On Monday I finally took Cecil to the Premier Auto Car Wash, which is really little more than a splash and dash outfit, though they do have pretty good vacuums. The result? Hmmm.
Well, Cecil was cleaner, but only marginally. As I toweled him off, I found myself pulling out bits of tumbleweed from the grill and any other crevice around his nose. I was still wiping off grit, the wheels were still dingy, and bug remains still dotted the headlights and hood. Suffice it to say that, from a distance, he looked clean, but up close . . . Nope. My feeble attempt at a quick clean just didn't do it. He needed a thorough scrubbing.
We often make this same choice in our own lives whether we are a believer or not. A true, deep cleanse, inside and out, comes from God himself, who can make us “whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).
Non-believers often put off coming to God for three reasons. First, they feel they are too dirty, that nothing will be able to make them clean; second, they aren’t ready. There is still some dirt or mud they want or feel justified to play in; or three, they feel they can clean themselves up.
Now before we go and pass judgment, we Christians often claim these exact same three excuses. Though saved, sometimes we feel we have gone too far, that we have disappointed our Savior too many times, and he is done with us.
Or we indulge in activities or thoughts that God deems as sin, yet we don’t want to confess or repent just yet because we are enjoying it. But we will––eventually––right?
Or we, too, believe that we can clean ourselves up. Just make the outside look okay. Give the impression we are living in obedience while a closer inspection reveals that there are still smudges of soot and pieces of tumbleweeds clinging to us.
As much as we would like to get by with a quick cleanse. We can’t. There is no middle ground that allows for partial cleaning. Our relationship with God depends on total obedience. Without acknowledging God the Father as supreme and God the Son as our savior, we can have no relationship with God. And then once we do claim him as our savior, whenever we move away . . . indulge in sin . . . we strain that relationship.
If you are either balking at commitment or chafing at obedience, don’t despair and don’t wait. Run to or back to Jesus who welcomes us with open arms, ready to make us “whiter than snow.”