One of the most important elements of preparation for Easter is our posture before God.
Every year it’s the same.
As the sun rises higher in the sky and the earth thaws from winter’s blast, we throw open the windows, pack away our winter clothes, and dream of bare feet and short sleeves. Spring is on its way.
We need to get ready. Because like the earth, we too get a fresh start.
So we make Pinterest boards and research better methods to organize in hopes that maybe this year we’re be able to open the closet without fear of something falling on our heads. We sweep, mop, vacuum, wash, dry, scrub, soak, fold, pack, and rearrange, removing the signs of the long winter now past.
Our hearts, much like our homes, need to be cleaned out as well.
It’s likely we’ve accumulated some clutter over the past year. Resentment, disappointment, frustration, guilt, shame, fear, false idols, condemnation, and anger can all take up residence without our knowing. They can change our perspectives, influence our thoughts and actions, and take the place of Christ in our hearts. We can raise our hands in worship and read the Bible every day, but the most important thing is our stance before God.
We need to be right with him.
It can be difficult to do. Like how scrubbed sinks and streak-free windows require significant elbow grease, clearing out the clutter in our hearts is hard work. Even if we know what needs to be removed or addressed, there might be the pesky issue of our wills – do we want to let go?
Do we want to trust God with our pain, our need for justice, our “right” to be right?
And what we if we don’t know where to begin?
That’s when we drop to our knees like David:
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51: 2, 7, 9-10
God hears the cries of his children. He delights in our desire to follow him and to honor him. He doesn’t roll his eyes with frustration when we come to him, asking for help. When we recognize something isn’t right in our hearts and we ask for direction, wisdom, and revelation, he responds with a resounding, “YES!”
Because he wants us right with him too.
Spiritual spring cleaning starts and ends with submitting ourselves to God.
We need to come to him with arms uncrossed, asking him to shine light in the dark places of our hearts. Stating again that he is Lord, he is sovereign, he is good, and we want to be right with him. Trusting that the inner work we need to do might be painful, but it is for our own good and ultimately, for his glory.
As Holy Week approaches, the time we celebrate the pure and spotless Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins, what better time to examine our own hearts and get right with God?
Easter is the reason for our faith and why we GO to the nations to share the good news of Christ. What are other ways we can prepare our hearts for the work he is doing in us?