“MAKE IT LOOK LIKE COMPANY IS COMING!” I would hear my mother yell throughout the entire house as we were being asked to clean our rooms. Whether I liked it or not, as I was hanging up piles of laundry that laid across my floor, crushing countless already-used plastic water bottles, and throwing away heaps of trash that I didn’t even know how they got there, having a standard in my head that my room needed to look like “company was coming” was crucial. It pushed me to have my room look spotless and tidy, as if company were truly soon to be arriving.
A couple of days ago, God sweetly and quietly revealed something to me about the state of my heart. (Which by the way, aren’t we so blessed to serve a gentle God who teaches us how to be better versions of Him?) I was praying, “Lord, I want to be a vessel for you. I do not want to live my own life, but I want to live a life fully devoted to you. I want you to do a mighty work within me that spreads your love throughout the world.” Right then and there, I heard Him whisper to me, “There are still some small areas of your heart that need to be cleaned out. I am trying to show up in every part of your heart and overwhelm it with My unfailing love, but there are sections of your heart that you have made off limits to Me.”
You might be asking, Wait a minute, I thought that once I asked Jesus into my heart and became a Christian, my whole heart was made clean because of the precious blood shed for me on the cross? Yes, the sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross allows us to live a life full of freedom and truth. However, in order to continually live in the freedom that He died for us to have, the responsibility that we have as His children is to completely surrender all aspects of our lives and keep in step with His Spirit, His truth, and His guidance. By doing this, our hearts will continue to be made pure and whole through Him.
Right then and there, I was stunned. Yes, I have been devoted to God and have always welcomed Him into my heart ever since I was a little girl, but recently He has shown me that I have been getting familiar with vacuuming around dirty clothes and piles of trash. That I have been surrendering specific spots of my heart over and over again, as I continue to vacuum over old vacuum marks. I have been cleaning a couple of mirrors in my room year after year but have left the other two mirrors full of spots. I have been trying to light candles and allow my heart to smell like that sweet smell only He can only give, but somehow I still get a little whiff of trash.
I have realized that the Lord cannot FULLY thrive in an environment nor can I be the daughter that He has called me to be if there are still a couple of water bottles hanging around—or even worse, that yucky trash reeking up the place. He cannot do a great work within me and fully work throughout every area of my heart if He constantly has to walk around trash and dirty clothes that are left within my heart.
I don’t know about you, but as I wake up each day, before my feet hit that floor, I want Him to be able to walk into the room and feel so comfortable that He can do a mighty work within me. I want Him to thrive in a place that welcomes His presence. I want Him to be surrounded by songs within my heart that praise and glorify Him. Words that echo his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. I want my heart to be lit with candles that are of His aroma and not candles that smell like the world. I want my heart to have an open floor that Jesus can dance in.
So, I want to encourage you today. Take inventory of your heart. Really take a close look and see if there are some unneeded, unnecessary piles of trash or laundry. You know, piles of laundry that contain insecurity, pride, selfishness, jealously, doubt, worry. Trash that includes bitterness, forgiveness, or comparison. Proverbs 4:23: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
We can almost get overwhelmed and weighed down as we try to get everything in order within our hearts. Sometimes we may feel like it is our duty as His children to make sure our hearts are clean and ready before we even want to welcome Him in. But guess what? He is the kind of Parent that comes into our rooms and helps us clean. His desire is to clean up our messes together. Allow Him to pick up and throw away those piles of trash and laundry within you. He’ll even make the process fun and enjoyable as you do it together! Can’t you just hear the old Barney song playing, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share!”
Does your heart look like company is coming? An environment that you are proud to open the door to and allow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to dwell in? Together, let’s develop an environment within our hearts that makes the Lord absolutely ecstatic to work within.
Gabrielle Pepin, third daughter of Brad and Scarlet Pepin, is a 19 year old Freshmen at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is majoring in Business. She enjoys writing and loves to take on new adventures. Her heart and her passion is to raise up leaders among her generation. She wants to encourage them to be the sons and daughters that they were created to be.