Last week Louisa impressed me by washing all the windows in my cottage, inside and out. She carefully locked each one afterwards in preparation for winter winds and removed the screens, carrying them to the basement for storage. The window glass is so clean it seems there isn’t any at all, like we’re living among the trees. And it’s absolutely lovely.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our inner selves could be that squeaky clean with no smudges or smears?
Today at an early morning prayer gathering during which a group of us were interceding for others, God reminded me I needed to spend more time in prayers of confession for myself. He reminded me that just because I don’t shoplift or embezzle money or worship idols, I’m still guilty of sin, and it needs to be cleaned up every so often.
Job of the Old Testament is a tremendous role model for all of us. God’s description of him was “blameless,” meaning he lived a life without willful sin. But he wasn’t the only one. Dotted through Scripture are others of the same caliber such as both parents of John the Baptist who were also labeled “blameless.” And several others referred to themselves as being blameless before God.
Whenever I ask the Lord if he sees anything in me that’s blame-worthy, his answer is always, “Yes,” followed by the specifics. It’s as if he says, “The window to your soul has gotten cloudy. How ‘bout cleaning it off?”
All of us want to be clean before God, but it’s hard to agree with him about specific smudges. Most of us jump to defend ourselves, even to him. And maybe that’s the main reason he’s never referred to someone like me as “blameless.” Maybe Job and the others didn’t self-defend but instead quickly responded to God’s charges with ownership of guilt and immediate requests for forgiveness.
Each of us is born with a sense of right and wrong, along with a conscience to prompt us. We can choose to run from wrong or walk as close to it as possible. But God can look at our hearts as easily as I can look through my clean windows. He sees everything in there, and is keenly interested in all of it, though he’s looking at one thing above all others: our intentions.
Despite the smudges and smears on the glass, if our honest longing is to be clean before him, his response is always to pull out his supernatural Windex and work washing wonders within us. He deals harshly with willful sin but lavishes grace when our underlying purpose is to please him.
So, although I’d love to be “blameless” before God, until I get there, I’ll work on just being “squeaky clean,” much like Louisa’s windows.
Lord, “keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13)