2 Timothy 2:20-21
King James Version (KJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
A dirty house is not attractive to anyone, and it is most unlikely that dirty cooking utensils will be appropriated for any culinary purpose, regardless of the materials or ceramics they are made of. A girl’s makeup or jewellery does not enhance her character, but it is her temperament and personality that counts. A counterfeit item at close range can never appeal to the senses like the original. Fake attitudes and facades will always surface eventually, like a log of wood that was forcefully immersed in water.
A man’s salvation is imminent from the moment he realises how filthy and helpless he is without God. When a man does not appreciate his fallen nature, when he is still comfortable in his filth, his salvation is remains distant. It is relatively easy to determine purity in the mundane. The contents of water determine whether it is pure or not. When water contains more than its constituent elements, we say that the water is impure or unclean. Sometimes water may look clean to the natural eyes but upon filtration, it becomes obvious that the water was not clean. Likewise, in the spiritual, the contents of a vessel determine its purity also. Clean water does not need further purification. A clean vessel does not need to be washed.
Every man whose spirit is not regenerated by God is unclean. In the beginning, God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). In the beginning man was clean. He thought like God and he thought of things good. Man became dirty after his fall (Genesis 3).
In our contemporary world, no reasonable man loves to be associated with dirt. In fact when a man is regularly unkempt, there is a general assumption on the part of the public that a perennially filthy man is mentally deranged. Mentally sick people are notorious for dirt. They are couriers of dirt and they are also regular inhabitants of dustbins and wastelands. However, our God looks beyond the physical to the spiritual. In assessing a man, he looks at the man’s spirit. God looks beyond the flesh. When a man’s heart is clean, such a man attracts God. A clean heart emanates from a spirit that is right with God.
In 2 Samuel 16, we can read a story that clearly illustrates the way God looks at a man. God directed his prophet, Samuel, to Jesse’s house. Prophet Samuel mistook Jesse’s son, Eliab, to be the next king of Israel, probably because he was tall and handsome. Even the great prophet with all his anointing was swayed by Eliab’s physical appearances. However, God standard of evaluation was different! That was why God finally picked David, the least of Jesse’s sons.
A clean heart is a heart that yields to the Holy Spirit. It is the spirit man that is in regular intercourse with the Holy Spirit. A born again Christian does not look physically different from other people on the street. When a person becomes born again, there are no physical indicators that the person is a Christian because, more often than not, as Christians, we dress the way most people dress in our environment. We eat the same foods and walk the way other unsaved folks walk. What makes a Christian different from the unsaved is the spirit that inhabits the body of the Christian. The Bible often refers to a dirty spirit as an unclean spirit. A lot of times, we limit unclean spirits, to issues of madness. Our God is a holy God. His very nature cannot accommodate uncleanness in the spirit which is caused by sin. Picture this – if you are in a clean environment, would you be excited about someone bringing in decomposing garbage with its accompanying stench to pollute the fresh sweet air you are breathing?
Dirt and stagnation are synonymous and so are cleanliness and productivity. When the engine oil of a car is dirty, the car is said to be in need of servicing. During the servicing of a car, the mechanic simply drains the car of the dirty oil and replaces it with clean fresh oil. Many Christians today need the servicing of the Holy Spirit.
In Genesis 8: 20, Noah was careful to offer only clean beast and fowl as burnt offerings to the Lord. We ought to emulate Noah in the church today. No matter our position or office in the Body of Christ, we ought to offer only clean hearts to our Lord and Saviour. It is only when we are clean that God accepts us and our ministry. I have said it often that it is not all ministers who are accepted by God. As a choir member, if you like sing like with the best tenor, alto or bass, the Lord will not accept you until you present yourself purified before Him. It is important that our ministrations are accepted on the altar of God. The altar is a place of sacrifice but it does not impute that whatever is kept there is automatically clean. In Matthew 15: 8, Jesus stated that it was those things which proceed out of the mouth which originate from the heart, that are capable of defiling a man.
In my Christian walk, I have never negotiated or compromised with the devil. The devil’s mission on this planet is to contaminate and defile men. As Christians, we have to continuously be on guard against his antics. It is recorded in the Bible that the devil was a beautiful angel. Some who have encountered him in the spirit realm maintain that he is still handsome. However, his content is another matter altogether! He is the reservoir of everything evil! It is the same scenario with many young girls today. They are outwardly attractive but their contents would drive any prospective suitor away. True beauty emanates from the heart. It comes from the inside.
Our prayer life will only connect with God when the heart is clean. You can pray, speak in tongues and stamp your feet and be heard five kilometres away, if your spirit is not right with God, your prayers will not go anywhere. It is only a man with a clean heart who can communicate with God. A clean heart is sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is why it is necessary that as children of God, we are not contaminated. It is only when we are contaminated that we grieve the Holy Spirit and He will be compelled to depart from us.
How do you know a man whose spirit is unclean? He is a reservoir of fear and wrong confessions. An unclean spirit, like its counterpart in the physical is an index of laziness. In many homes today, women cannot take charge of domestics. Some of these women have even turned their husbands to housekeepers and gender roles have become reversed. Unclean spirits are stingy. They cannot give. They attempt to rob God of his tithes. Unclean spirits cannot prosper.
In Mark 5:9, Jesus asked an unclean spirit its name. The spirit replied, “Legion” because the unclean spirits inhabiting the man were so numerous that they could possess two thousand pigs when they were cast out of the man. This man possessed by these spirits was a violent man who caused himself bodily harm and could not be bound. The man was living in a cemetery of all places. Unclean spirits can never inhabit normal abodes. They do not like good things. If an unclean spirit has access to a family, through its member, the other family members will not have peace or rest because the unclean spirits will perpetually be at work to manipulate and destabilise the other family members.
But thank God for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He will rescue all contaminated vessels the way he delivered the afflicted man at the cemetery. He will rescue whoever yields himself to Him. Every temple of God must be cleaned in the name of Jesus.