After a Thanksgiving that was busting at the seams with family, laughter, and even some tears during heart-to-hearts, I had quite the sink full of dishes to do! Most of the dishes had been rinsed, which made cleaning them easy, but there were a few with maple syrup and other foods caked and dried onto them. It made me think…
Imagine washing dishes without water.
You could rub and rub for hours at the grit all over the plates and silverware, but getting it totally clean? That would seem impossible.
Ephesians 5:26 says that God cleanses us “by the washing with water through the word.”
We can try to get ourselves clean on our own strength, skill, and merit, but it will take a whole lot of effort and won’t get us very far. We can try to overcome addictions, sin habits, and heal from past hurts, and if we work really hard we might get somewhat better…but we can’t get totally clean without water.
We may be doing all the right things, even things we may need to continue to do like scrubbing at the dirt, but we’re missing the most essential piece.
Only with water can all the residue come off.
Jesus has already forgiven our sins when He died on the cross, through His blood (see King’s Daughter link for more on this). He’s already given us right standing with God. But sinful habits and broken hearts persist, needing healing and cleaning in His water.
If we would soak in the cleansing water of the Scriptures, through reading and thinking about His word throughout the day (Psalm 1), it would be like the way I let the really tough dirty dishes soak in my sink full of water before trying to wash them. It would loosen the dirt on my heart.
Then we could let God’s water wash the hurts and sin away. Often, it still takes scrubbing, hard work, and putting some elbow grease into it, but when we’re doing it with Him, by His power, and with the cleansing water of His word, the stains will keep being cleaned away, one by one. Because of Him, it’s possible to come out at the end of this life totally, sparklingly clean (Jude 24).