Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cleanliness and Tidiness

The Lord is Coming Soon!

This morning, around 11:40 a.m. the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to my six-year old daughter, Claudia, and told her twice: “I am coming very soon!” About 20 minutes later, He said again: “Claudia, I am coming very soon. Bye!” I took her for a walk with me in a veld (grassland/field) nearby while I used that quietness as an opportunity to pray. She heard the first words while we were on our way, and then when we returned. Praise the Lord!

Update: we have added two new visions of evil snakes and Satan’s influence on people to the Dreams and Visions page. You can also translate this site to other languages using the Translate drop-down button on the right.

This week, the Lord gave us a Word to write an article on neatness and tidiness. Yes, you heard that right! In a sharp rebuke to the Pharisees, the Lord said "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence" (Matthew 23:25 NIV). Undoubtedly, the Lord is referring to external cleanliness and internal cleanliness (Titus 3:5). This is an essential teaching, because many people who are too lazy to take care of their themselves thinks that the Lord is pleased if they are dirty. From a young age, the Lord gave Charis encouraging messages for her and our other children for keeping themselves clean. Therefore, keeping ourselves clean and tidy is as natural as eating.

Personal Neatness

Let us examine more scriptures on tidiness, the Lord Jesus told Peter: “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean…” (John 13:10). This was a literal statement, but it also had a spiritual meaning (John 13:10-11). Also, the Lord encouraged us to “put oil on your head and wash your face” (Matthew 6:17). In addition, the entire Old Testament’s ritual cleansing was a direct command from God to Moses for the Israelites to learn the importance of cleanliness (Numbers 19:1-22), and we know that the Jews practiced neatness even during the time of our Lord Jesus (John 2:6).

 Furthermore, we might argue and say that it is not a sin not to be clean and there is no Scripture charging us to be physically clean. Wrong! in the light of various scriptures it is a sinful to be spiritually and physically untidy, and that is to even the perfecting holiness required of us (2 Corinthians 7:1). We may also consider the following verse as a strong charge against disrespecting, offending and being a stumbling block to others: “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, wont he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way (being unclean) and wound their weak conscience, YOU SIN AGAINST CHRIST “(1 Corinthians 8:9-12).

Now, after we briefly clarified our scriptural position on being neat and tidiness, we will be discussing below some instances and rebukes from the Lord relating to uncleanliness.

The Lord Jesus on Untidiness and Uncleanliness

To our surprise, the Lord issued a few rebukes to some of our members, for untidy dressing. However, before we share some of the Lord's messages regarding untidy appearance I would like to briefly share a confusing encounter I had. When I was about 13 to 14 years old, I was invited to church by a man who was born again and in his early 20s who lived in close proximity to us. By declining his offer, I used the following as an excuse, “I don’t have decent clothes to wear to church.” In reply he said, “You may come just as you are; God looks at the heart not the outside (1 Samuel 16:7).” It didn't mean that I had to go to Church in an untidy state, I had to be reasonably clean and properly dressed up and after tidying myself I was left with no excuse and I went to church on the brother’s invitation. The point that I am making is this: as people, we think that we are summoned to do things for God we must appear untidy, negligent or appear poor. Such reasoning is based on poor judgement. This is not the God that I am serving, for He delights in the beauty of His work “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30 NIV).

In expressing His disapproval with the attitude of a member of our ministry, I had the task of sending someone a message from the Lord to “...stop putting on ugly clothes and say you don’t care what other people think.” The Lord is NOT pleased with sloppy Christians! The Lord expects us to be clean and neatly dressed at all times, whether we go out witnessing, to school, work or attend Church services we represent Him, so we must reflect His image that of external purification. In another rebuke, a sister was told that  ‘she was not keeping herself well.’ As an encouragement to basic tidiness: Dress modestly and not to impress or to show off to others. Wear what you have and feel good and comfortable in. Why should Christians be unkempt while serving a Pure and Holy God? Let us honour God in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 12:2).

In emphasising cleanliness, the Lord commanded my daughters Charis and Jaydeen to go and CLEAN the house of a very close relative, including the bedding and the clothes of some of the boys living there. The Lord gave them detailed instructions on exactly how they should clean the house. This CLEANING took them about five (5) working days. Could you imagine the amount of dirt they unearthed? Amongst other work, they had to clean the walls do some painting.  Soon after the children completed their cleaning, the Lord issued a word to a sister residing there to start cleaning the house and keep it tidy daily. It is often people with a lazy attitude who practices untidiness and uncleanliness. Such a practice is tantamount to demonic influences (Mark 5:1-20).

So, have you been unclean and untidy, either physically or spiritually? Are you keeping yourself pure and keeping your heavenly garments clean, stainless, spotless, tidy, and wrinkle-less, ready for the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance.

For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

The Lord bless you!

Yours in Neatness,

Brother Glenn.