforming Power of The Gospel by Jerry Bridges. http://www.navpress.com/product/9781617479229/The-Transforming-Power-of-the-Gospel-Jerry-Bridges
Romans 12:1- 2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Sharon Fisher holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Elementary Education. She has 14 years of full time teaching experience in the elementary classroom, served as Curriculum Coordinator for Bob Jones Academy, and served as an elementary author for BJU Press. She has contributed to a variety of elementary educational materials and has presented workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of elementary-level subjects and teaching methods. She currently writes a blog and is Social Media Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist for HomeWorks by Precept, a provider of excellent education products, including BJU Press. She is the mother of four grown sons, a grandmother to Ben, and has a passion for encouraging Christian educators and homeschool parents to teach children with excellence and with a biblical worldview.